Archive for June, 2012

LIke

And Now Some Great Things About Social

LIkeThe previous post is about some of the problems that social media has, but I now want to highlight some of the great things that social media has brought about.

  • It’s absolutely an amazing way to find information that one would never see on their own. Some of this is amazing and some pathetic, but it’s interesting how quickly and how varied we find out about things these days.
  • Social networks have connected so many people who would never meet each other without it. This is helpful in small business segments such as resort marketing, I’ve met a ton of great resort marketers via social networks and most of them I haven’t ever met in person.
  • For brands, in particular ski resorts, social media presents nearly endless opportunities to really connect with our customers. This is obviously some of the largest impact for brands and I have to say that it feels way longer than 4 years ago that I first dove into Twitter. That winter of 2008-09 was the first winter I saw resorts using social media and it’s pretty much exploded since then because social media is such a natural fit for winter sports enthusiasts who are a passionate and engaged bunch of folks.
  • The integration of photos and videos with social media is a no brainer for resort marketing.
  • People enjoy using social media to share about their favorite winter sports, even if I often wonder if we should also encourage people to shut off their phones on the mountain so they can fully connect with the mountain, it’s still a thrill to share your experience on the slopes with your friends back home.
  • Social media is still way less expensive than buying tv spots, and is way more targeted.
  • Social media is amazingly dynamic and always evolving. To be able to keep up with the next best thing and changes in the landscape requires dedication to figuring out existing channels and recognizing each of their strong points so that it’s easier to see what will fit best with your resort/brand when a new property starts to shoot up the ranks in social media land.
  • The risk in social is tangible, but if a brand makes a mistake, acknowledges it and moves forward, it is also a very accepting and quickly forgetful space as well.

So, while it may not be the ideal world at times, it’s still not a bad place to be as a resort marketer. Stay on top of things in the social space and reap the benefits!

Photo credit: Flickr user FindYourSearch

 

The Problems With Social

As everyone is hopping on the social bandwagon, there are now a few are disembarking (even though I don’t believe him), and although I’m not one, I figured it was time to put together a list of problems that I see with social media:

  • I’ve said this for years, starting with the death of Michael Jackson, but for better or worse, Twitter seems to be the new obituary service.
  • Using location-based services without good forethought is a “welcome” sign for all sorts of potential problems for those who aren’t reputable.
  • Purportedly, something like 40% of divorces in this country now involve Facebook, uh yeah, really.
  • Social Media is the place to bitch and moan – I was speaking with an acquaintance recently who mentioned they primarily used their Twitter account to complain. Personally, I’ve made a concerted effort to try to cut down on my online complaints, but, it’s a bit hard when social is the only way to get any response in terms of customer service.
  • SPAM – it’s amazing how SPAM and even just badly played marketing efforts are now all over the various social networks. Even brand page walls on Facebook that allow others to comment have to be very alert to other companies’ posting their own marketing on their pages.
  • Privacy is not something that many people seem to be too concerned about these days, but in this post in the NY Times Bit Blog, there are some exceedingly valid points raised about privacy online (in general but in particular on social networks) and quotes a Microsoft researcher as saying,
A conversation in the hallway is private by default, public by effort. Online, our interactions become public by default, private by effort.
  • White noise is creating so much blah that people will gravitate away from open social networks to closed ones like Path, and perhaps ones just for 2, like Pair.
Is the heyday of social past? Who knows, did anyone predict MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest? I don’t think so. But, will users become more and more adept at filtering, tuning out and using only those channels which are fitting for them at that moment – I think so. And the true wild card – what happens when national and local regulators start to really stir the social pot? It seems the FTC’s endorsement guide which seemed to be such a big deal just a few years ago really weren’t all that much, but I doubt that will be the case for the next round, when it comes…
What do you think, is it just time to bitch and moan about social media, or has its time come?
 
Photo credit: Flickr user Bruce Clay, Inc
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