When it comes to outdoor adventure promotion, there are certainly a lot of factors at play. Some factors you simply can’t control like the weather, but getting your adventure company in front of the right audience is becoming easier than ever with social media marketing.

The first part for effective promotion of your outdoor adventure company is to understand what your ideal customer is, and where that customer spends time online. Is your ideal customer a middle aged mountain biker? Are you targeting families looking for fun outdoor adventures for younger kids? Does your business appeal primarily to church groups? Depending on your target audience, you’ll want to focus your efforts on the appropriate social media channel. If you’re not sure where your customers spend the most time, ask them. You can also test a few of the major networks to see what sort of engagement you receive.

For example, if your outdoor adventure company is focused on white water rafting trips on the Ocoee River (Ocoee Adventure Center is tops!), take some time to look through each of the major social media networks to see how many people are talking or sharing about the Ocoee River. It likely won’t take long to determine which media platform is most popular for your target audience.

Now that you understand your target market and where to find them, what’s next? The advantage an outdoor adventure company has in marketing is often times visual. Use pictures and videos to drive engagement from your social communities. Facebook and Pinterest are excellent outlets for showcasing fantastic photos. If you have rich video content make sure that you don’t limit yourself to just using YouTube as other video communities like Vimeo also boast a large number of users. When sharing both pictures and videos, make sure to include descriptive captions and titles. Don’t forget to add links into your captions back to relevant pages on your website.

One way to get more mileage out of your images is to utilize relevant hashtags that your communities can use or that people are already using. Do a little research to understand what hashtags are being used by outdoor adventurists in your niche. Another extremely powerful way to get more from your images on Facebook is to ‘tag’ people in your photos and encourage your communities to ‘tag’ themselves. In order to allow tagging you’ll need to make a simple adjustment in your Facebook page settings. Once you’ve allowed for photo tagging people can identify themselves or people they know in your photos which will display your images across their personal pages.

Besides the above social networks, twitter can also be useful for increasing brand awareness of your outdoor adventure company. Simply create an account and start tweeting posts that are fun, useful, and industry specific. Make sure to mention other users in your posts that are talking about your outdoor activities and thank people who make mention of you. Also, spend some time each day following other twitter users who live near your business or may be talking about an outdoor adventure outing of their own. This is a simple way to gently let other people know about your business, as most people you follow will in fact follow you back. Think of it as manually building a contact list.

Most importantly, don’t reinvent the wheel. It’s almost guaranteed that one of your competitors is paying an agency to manage their social media efforts, so take a peek at what’s working for them. They may be finding tremendous success on a niche social network you didn’t think about like Instagram, Tumblr or Google+. Study up on the competition and incorporate any best practices into your own social media marketing strategy. What’s important for your organization is to take the time to create content for your business that people can find online and share with their friends. Be proactive about taking photos, videos, and blogging (oh my!). In the whirlwind of the busy season you may have little time to promote your business; identify employees who are experts with social media and task them with contributing to spread out the workload. In the long run, your investment in building strong communities on social media will be well worth it!