One of the best parts about living and working where we do is having Acadia National Park right in our backyard. Actually, it really is our backyard. There’s hiking for all skill levels, swimming opportunities, it’s dog friendly, and-this might be a bit surprising- but their social media marketing is pretty incredible. True, they have great source material in terms of being photogenic, but that’s not why it’s one of my favorite local pages to follow. They are one of the only pages that consistently and successfully uses humor in their marketing, and they’re up to date with current events and online trends. It’s pretty impressive how they go above and beyond the typical sort of marketing we’d expect from a national park. Here are a few of the ways ANP is making it happen on social media:
Use of hashtags… One reason that I love following ANP’s Facebook is that they’re pretty current when it comes to the latest memes and hashtags. If something is trending, you can bet that it’ll be incorporated in their marketing (if it hasn’t already). They’ve used #tbt to share educational tidbits about the park and it’s founders, a clever way to merge historical information with present-day methods. They also pay attention to holidays and events on a larger scale. For example, during the month of March, they had a series called #WomensWednesday to celebrate Women’s History Month. Each week, a new woman was featured along with her contributions to the park. Below, they used National Puppy Day and altered the “Find Your Park” slogan- in other words, double points!
…and memes. I’ll admit, when these cartoons came out on Facebook, I was vaguely annoyed by them. But, as I mentioned before, when something starts trending, ANP picks it up and runs with it. And their adaptation utilizing George Dorr’s face was pretty clever, if you ask me.
Parodies. I’ve always been a sucker for a good parody. ANP alters the lyrics of popular songs to deliver occasional updates, like the conditions of trails. It’d probably be easier to just write “Be careful, the trails are slippery,” but it’s more fun to read the same message in the form of a Vanilla Ice parody. Not only did I receive valuable information, I got a few laughs as well. Part of me wonders how long it takes to write each one of these parodies. Is it a group effort? Do they pick a song first and then change the lyrics, or vice versa? Whatever their method- it’s definitely working.
Encouraging User Generated Content. As a page with a lot of seasonal followers, one of the unique challenges is maintaining year-round engagement for people who aren’t around. It’s a balance of keeping locals informed about park updates and conditions, while getting non-locals excited about returning for a summer trip. Every now and then, they ask questions or write posts that encourage followers to share their park stories/memories, or ask what they’re excited about doing in the upcoming season. Everyone has a story about a time they’ve spent in the park, it seems, and they’re willing to share. Below is an example from February, leading up to Valentines Day.