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Social Media
What the New Facebook Changes Mean for Ski Resort Marketers

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If you are one of those uber-plugged in social media types, you likely heard that Facebook made some big changes last week. If you aren’t, you still probably heard. The live stream alone had over 100,000 viewers and with buzz building throughout the week, it was hard to miss. Timelines, tickers, apps, and more, Mr Zuckerburg had a lot to share.

So, right or wrong, here’s my early take on what ski resorts should be doing about the shiny new features Facebook is rolling out.

The Real-Time Ticker
Getting your brand in front of the eyes of your fans used to hinge almost solely on how likely your content was to be something your fans would be interested in seeing. Content was automatically selected for a users’ feed by our algorithm friend, Edgerank.

Now, however, almost everything you do as a page will show up in a real-time ticker on the right side of each of your fans’ feeds. Here’s a few examples I saw on Friday:

As far as I can tell, this is what shows up in this ticker from your pages activity:

  • Posting links
  • Uploading photos or videos
  • Commenting on your fans’ content
  • Event creation
  • Status updates
  • Most types of shares

Note, that if you, as a page, simply “like” something, from what I’ve seen, this will NOT show up in the ticker. If I as a normal user “likes” something, it will, but page “likes” aren’t visible.

The big action item I see here is do stuff. Yes, I said “stuff” because when your page is active on Facebook you can keep your brand in front of your fans’ eyes no matter how popular that piece of content becomes. A consistent effort means your brand will consistently be popping up in your fans’ tickers.

The Timeline
One of the key aspects of the timeline (the name new profile page layout) is that, using Edgerank, the most popular / important / major events in someone’s life are going to show up, while other less important things remain hidden. Additionally, something that is “starred, becomes even more visible, spanning both of the columns.

The takeaway I see here is that when people do something that involves your resorts (ie “Johnny Smith went skiing at Brundage Mountain with Becky Johnson), jump on it. Like their photos, comment on their status, get a conversation going around that content that feeds little checkmarks into Edgerank and tells Facebook that this was an important, exciting event and deserves to show up in their Timeline. You might even want to try requesting “stars” from your fans once everyone has started to get used to Timeline.

Plus, almost everything you do in this regard will also show up in the real-time ticker as well.

The Apps
This is something I’m going to have to devote more time and attention to not only understanding, but identifying ways resorts can take full advantage of the new app capabilities, but also GraphRank, the app equivalent of Edgerank. I have to admit, I haven’t taken apps that seriously in the past. I’ve honestly treated them more like time-wasting gimmicks than opportunities, but with Facebook giving them the attention they are, it’s no longer something to ignore. Give me a few weeks to wrap my head around this one.

The big question I have in my head right now is what kind of simple, affordable app can a resort create that your fans can use together in a way that will show up on feeds and in Timelines.

The Game Plan
The game plan, as I see it, is pretty simple:

  1. Be even more (inter)active on Facebook – comment on wall posts, share lots of photos, don’t overdo status updates but keep them coming consistently.
  2. Keep posting engaging content that encourages likes, comments, and shares – the ticker is helpful, but your fans’ news feeds are still the promised land.
  3. When fans tag you or identify that they were at your resort, engage with them on their content to let Facebook know that it’s important – this will help it stick in the Timeline, but also have a better chance of showing up in their friends’ feeds
  4. Start studying more about ways to use apps to interact with your fans and let them interact with each other

Any other thoughts or takeaways?

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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