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Social is an option, not a requirement.

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Squaw had a rough week.

A(nother) massive storm should have been a\the highlight of the season, but the death of a patroller and subsequent angst from the community around the closing of Squaw the day it happened spoiled the party. The internet, as they say, did it’s thing.

That thing being rant and complain and hate. A last straw, plus a few extra for good measure, and Squaw felt it was time to respond.

Personally, I love it. I thought Jackie’s response was timely, very well written, and hit all the right notes.

Many people agreed. I heard from a number of marketers outside of social media saying how happy they were that, and I’m paraphrasing, “someone finally said it.”

But we all see this through our own lenses and, well, it’s the internet so it should be no surprise that not everyone was enthused (especially annoyed locals looking for another place to vent their disconnected thoughts and frustration with KSL).

But I think this moment is a good reminder of three things.

#1) It’s Only Going to Get Worse
Social media as a movement has had many “look ourselves in the mirror” moments where somehow this collective of semi-anonymous voices could have put the brakes on the negativity and hate. It hasn’t. If anything, it’s accelerated. Which leads many, including myself, to believe that this course correction will never come.

#2) This May Make No Difference
As timely and relevant as this is, there’s a good chance Squaw’s community won’t take any sort of turn for the positive. Which is frustrating because knowing that things are getting worse and we have no control over it is a bitter pill to swallow.

#3) There is An Alternative
Not every resort has to go to trade shows. Not every resort needs to print a magazine. Not every resort needs an app. And, yes, not every resort has to be on social media.

If we’re all at a breaking point with this medium, maybe now is a perfect time to remember that we don’t have to be here. You could run a successful marketing team without a single, branded account. I’m dead serious when I say this. If you’ll remember, I’ve been predicting it for years.

Ask This Question
On a quiet chairlift ride today or during your drive home, ask yourself this simple question:

“If tomorrow our branded social media accounts disappeared, how would we reach those people with the same content and messages?”

Rather than a stupor of thought, I think you’ll be surprised at the ideas that flow. Ideas about getting your followers to do more sharing on your behalf, ideas for sharing the same content on other channels like email, ideas that build on the lessons of social without all the baggage.

So if the effects of 50,000 backseat drivers whining about your efforts are taking an emotional and productivity toll on your marketing team, just remember; social is an option, not a requirement.

Published February 3rd, 2017 by Gregg Blanchard.