When it first launched in 2003, LinkedIn was primarily for recruiters or people looking for jobs. This might be why some folks in the camp industry have been led to believe that LinkedIn is not the right platform for summer camps. Times have changed.
LinkedIn has grown into a much bigger platform where professionals connect with each other and where companies build their brands, attract employees with content, and learn from industry insights. In other words, there’s no reason why camps should exclude themselves from LinkedIn.
If you’re ready to leverage LinkedIn to benefit your business more effectively, here are a few tips to get you started.
Build a strong LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is the first impression of your camp, and before you add the little ‘in’ icon to your website footer, make sure you have a profile that sends the right message.
- Use your logo and a properly-sized header image to give your business profile a branded and professional look that communicates your camp’s story and attracts your audience.
- Write a compelling summary that highlights your camp’s mission, values, and unique offerings. Make sure to completely fill out your camp’s business profile and link back to your website.
- Highlight your achievements and awards, such as recognition from industry associations or positive reviews from campers and parents.
- Include contact information and links to your other social media pages.
Recruit new staff with best practices
LinkedIn is a prime spot to post your job descriptions for seasonal and year-round openings! Because it’s a global platform, you’ll be able to attract a wide and diverse talent pool. If you’re going to use LinkedIn to recruit staff, make sure you create job postings that clearly outline the job responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.
- When you post these open roles, use relevant keywords and hashtags to make your postings more visible to potential candidates.
- Interested candidates might like, comment, or share these posts. Engage with any who show interest in your postings, and follow up with them.
- With a clear and accurate job title, people will find your job more easily. You’re also able to share the job pay range, locations, benefits, start/end timeline, and more so people can apply filters when searching for jobs on LinkedIn.
- Highlight your camp’s culture: Candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your company, not only what’s expected of them.
- Encourage your current employees to join LinkedIn and add your camp as their place of work. Visitors to your profile can then use the ‘people’ menu to see your staff and determine if they have personal connections to your team that might motivate them to apply.
- Similarly, your staff should repost your open positions. Getting their endorsement can go a long way to generating wide interest in the jobs you have open.
Promote your camp with content
If you post exclusively about open positions but have no other content to back it up, you’re not using LinkedIn to its full potential.
- Share blog posts, articles, and other content related to your camp.
- This includes photos and videos that showcase your camp’s facilities, activities, and events.
- If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to share a few posts before you begin directing people to your profile. A totally empty profile won’t inspire anyone.
- Frequency matters. Create a calendar and have a plan to post regularly. The more you post, the more robust your profile will be. If someone sees that your most recent post was a few months ago, it’s not likely that they’ll get a good impression.
- If you have a blog on your camp’s website, balance sharing so there’s a mix of internal and external voices on your page.
Use LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends
As more camps start to include LinkedIn among their marketing tools, a fuller picture of the industry will start to emerge on the platform.
- Use your personal profile to follow relevant companies, organizations, and thought leaders in the camp industry. You’ll learn from the articles you read, which can in turn become content to share on your camp’s business profile.
- If you see conversations start to play out in comments, participate in these group discussions and ask questions.
- Use insights and information to improve your own camp’s offerings and stay ahead of the competition.
- Join LinkedIn groups, and not just those that are summer camp-specific. Look into groups about outdoor education, small business marketing, and sustainability, for example. These are just a few of the adjacent topics that could provide you with good ideas and interesting content to re-post.
Get In on the Action
Maybe you’ve been told that other marketing channels, like Facebook and Instagram, are more appropriate for the summer camp audience and require less effort. Or that the time and resources required to maintain a LinkedIn profile would be better spent on other marketing or operational priorities.
The reality is that LinkedIn has evolved from a platform solely for job seekers and recruiters to a robust platform for professional networking, brand building, and business development. Summer camps can benefit from using LinkedIn to build their brand, recruit employees, promote their camp with content, and stay up-to-date on industry news and trends. You can leverage LinkedIn to support your business goals, and as more camps join the platform, LinkedIn will become a valuable tool for building connections, sharing insights, and improving your business.