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CVBs Start the Trend, Resorts Follow Suit…and That’s a Good Thing

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Sweden’s handover of their Twitter account to a different person each week has had its ups and downs but, more often than not, people have found the idea successful (typically with an * about the mid-June controversy). On their heels, Vermont also gave it a whirl with their @THISISVT handle. Fun facts, unique experiences, stories of long-time Vermonters, the project alone has garnered enough PR to be a success without having to send a tweet.

But tweet they have with a voice that isn’t your typical social media manager’s style. With this tweak, these accounts are coming across much more human, authentic, less salesy, while providing extra proof of the trust you have in your product and brand…for better or worse.

Resorts Join the Club
As far as I know, Jay Peak is the first ski resort to give this a go. The man behind the avatar is a safer bet than most (former resort marketer Alex Kaufman) and will only last a weekend, but is a innovative direction to take. Here’s their full rundown:

“A friend of ours and his wife are coming to August West this year. He produced this video for us last year “Sights & Sounds,” and his wife is vending cool baby clothes that you can get an early look at here We’re giving him the reigns to our Twitter stream @jaypeakresort (on account of guest management is all the rage) and he’ll be covering the weekend for us. He has a small daughter so you’re likely to see beauty shots of her but may also see things like bacon, his wife becoming frustrated with him for being him and images of twirling hippies-which he’s likely to, lovingly, mock. A sort of warts and all approach. Regardless, he will stay in the moment by commenting on yours. Moments that is.”

In case you are wondering what August West is (I was too), according to the website: “The August West started, humbly, 8 years ago as a way to both celebrate the music of The Grateful Dead, but also the community in and around the Jay Peak Area.” So there you go.

Good, Bad, or Ugly?
There are always risks with this sort of thing as well as levels of commitment. Turning over your account full time to non-employees could be great one minute and ugly the next. However, I really like Jay’s approach for two reasons.

First, it is centered around an event. Twitter’s simple format has turned it into much more than a social network. For many sporting events, I (along with thousands, if not millions, of others) have used it as a live feed of proceedings, relying on tweeps that are on the scene and post frequently to follow how the match or race want down. In other words, live coverage of a fun event gives people that can’t make it a reason to follow Jay Peak.

Second, it’s only for a weekend. If it works great, then awesome. If it fails miserably (though I don’t see this happening), a summer weekend can be written off as a fun but failed experiment.

In the end, I think it’s an awesome idea to test. I don’t see it being a full-time gig for resorts, but a great way to highlight on-resort activities with a voice other than your own. Is it the start of a trend? I wouldn’t be too surprised if it is.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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