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by Karen Blom

Charlemont, MA- March 3, 2010 -- Zoar Outdoor has embarked on a social media campaign, using Facebook as a viral marketing tool. They now have 4 pages with new fans joining each day. Zoar Outdoor hopes to use this as a way to communicate with their community about its programs, issues on the Deerfield River, specials and upcoming events. 

Connecting people with the outdoors and with each other has long been central to Zoar Outdoor's mission, so when social media websites came along, it was only natural that the company would adopt it as an ideal way to communicate with its guests in between trips. The community of outdoor adventurers is close-knit and many are already frequent Facebook users.  "We can add events as we schedule them, post videos as we create them, and guests can give feedback or contribute videos and photos so that prospective guests can get a much better idea of what we do" said Bruce Lessels, President of Zoar Outdoor. 

Guiding a zip line canopy tour last summer, Lessels saw clearly the power of Facebook to connect people when a guest told him she had just posted a photo taken moments before to her Facebook account from her cell phone. "When your friends can follow your adventures on an almost real-time basis, technology is acting to deepen your social connections."  

The immediacy of Facebook presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the outfitter.  On the one hand, the frequent connections to guests and the ability of guests to interact both with the company and with each other are welcome additions.  On the flip side, the need to keep producing fresh content and to monitor the site daily is a challenge for a small company whose staff prefer to spend time outdoors and away from the computer.

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