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Big Sky didn’t like my tweet. No, they did something much better.
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Over the years, my family has gotten more and more spread out. My brother lived in Belgium, we were in Colorado, my sister moved to Connecticut, my parents moved to Ohio.

We were looking for a way to become closer as a family. I was looking for a side project. So when my parents pitched the idea of building our own little social network, I was all over it. A handful of evenings and weekends later, the Blanch-Herd (get it?) was born.

Just as you’d expect, this is the place where we share everything from life news to albino deer (above), in our own private little space without the typical pressures or engagement or followers or whatever.

To Like or Not to Like
Now, as a marketer, building a social network was a rather insightful process. And especially so on one specific feature: liking. As a family, we found ourselves asking an interesting question:

“Should we have a like button? If we have it, it’s an easy way to show people we saw and enjoyed what they shared. If we don’t, then the only way to interact is to actually…well..interact.”

In the end, we didn’t add the button. And in my book, it was 100% the right call.

And the reason why was fairly eloquently stated in an article I found just this morning by Frank Chimero.

“A like can’t go anywhere, but a compliment can go a long way. Passive positivity isn’t enough; active positivity is needed to counterbalance whatever sort of collective conversations and attention we point at social media.”

As a big fan of the like button as a marketer, that took me aback. But as I thought through it, I realized there’s something much butter than the like button.

Something Big Sky recently reminded me of.

The reply button.

Lots of Love
I write about hundreds of examples of great resort marketing each year. Other times I’ll share their jobs or retweet a great photo. Most of the time, I’ll tag the resort I’m writing about when I do.

I’d say 75% of the time, the resort I tag will give that post a like.

But only about 5% of the time will I get something like this.

Instead of clicking the heart button, they’ll hit reply and interact with me directly.

A Massive Difference
The difference between those two actions, just like on our family’s social network, is massive.

You may not have time to write personal emails to everyone in your database or thank every family who stays at your mountain. But when people tag you and show your resort some love, I’d suggest this is one of those times that you should take an extra 20-30 seconds to hit reply.

Big Sky did, and it made a difference to me. My family does, and it makes a difference for all of us. The next time you do, it will make a difference to the person you engage with.

I guarantee it.

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Want to read more ski resort marketing ideas? Head over to SlopeFillers, our sister site run by our very own SVP of Strategy, Gregg Blanchard.

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