Here at Trampoline, we create a lot of content. How much content? Check out our “30 Days of Logos” series on Instagram. It’s easy to share rebrands and video clips on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but it’s harder to condense what we do for social media down to 1920 by 1080. Our work for Warren County Tourism has been a case study in growth and maintaining long term success. As our three-year contract comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our time with @LakeGeorgeArea.
In the summer of 2015, we jumped at the chance to apply our take on the region we call home. Warren County tasked Trampoline to increase their online footprint, drive traffic to their sites, and add followers. Our solution was to push high quality content with a consistent brand voice on a regular basis. Rather than telling people to come visit, we wanted to show them exactly why a trip to the Lake George Area was worth their time and money.
Pinpointing the Lake George Area audience was one of the most important factors in content creation. On Facebook, the average fan is a 35-44 year-old woman from New York State, likely from a rural area. The average Instagram follower is a 25 year-old woman from an urban center in the Northeast. The average Warren County Twitter follower? A 25-34 year-old Republican woman who is married, owns a home and has a household income from $150,000-199,999. Oh, and she only buys name brand. Details like this may seem insignificant, but they paint a picture of what content we need to be creating, boosting and strategically placing across our channels to optimize engagement.
For Facebook, we took a family-focused approach. Blog posts about back to school fun and lists of family-friendly weekend events filled our followers’ feeds. Our audience was more than happy to pitch in, often commenting their own recommendations and fond memories. Blog posts, image sets and Facebook contests kept people engaged on a daily basis, but it was the video content that stood out as a clear audience favorite. Our video depicting Warren County Events even won the County a 2017 Telly Award!
Instagram was a different case altogether. Where videos and images with text overlays went viral with the older Facebook audience, they only saw a small trickle of likes from young Instagram users. This audience clearly wanted an escape. They didn’t want to see other people having fun or to read a list of everything happening in the region, they wanted an attention grabbing image, free from the context of someone else’s vacation.
In 2017, the same filter heavy shots that received rave reviews in 2015 were the worst performers. High resolution images of sweeping mountain views and saturated sunsets far outperformed images showing people. Instagram, which as a platform has gained over 300 million users since the Warren County account began in 2015, is one of the most dynamic accounts in the Lake George Area suite.
With Twitter we found that the fast paced nature of the platform made it perfect for letting our audience know about the events happening in the area. Although not conducive to in-depth copy, 140 characters is a perfect amount to tell people what’s going on and where.
Living in Warren County gave us the distinct advantage. We drive, bike, hike and ski in the region on a daily basis. As a creative agency, we have the skillset to generate organic content with our audience in mind. Living our lives, camera in hand, has allowed us to create a library of active, first-person material.
Warren County gave us the broad goal of driving growth on their sites. By all accounts, we’ve surpassed this goal with an average fan growth of 2,645.6% across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Over the course of our contract with the Tourism Department, their Facebook likes have increased by 3,322.4%, with the account on track to surpass 300,000 likes before the end of 2018. The increase in audience engagement (likes, comments and messages) is even more staggering, sitting at 88,064% over the last two and a half years.
Instagram followers have increased by 4,245.8%, with audience engagement up 21,101%. 2017 alone saw the @lakegeorgearea account reach follower milestones of 4, 5 and 6 thousand.
Twitter experienced slower growth than Facebook and Instagram, with a 368.6% increase in fans. With Twitter’s growth as a platform flatlining in the past three years, we consider our success on the site a testament to the quality of the content being pushed.
The numbers are impressive enough on their own, but more so when you realize that for every like, there’s a real person engaging with Warren County. To put the numbers in context, the Census Bureau cited the population of the county as 65,707 in 2016. The combined total followers for Warren County social media is over 3.67 times larger than the county’s population.
Successful social media management is a balance between analytics and instinct. In the daily battle to reach wider audiences, having the ability to create content is perhaps a smaller factor than having the knowledge to get that content in front of the correct audience. While we couldn’t have anticipated the level of success we experienced with Warren County Tourism, we weren’t altogether surprised. Through strategic planning, regular analysis and a willingness to adapt, we’ve seen results and learned valuable lessons, preparing us for many years of social media management ahead.