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Why Twitter “Favorites” Are Awful for Marketing & What Resorts Can Learn From It

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Facebook is to “likes” as Twitter is to “favorites”.


Recently added to the API, the “favorites” count of any one tweet isn’t necessarily bad, but when you consider the opportunity cost, it makes me wish this action had never been added o the service.

A Few Purposes
I’ve seen favorites used and used them myself in a few, core ways:

  • The classic “like” when you think something is cool.
  • “Wordless” conversation enders, sort of a, “I may not be replying, but here’s proof I saw your tweet.”
  • Retweet replacements: “cool, but I’ll just favorite it instead of retweet it.”

That third one is my point today. Retweets are awesome. They take your message and instantly put it in front of another couple hundred eyes. Before, if you liked a tweet and wanted to show it, you had one option: retweet it. Now, you don’t have to.

Personally, I like favorites. In terms of marketing, I’m not a big fan. From my experience, people who used to retweet (my) stuff, now just click “favorite”.

The Lesson
Now, I’m not suggesting Twitter change their ways. That’s not going to happen and the feature is likely good for Twitter as a whole. What am I suggesting is this is a principle that carries over into many areas of our own marketing. Offers that give the same result to the customer, but opposite result to the marketer.

Specifically, I’m reminded of discount passes. Every December, Brighton hosts “Quad Wednesday” where, with a donation of clothes, food, toys, etc., you can ski for $20. So why is it called “Quad Wednesday”? Because at the beginning there had to be four of you to get the deal. Now, instead of rounding up friends to ski, I could get the discount alone. Instead of riding with 8-12 college friends like I used to snowball to as we tried to get a multiple of 4, the last time I went was a solo trip.

The same deal for me, the opposite result for Brighton.

Good or Bad
Discounts are a trade between the resort and the skier. Sometimes, the individual discount is smart: we’ll give you a discount if you buy your tickets in advance for a specific day. You trade the uncertainty of weather on that day for cash savings. Others require contact information: trading an email address for a discount or taking time off work to ski midweek.

However, I see a lot of discounts that may be better executed as a group deal. I love the idea of carpool days where the trade is a little effort to find friends to ski with you. I also like Brighton’s original idea or even the idea of a 2-for-1 instead of a 50% discount. Trade bringing friends for a discount and you can often multiple the effect of “selling” any one person on coming.

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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