My post explaining about Elon-era Twitter strategy opened up some really interesting conversations.
I talked with someone who was considering taking a break or ditching Twitter altogether and folks who felt you should ramp up your Twitter effort because of all the attention the site is getting. The story evolved as well when Elon starting handing down ultimatums to employees that didn’t sit right with many, myself included.
But the conversation that intrigued me the most was about something that actually happened two years ago.
Shortly after that post went live I got an email from Annie Fast at Ski Oregon. She mentioned that Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort had actually ditched social media completely a couple years ago. Instead, they have they they call the Gunsight (Un) Social Feed that lives on the hompage of the resort’s website.
Intrigued, I reached out to Marketing Director Chelsea Judy for a few details. It’s obviously a busy stretch for everyone right now, so we kept it short and simple, but she was kind enough to provide a bit more color on the strategy and ideas behind this campaign.
Gregg: When I look back at Anthony Lakes’ website from a couple years ago, it looks very similar to other resort sites including the classic social media icons and Instagram feed. Today, those are nowhere to be found and the “Un (Social)” email form sits in their place. Take us back a few years to what your social media strategy was like.
Chelsea: A few years ago, Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort (ALMR) had a very robust and engaged social following. Before the season of 2019/2020, we had close to 10,500 Facebook followers and 3,600 Instagram followers. For a little ski area in Eastern Oregon, we had generated quite a following through pretty basic posts (new snow, events, powder day hype, etc). Our strategy was to keep people stoked and informed.
Gregg: What eventually tipped the scales?
It was during the season of 2020/2021 (about 6-9 months post Covid “shutdowns”) where it became evident that more people were spending time perusing social media and making comments that we felt just didn’t fit our culture. Social media is noisy and we simply decided to remove it from the mix.
Gregg: Talk a little more about that culture and what lead to this campaign?
Chelsea: We are big believers of getting outside and enjoying it. It’s the same reason we don’t have public wifi in the Lodge. We want people to ski/ride and have good ol’fashion face to face conversations. The timing of omitting social media was also when we were working on rebuilding our website and I had this idea about our own social-like feed, that we can post up to date info on, just like social media. Hence, the Gunsight (un)Social Feed.
Gregg: How would you define your (Un) Social strategy. Is it a blog? Is it email? is it both? Is it neither?
Chelsea: The Gunsight (Un) Social feed is certainly a blog-like feature, but for us, it is our place to post about events, closures, pow days, or anything else that we would have posted on social media. We give folks the option to subscribe, or not.
Gregg: So is subscribing required?
It’s up to them whether or not they want to be notified when we post something. To answer your question, it’s kind of its own thing; a blog and an email too, if you want it.
Gregg: Talk a little about how the frequency and content of your updates differents now versus what you would have been posting on social media a few years ago?
Chelsea: The content posted on the Gunsight (Un) Social isn’t any different than what would have been posted on social. It’s just a different and less chaotic platform for us to reach our community.
Gregg: Have you ever regretted it or is there anything you know now you wish you had known then?
Chelsea: Zero regrets.
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