No Tweets on a Powder Day

No Tweets on a Powder Day

We all want to engage our customers. For travel destinations like ski resorts, it’s the best kind of marketing to have your visitors posting photos, tweeting, checking in, posting video and generally having a good time and blasting proof of it out to the world. We sell fun, and fun, along with all the other aspects of travel amount to an experience. But at what point does the mobile social interaction become a distraction to the experience?

Such was the topic for #Mrktchat two weeks ago. We were grateful for the opportunity to host and steer the conversation to something we, as geeks, gadget lovers and die hard skiers and riders, wrestle with all the time.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/OneToOneTravel/status/18632743142″]

As expected a couple of good points came out of the discussion.

Active Engagement: Several participants had direct experience and success with scavenger hunt type activities, though these don’t always need to involve mobile apps…

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/JeffCospolich/status/18632740872″]

and

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/KaufmanwithAK/status/18633359210″]

It’s hard for core skiers and riders like us to realize, but many ski resort visitors are not all that engaged with the sport. They may be there for other people in their party, or simply get their fill of the skiing by lunch time. For them, more active mobile social engagement might get them to engage with skiing more, or engage with secondary amenities at the resort like shopping, dining, and events.

Info and updates: Pushing out snow, event and operations updates is a great thing to do. A number of resorts are doing this, and a number also have a separate twitter account for that kind of content. Whether or not you need two twitter accounts is specific to your users and their needs/wants. You can usually come up with a good strategy after a few weeks of testing. Though things change pretty fast, so next season, all bets are off.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/RRCDave/status/18633209623″]

Passive engagement: We like to market the turns first and the tech second because we feel that the things people will remember, the things that the tech exists to support, is the mountain experience.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/OneToOneTravel/status/18632743142″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/OneToOneTravel/status/18633731635″]

Problem: Not all ski resorts have the reception for mobile. Though this will probably change in the coming seasons.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/tahoejenn/status/18633142878″]

we also need to be conscious of the fact that many tech soaked skiers and riders might be looking for a more offline onsnow experience.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/tahoejenn/status/18634903393″]

When trying to engage travelers, skiers and snowboarders with mobile social technology, finding the right balance between interaction and distraction is key. Thanks to the group for letting us (Mike Henderson and Rob Gaedtke) moderate. We always come away from #mrktchat with a different perspective. Great chatting with you! Here’s a link to the transcript of the chat.

-Mike