Maximizing Facebook Presence

With the winter ski season at Whistler Blackcomb officially under way (yes all the rain in Vancouver is a blessing to powder hounds), the focus for my post this week is an analysis of Whistler Blackcomb’s facebook page.

The Stats: Whistler Blackcomb Facebook stats are in line with one of their major North American competitors Vail:

  • 121,030 likes (Vail: 123,723)
  • 17,517 talking about Whistler Blackcomb (Vail: 17, 568)
  • 225,924 were here (Vail: 62,802)

As with other social media platforms, the challenge with Facebook is to create an effective presence that allows an organization to build an online community and engage with this community on an ongoing basis.  Whistler Blackcomb in my opinion has done this well.  Here’s why:

Branding : Facebook timeline cover image is updated regularly.  The current image is visually inspiring and relevant to the Whistler Blackcomb brand and current ‘Wonder’ marketing campaign.

Content: Whistler Blackcomb offers a good mix of content with regular updates between 2 and 4 times per day.  Updates include:

  • Snow conditions
  • Upcoming events and cross promotion e.g. Whistler TweetUp November 24
  • Unique content to Facebook platform including Fashion Fridays highlighting retail stores, retail partners and clothing e.g. Arcteryx
  • Deals (currently early  booking deadlines for hotels and passes)
  • Questions
  • Partner mentions e.g. Nintendo Terrain Park with link to Nintendo Facebook page.
  • Pin Post Holding currently highlighting launch of Wonder Reel Episode 3 at top of page (205 likes, 113 shares and 18 comments in one day)
  • Highlight posts.   The most recent post with an image of Whistler Mountain garnered 940 likes and 26 comments within 5 hours of posting.  Other examples include ‘The Wonder-Full Gondola opening day promotion, and pre-season highlights with YouTube
  • Integration of other social media platforms e.g. YouTube and Flickr

Social Media Personality: Whistler Blackcomb demonstrates a consistent social media personality with the following traits:

  • Genuine
  • Fun
  • Gracious showing appreciation for opening day enthusiasm on Whistler
  • Good listener
  • Responsive to posts in real time e.g. skier frustration with technology error for last day of season pass sales which required Whistler Blackcomb to extend the deadline

Engagement: Whistler Blackcomb encourages and receives interaction through fan posts on wall as well as comments to all status updates.  Other engagement features include:

    • Contests – “Map Your Wonder”
    • Good use of Social Plug Ins (Like, Comment, Share and Add to Interest Lists)
    • Postings specifically encouraging fans to subscribe to social Plug In ‘Add to Interest Lists’

Final Thoughts: Overall Whistler Blackcomb has excellent page management and status updates that engage their fans on an ongoing basis.  Aside from a couple of faulty links under the “cog” drop down menu that require attention, I shall offer three recommendations:

1)      Consider using Milestones to highlight Whistler Blackcomb’s awards, accolades, epic winter snowfalls and events such as the opening of the Peak to Peak gondola.

2)      Mix up engagement with the use of polls

3)      Further Integration of sponsor messaging to add additional value to the fan experience and to sponsors alike.

Check out Whistler Blackcomb’s Facebook page for yourself.  I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

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5 Responses to Maximizing Facebook Presence

  1. susanrooney says:

    I really liked how you used Vail as a comparison to put perspective on the numbers. I think thats critical. well done.

  2. kmangat says:

    Wow such a great analysis! I like that you mentioned the branding and personality in addition to their content. Very nicely done.

  3. VM says:

    Great analysis you have covered a lot of different aspects. As a non skiier myself, I like that the site includes information for non skiiers as well.

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