Social Media, a whole new language for Mount Washington.
OMG. Here’s a video update; see our YouTube channel; catch us on Twitter; new blog post; thanks for posting to Instagram. While the Resort has had an active website for many years, and has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, the marketing department ramped it up in a major way this past winter.
The age-old dilemma with social media is whether you use your media to deliver a sales pitch, or whether you use it to engage with people who are interested in your product, Resort Director of Public Relations Brent Curtain explained.
Sometimes people don’t want the sales pitch, they want to engage in a digital “conversation” with you. That’s the approach Curtain, Webmaster Darcy Friesen and the rest of the Marketing and Public Relations Department at Mount Washington has taken.
This was the first year the Marketing Department put together weekly video updates on conditions and activities at the Resort. “We were pleasantly surprised by the views,” Curtain said. Between 1,500 and 2,000 view every week “brought us well over 22,000 views throughout the winter,” he said. “And that’s just the weekly updates alone.”
He plans to keep up the momentum this summer. “We’re looking at creating more video content going through next winter,” he added.
Building a visual picture was critical for the Resort - everyone wants to see the big powder, happy faces and beautiful blue bird days - so in addition to the video updates they signed on with Instagram. Visitors were encouraged to post photos to the Resort’s Instagram channel, and photos of the week were published.
The Resort’s website also featured five bloggers writing about different aspects of life at Mount Washington.
Canadian triathlete Gillian Clayton wrote about the Nordic side of the Resort and how cross-country skiing is good off-season aerobic training.
Miguel Strother is an accomplished travel writer who came to Mount Washington on assignment in 2007 and decided it was where he wanted to be.
Eugene Chung was the Snow Tubing Supervisor as well as a ski patroller, writing about his exploits on the runs and giving people an inside view of the ski patrol.
Sterling Todd Keys, already an accomplished writer and photographer, was also a member of the Pro Ski Patrol. He wrote about all things patrol and weather.
Sheila Rivers is a graphic designer and mother of a toddler, and her posts dealt a lot with family-oriented items at the Resort.
Erik Clevering, from the Netherlands, was determined to go from zero to ski hero in one season, and blog about his experiences. He made some interesting videos, including one about selling his precious snowboard in favour of some downhill skis to answer another challenge.
The demographics for most social media is younger —perhaps 15 to 35 years — but Curtain said their Facebook site likes “were all over the board.”
Although it’s nearly impossible to correlate steady click-throughs and views into hard dollars earned, the exposure perspective is invaluable, Curtain said. “Now we have some numbers to work with going forward.”