b'MODERN MARKETINGDoes Social Media Work? It Depends!Who Are You Talking To? This is the supreme first step to social mediasuccess. In fact, its the deciding factor that influences every single Evannestep forward. Many of us have a gut feeling about whom were trying Schmarderto attract. Most of us fail to put that lodestar in writing.For people like me, those who what? One of their favorite celebri- This information determines every- Working The Room help others with their digital mar- ties loves the RV lifestyle. Tell me thing. Will you even market on so- Knowingwhomyouwanttoketingprograms,itwouldbean more, they think. At lunch with a cialmedia?Maybenot(butthe reach and what you want them toabsolute pleasure to be able to an- colleague, they mention the celeb. advice Im about to give still per- do will guide your next steps. Spendswer that question definitively. But Turns out their dining companions tains to your marketing program). considerable time thinking aboutalas, like many things in life, the parentsarefull-timeRVers. They If so, what platforms will help you what it is you can communicate toanswer isit depends. Everyones makeafewrecommendations; reach your audience? What moti- attract attention. Refer back to yourtalked to or read about businesses offertoconnectyouwiththeir vates them to take action? Can you customer profile. Is a short post se-praisingthemarketingmedium. folks. The ensuing conversation is deliver on their expectations? riesfornewcamperssomethingAppsarebuiltaroundthehype. (inspiring, daunting, educational). Trying to reach a busy mom, typ- that will click? Top tips for campingPost boosts and ad offers pop up in Eventually, they search for and find ically the family vacation decision- withkids?Contestsandmoney-our feeds like mushrooms after a parks of interest online. They read maker, is very different than trying saving specials? Loyalty programsrainstorm.Ifwerenotamong posts,commentsandreviews. to reach a digital nomad or retired or campground networks? Activitythose we see as successful with Maybe they ask a question, call or couple.Theyeachhavespecific and amenity updates? socialwefeellikewerefailing emailyou.Maybeyouanswer, needs, online groups that they re- Will your messages be long-formsomewhere. Maybe we spray and maybe you dont. spect and participate in, news they or tweet-sized? Video or blog-style?pray. Maybe we make a lackluster As a marketer, it might seem that read and listen to, a distance from WillyouuseatoollikeIFTTTtoeffort. Maybe we give up. youhaveverylittlecontrol home that they are willing to travel. cross-post? Will you have an activethroughout this entire process. And It gets even more granular. What do social media listening program? AreDefine Success its true, sometimes people find you they eat (burgers and dogs on the paid ads something youd like to try?Theobviousandultimatede- bysheercoincidence.Butmore grill, vegan, a diabetic diet)? Howsired result of marketing, both on- often, parks that are consistently dotheyspendtheirleisuretime So Does It Work?and offline, is to attract paying cus- discovered online share common (hiking, socializing, relaxing by the Youllhavetobethejudgeoftomers, building your bottom line, denominators. No, not park size, lo- pool, crafting)? What irritates them that. My best advice is to commityour bank account. Yet, its never cation or amenities. Instead, these (unhelpfulsolutions)ordelights your target market findings to thethatsimple.Marketingisacir- wise modern marketers understand them(anticipatingneeds)?How page.Setgoalsandunderstandcuitousroute.Aprospectseesa theaudiencetheyaretryingto frequently are they online? Are they whatreachingthemlookslike.businessfromthesideofaroad reach, set clear goals, design a plan lurkers or contributors?Write it down. Develop a detailed(sayanRVdealership)andbe- of action and track results. They dont call it a target mar- communications/contentplanincomescurious.Theymightread ket for nothing. Think through the writing. And measure the metricsabout the renewed interest in na- Who Are You Talking To? audience you are trying to reach, youve chosen to track, you guessedtional parks and the great outdoors This is the supreme first step to really think it through and then de- it, in writing. Set aside time everyinalocalnewspaperortheirfa- social media success. In fact, its the termine your next step. By identify- couple of weeks to note your pro-vorite news site. As they are going decidingfactorthatinfluences ing your target market, you have a grams progress and schedule timeabout their business they pass your every single step forward. Many of betterideaofwheretheyspend for a full review quarterly. If some-park, busy with campers. They go us have a gut feeling about whom their time online and how their de- thing youve tried isnt working, tryontheirsocialmediachannelof were trying to attract. Most of us cisions are influenced. Dont try to something different. choice and start researching. Guess fail to put that lodestar in writing. reach grandpa on TikTok; you (typ- Be pragmatic about your effortsically,fornow)wontfindhim and your spending (both time andthere. Mailers are destined to flop money), honest in evaluating yourif you are reaching out to digital program and earnest in putting innomads.whats necessary to see the successyou are seeking. Only then will youHow Will You Define Success? be able to determine if social mediaWhat is it you want out of your works (for you).marketing program? Yes, weve de-termined that the bottom line is the Want to know more about market-endpoint but getting there requires ing your RV park or campground on-small steps, goals. Incremental suc- line? Evanne Schmarder, principalcesses build upon one another. You and founder of the RV industry-spe-might begin with brand awareness. cificdigitalmarketingfirmRoad-Areasonablemarketerwillsayabode Production, has a new book tothey want to tell the world they help you do just that. Marketing Yourexist. But a savvy one will say they RVPark/CampgroundOnlineiswant to connect with their specific available as an e-book at your fa-market.vorite online bookseller or in print atLets assume that youve deter- Amazon.com. WCMmined that social media is a valu-ablemarketingassetforyourbusiness and youve chosen one ortwo platforms that are popular withyourdesiredaudience. Whatwillyoumeasure?Engagements?Shares?Likes/follows/unfollows?Actions (clicks/events) taken? Mes-sages sent? Referrals? Reviews?Only you can determine the cen-traltouchpoints,whatsuccesslooks like for your program. By set-ting goals, youll be able to trackyour success or lack thereof, mak-ingadjustmentstohelpyouachieve those goals.10 September 2021 Woodalls Campground Magazine'