skip to main content

Social Media
What 7 resort (and former resort) marketers think of Instagram’s latest round of changes.

divider image for this post

Instagram has made a handful of changes recently.

They’ve updated their logo, built an algorithm to generate more relevant feeds, introduced brand pages, and upped their ad platform offering.

I wanted to see what resort social media guys and gals (as well as those who used to be in their shoes) thought of the changes.

So I asked them.

“When the news of the dreaded algorithm started spreading we saw quite a few brands and resorts asking their followers to turn on notifications. I think people were worried that their posts wouldn’t be seen but I see the algorithm as a good thing. If you’re posting content relevant to your audience you have nothing to worry about. Organic reach is still strong on IG compared to Facebook and but the platform is certainly getting more saturated with content every day. Ads are always a good way to sell products/services that may not get the same engagement as a kick ass action shot. It will be interesting to see how the algorithm weighs personal vs brand pages but at the end of the day content is king.”
Andrew Santoro

“Change freaks everyone out. (Do we really care that much about Instagram’s new logo?) Instagram is making changes to its algorithm to improve the user experience, and that should be something every brand manager supports. Moving to an algorithm that is more similar to Facebook is a good thing. It helps users weed through the noise, and it pushes brands to share content that resonates with their fans. Ultimately, these changes improve the quality of content in social feeds, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Nicole Miller

“The new Instagram analytics for brand pages will streamline content optimization on the fly which will be a huge benefit for the industry. We’ll rely less on third party tools and more on Instagram native. My hope is that it will further challenge us in marketing to deliver the best content possible to our customers.”
Adam Buchanan

“Instagram’s changes could mean interesting things for the ski industry. The algorithm will encourage ski resorts to share more relevant and relatable content that provides real value for skiers/riders. Engagement levels compared to fan base size tend to be much higher on Instagram than other channels, so it’s important to take it seriously as a primary channel to inspire and retain customers through quality content. Ski resorts should also consider incorporating video ads into their overall digital strategy for targeting millennials and the next generation of skiers and riders.”
Dan Bergeron
Frontier Airlines

“The introduction of an algorithm to Instagram or any social channel for that matter is inevitable but not without the standard growing pains. As users, we’re flooding channels we love with personal content, brand content and engagement – eventually a social channel like Instagram needs to add a bit of curation to keep the user experience pleasant. In the early phases of any algorithm roll out it’s difficult to pin point what exactly works content wise. Through Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Bike Park’s channels we are constantly experimenting with filters, photography, and image subjects to see what gets our fans excited and engaged.

It’s actually a refreshing challenge, as a marketer, to be held accountable for publishing content that’s creative, beautiful (or playful) and subtly contributing to the bottom line of our resort. The hard truth that both Facebook and Instagram punish content that’s overtly salesy has required us to change our approach in the last few years. Now those messages go directly to a targeted audience in specific ads. A better fit for our marketing in the long run. For our team it’s the modern marriage of Brand Marketing and the Sales Team. Both necessary to get skiers/riders, bikers and hikers on our lifts again and again.”
Nina Arnold

“Yes, Instagram changed their algorithm, but that doesn’t have to be a “death sentence” for marketers as some would have you believe. Instagram is going to favor content that users are most interested in. I mean, isn’t that a good thing – more qualified eyeballs? As resort marketers, we have to have quantity at the forefront of our mind. Share content that your audience actually likes and wants to engage with. Truly understand what your users want, don’t be afraid to experiment, have fun, always measure your audience’s response and adjust accordingly.

I’m not entirely sold on the paid Instagram ad experience. We’ve run a few campaigns, but nothing was a home run. Our influencer campaign and engagement strategy was far more successful than paid ads. I still believe quality organic content can sway users to buy a lift ticket or plan a ski trip. If only there was a way to measure it ;). Who knows, though, Instagram could cut organic reach just like Facebook, but so far our engagement has stayed consistent, if not improved. Only time will tell.”
Jackie Megnin
Squaw Alpine

“Its ok, everything will be fine. Change is good! It can be pretty great. Remember when we couldn’t edit Instagram posts? Yes, this change will be tough to take but it will make us better when it comes to social media marketing. It’s been a long time coming that Instagram would follow the algorithm route of Facebook and Twitter. With the changes coming for Instagram, you’ll need to evolve your strategy to generate quality content that fits the channel, stands out as snackable content, and adjust your social media budget to help you reach wider audiences with targeted messaging. It doesn’t take a massive budget to deliver great social media ads but it does require thoughtful targeting, creative content and understanding which audience to engage.

Content and customer service are key pillars to social media, the two should work together cohesively. Brand pages will help deliver information when your customers need it. If you don’t adapt to the changes, you’ll find yourself left in the dust as others evolve. Be creative, accept the challenge, and engage your audience.”
Shannon Johnson
Alaska Airlines

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

Take the 2018 ski resort social media marketing survey→