See that image above? That’s a chart that shows the average TAP for the ski industry since November 20, 2011. Other times when discussing TAP I’ve referred to just weekly averages. This time I took the actual daily numbers and instantly loved the dips and peaks the weekly totals had smoothed out. Just as a quick refresher, TAP stands for “Talking About Percentage”. It’s found by dividing your page’s “talking about this” number by your “like this” count (aka, total fans of your page) to get a percentage. So, on an industry wide level, it’s a surprisingly accurate gauge of skier excitement and sentiment.
It starts low, works its way up and down and up and down until a Kilamanjaro of a spike moves the graph into new territory. At least for a few weeks, because no sooner did it hit such lofty lofts, it started to fall again back to normal levels.
A Few Details
The month and a half before the spike, Facebook engagement for the industry as a whole was pretty steady.
So, what in the world could cause this? Could it be lots of photos? Maybe, that was probably part of it. Was it lots of awesome videos? Perhaps. Was it deals? Maybe. But the driving force, the theme, behind it all, was this:
Can you guess what data is plotted on that graph?
What I did was choose 7 random resorts from 7 states from across the country and grab their weekly snowfall totals (daily was a little too much work, thanks again to Joel Gratz at OpenSnow for the help) and slapped it into a spreadsheet to create this graph.
The Grand-Finale Overlay
Now, remember that the “talking about this” count is a total of the last seven days. In other words, a big day of engagement doesn’t really show up unless it is followed by more days of engagement. That, combined with the fact that some days TAP doesn’t update means there is typically a delay. I watch TAP numbers across the industry pretty regularly. The spikes I notice are usually the result of things that happened 4-5 days ago. So, I shifted the chart about a week when i overlaid it and here’s what I found.
Yep, the most non-surprising, obvious research result ever: snow gets skiers excited. So why did I waste your time telling you this? Maybe because for all the beanies we give away in sweepstakes, caption contests that seem to get fans going, and awesome zip-line videos, it’s important to have a reminder that the thing that gets skiers more excited than anything is, and always has been, fresh snow.
New And a Bit Alarming
Just the last couple days have shown a new continuation of the trend that is a little bit surprising. Instead of returning to normal levels of engagement, TAP has dipped well below the average for the rest of the season and, today, sits at about 5.8%.
The next week will provide a lot of insight as TAP either continues to drop and levels out. One thing is for sure, when the snow flies, capitalize. Make the most of every flake by building up the stoke in your skiers. See if you can’t stretch the content you create during snowy periods by slowly releasing it once the snow stops.
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