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What Happens to a Social Media Profile When a Ski Resort Closes?

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For a long list of resorts, April 15 was the end of a tough season. For an equally long list of ski areas, the last weeks of March saw the end of skiing at their mountain as well. With these resorts now moving into summer operations, i wanted to look at what happened to the social media performance at these resorts when the lifts stopped spinning.

I looked at Facebook fan growth and Facebook TAP for 8 resorts that closed between March 18 and April 1.

Facebook TAP
TAP is a measure of how much resort fans are interacting with the Facebook page. At this point in the year, TAP isn’t really increasing, so I ended up looking at how much it decreased for the two weeks leading up to closing day and the two weeks after.

The two weeks leading up to closing day, TAP dropped by an average of 1.5 percentage points each week. TAP started at 7.78%, then dropped to 6.38% and by closing day sat at 4.79%.

After the resort closed, typically because of a “thanks for a great season” post that saw a healthy dose of comments and likes, the week after closing dropped by a smaller amount than the two prior weeks. Once the season was over-over, the big drop came. From 4.79% TAP on closing day, to a respectable 3.96% the week after, the second week after closing saw TAP drop 2.69 percentage points to 1.28% – the lowest point since the “talking about this” metric was introduced by Facebook last fall.

Facebook Fan Growth
Looking at growth was similar to TAP – growth had been slowing down for weeks. Looking at growth for the two weeks before and after closing day:

Two weeks before closing day saw fairly solid growth of 1.21% or the equivalent of about 5% monthly growth. The week leading up to closing day dipped just below 1% to .91%. Unlike TAP, as soon as the resort closed, a slowing trend turned into a downhill slide. Growth dropped to only .34% the week after before sinking to .16% two weeks after the season officially ended.

To put that into context, at the peak of the season, resort fan counts, including the resorts used in this analysis were growing by over 10% per month. Weekly growth of .16% for a month would be well below 1%.

Lessons to Learn
As I browsed these profiles, the resorts who saw the smallest drop in TAP were, interestingly enough, the ones whose closing date was the hardest to find. The transition from skiing to summer activities was seamless. Closing day wasn’t a big deal because they spun it as opening day for summer. If you have a few weeks or more before summer operations begin, treat that like the three weeks leading up to opening day and get people excited about summer.

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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