Some ski resorts are doing better than others with the snowstorm opportunity online.
Falling snow is social media gold for ski resorts worldwide. You can’t buy publicity like this.
When an Australian snow storm brings over a metre of snow followed up with another 50 to 80 centimetres said to fall this weekend then it’s time to let your followers do your marketing for you with likes, comments and shares.
I have witnessed the power of new snow on social media first hand this week. My meagre (but much loved by me) 6400 followers on the Miss Snow It All Facebook page reached over two hundred thousand people this week with a 21k plus engagement or in other terms 6400 followers and 5.1k engagement.
That’s an almost 80% engagement rate during the snow storm week. The power of powder.
As any social media expert will tell you, engagement is what matters. It’s not the size of your pool of followers it is what they do with your content.
On the old style Facebook business pages you could see the number of followers and then ‘how many talking about’. This is the figure that mattered and still does.
Today’s Facebook ‘pages to watch’ feature on business pages also means that savvy resort marketers can keep an eye on each other’s engagement stats and see where they are sitting by comparison. The feature allows businesses to ‘watch’ ten similar pages to your own.
Not surprisingly Perisher (66k FB followers) and Falls Creek (38k FB followers) led social media this week both with an engagement of over 80 percent. The rest of the resorts faded in comparison from 28 to 35 percent.
So why are Perisher and Falls Creek so effective?
Falls Creek is always first to get something up on Facebook and Twitter. It helps that their social media guy is an experienced professional photographer who understands the needs of mainstream media and lives on the mountain during the winter.
Today’s falling snow meant Falls Creek were first off the rank with a pic up at 7.00am, a good hour before any other resorts. On a week day in particular this matters because of the commute factor of full time workers on buses, trains, trams, ferries bored and on their smart phones.
It wasn’t a pic of anyone skiing either. Surprisingly these are often the least shared images. Animals in the snow and people standing in snow up to their thighs or higher are gold for engagement. A baby animal in snow up to it’s thighs even better.
The Falls Creek pic this morning was a simple pic of fat flakes falling from the sky. It says, the snow has arrived and that’s what anyone planning a trip to the snow wants to see.
People want to connect. They don’t always trust a shot of someone skiing as it’s easy to get one pic of skier or boarder taking one turn in a piled up wind drift. They also want real time images shot then and there so they feel they are first with the news.
Pics of snow levels work wonders as Perisher well knows. They don’t post nearly as often or as early as Falls Creek on social media but they do post some great snow depth images.
This one was shared over 900 times and liked by over 8500 people on Facebook and that doesn’t include Twitter and Instagram stats.
None of these images are branded with logos, they don’t have sponsors in them, they are not selling stuff, they are simply broadcasting what is there in a way that makes the viewer want to put themselves in the picture.
Emotional connection on social media is key which is why memes work so well as they hit the humour bone.
People also want the truth which is why they follow others on social media. Resorts know they can’t afford to lie because clients are already wary after the pre social media years when snow reports were shall we say ’embellished’.
This image below is one of my favourite pics on social media this week. It was posted on Instagram by @enlai7 and says so much. You can put yourself in that picture.
Here’s this guy, probably worn out from skiing so much powder, taking a break for just that moment. We’ve all been there and all want to be there again. It’s not a shot of a guy skiing, it’s a shot of a real moment.
And just to get you really excited, here’s a video I posted on Instagram @misssnowitall early this morning shot from my hotel window at Thredbo that will have you packing your bags and calling in sick to work. Click on the image to see the video. Let’s just say it is puking!