From ALA to the ADK
This blog is for the people who ask me how I went from ALA to the ADK, opened up an Adirondack gift shop and get to live in the Adirondacks full time.
I can answer that in 2 simple words.
I was the typical non Adirondacker when we moved to Raquette Lake in 2013. “Oh my gosh, look at that tree standing next to that water! I must take a thousand pictures of it and post to my Facebook page!”
I know my Yankee family (my husband’s family – I use that term affectionately) must have been rolling their eyes since most things I found so fascinating were an everyday occurrence for them and had been all their lives.
But not for me, I was completely mesmerized by the Adirondacks from the moment I arrived. Weren’t you?
I had the idea to create a Facebook page just for ‘all things Adirondack’ where I could share my experiences, things I was learning and life in the Adirondacks in general. A page where other people could also share their adventures and experiences. A page for people who were just as in love with the Adirondacks as I am.
So on July 24, 2014 I started the Facebook. Within the first five months, the page had 500 followers which I was pretty proud of.
Within eight months we had 2,000 followers.
On our one year anniversary we had grown to 2,500 followers and by the end of the second year we had ten thousand followers.
I know that's an incredible jump in numbers, but I worked the page for hours every day to get it there.
I was much slower at starting an Instagram page. I find the hashtags cumbersome and I was so wired to the Facebook platform that trying to learn Instagram threw me for a loop, and don’t even get me started on snap chat – lol.
By the summer of 2017 we had just over 20,000 followers on facebook and less than 800 on Instagram. Things were coming together as I had hoped but I was working multiple jobs (it’s a way of life up here) and at the end of the day I just wasn’t able to devote the time to grow my social media accounts, yet I’ve always understood the importance of it.
That’s the catch 22. To know how important social media is to growing a business and but not having the time to work on social media to grow your business. It’s an awful place to be in. I remember feeling overwhelmed. I hate that feeling.
Enter Layla with Skeeter and Company. Skeeter and Company is comprised of 2 women, Sam & Layla who met while working for United Way. Sam is an amazing graphic artist and is responsible for a lot of campaign designs from major corporations to start up businesses. She designed my awesome logo.
And Layla who I call my social media guru. She took the time to understand my business, my needs and my goals. I in turn took the time to understand what she needed from me on my end to help her do what she does on her end and also to turn the reigns over to her (something that doesn't come easy for this self proclaimed micro manager).
I realized quickly that we both wanted the same thing, for my business to succeed and to have one of the best social media pages in the ADK.
When I hired Layla in the fall of 2017, I had just under 25,000 followers on Facebook and around 850 followers on Instagram.
Just over one year later, I had grown to 38,000 followers on Facebook and 8,000 followers on Instagram.
Now we are 6 months past the above photo and we're at 48,000 followers on Facebook and just under 13,000 followers on Instagram.
She turned the impossible into 'I'm Possible'.
Most social media specialists post 5 days a week. Layla understands that social media doesn't take a day off and neither does my business so she posts 7 days a week and is always available for questions or guidance.
She also posts different things on Facebook and Instagram so people who follow us on both platforms aren’t bored. She creates fun content and her effort and hard work gives us a higher engagement rate than most any other Facebook page in the Adirondacks.
In a nutshell, hiring her to do what she does best, allows me the freedom and time to do what I do best. It works hand in hand. We are a team.
So why am I blogging about this? Because it's a question I get asked every day. People want to know how I did it and ask me to give direction on how they can do it too.
I want you to know that I didn't do this by myself. I have people to help me. People you can hire to help you as well. There is room for everyone here in the ADK.
As most of you know, social media in the Adirondacks is WAY behind the times compared to other places. I understand how nice that is in some aspects, but it can also be detrimental to a small business.
Layla understands that the person we’re interacting with on social media are most likely stuck in their office, watching emails come in that add to their never ending to-do list wishing they were in the Adirondacks instead.
She knows how to engage them while they are where they live so that they will come visit us when they're in the Adirondacks.
Layla grows my Facebook page an average of 1,000 new followers a month and my Instagram page an average of 750 new followers a month.
Blue line is organic followers. Green line is paid followers. As you can see, there is no green line - it's all organic. I'm not saying I don't advertise because I do, primarily to drive website traffic around the holiday's. I'm showing you this because she does a great job in creating organic followers.
One year after she came on board I had grown to the point where I was able to open up a brick and mortar store in addition to my online store. NONE of which would be as successful as it is without her social media skills.
So, that’s how I did it.
If you understand how growing your social media platform equates to increased business either online or at your physical location, then I’m encouraging you to reach out to her. She handles large corporations as well as new businesses. Specifically to us in the Adirondacks, she understands tourism and shoulder seasons.
Message her. The future you've dreamed about is possible.
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Thank you for this detailed history of your page. I love it. You post a lot of interesting things! My mom and dad camped there many summers. They’re both gone now but their affection for The Adirondacks was contagious. There is NO air fresher than there! I live in northwestern Pennsylvania. When we come up again I will come to your business and say hello. Thanks again! ❤
Thank you for this great informative post!
Continued good luck with your business!