Today’s guest post is by Evan McNitt, a product and sales specialist who lives and works in Breckenridge, CO. You can follow him @evanmcnitt.
Even with NOAA scientists calling for average snowfall this season, last season’s poor conditions are still managing to affect aspects of our industry. The 2012 SIA State of the Industry Report discloses that end-of-season inventory levels for specialty retailers were up 27% over the 2010–2011 season, a $120 million increase. In addition, many resorts have reported lackluster bookings for September with speculation that guests are waiting to see how the snow shapes up before making early season reservations.
So how should this affect your social media strategy?
The answer is that it shouldn’t.
Behold, the Power…
For a brand, the power of social media is in the ability to build a long-term relationship with customers. The brand-to-customer relationship is developed in much the same way as any normal person-to-person friendship is; through many small, positive, unselfish interactions over a long period of time. Remember that your social media efforts are a long-term investment. How long would you stay friends with someone if every time they needed to hit a sales goal at work they called you up with a sales pitch?
Don’t let short-term issues compromise your long-term social media strategy. While astute marketers increased focus last season towards events, resort amenities and concerts; they avoided a flood of advertising and kept it content based. For a good guideline as to how much overt advertising should mix with those small, positive, unselfish interactions stick to the 20 to 1 rule outlined by Michael Hyatt. He states that for every post designed to bring you something (reservations, apparel sales, etc.) you should have 20 with the intention of simply adding free value for your customers.
Goals vs ROI
Define your goals to demonstrate return on investment. Josh Harcus, Initiative Overlord and CEO of Hüify, a digital brand agency, says,
“The first step to demonstrating ROI is determining your goals. Everyone will say their goal is to increase sales or generate revenue but the more specific you can be the better.”
Developing specific long term goals has immense value for a variety of aspects of your social media campaign but in regards to ROI it will give focus to the next step, tracking. “[Once you have specific goals] it is all about becoming an analytics junkie.” Everyone understands the need to be tracking their progress with social media but if you need to demonstrate ROI make sure you are tracking data relevant to your goals.
For example; according to Josh, “A fan [like] on Facebook will spend 30% more while staying in a resort because they are a more informed and engaged guest.” If that ties into one of your goals then tracking Facebook likes will become a more powerful metric and in-turn you will be able to directly relate that information towards ROI.
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