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Trends Research Update: 2011/12 vs 2012/13 – Resort Guest Behavior on Social Media

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

This week’s Stash is a little bit different. We may dig even deeper on this later, but we wanted to get a pretty unique set of data in your hands sooner rather than later.

Last year we released our initial results from a social media study we undertook in partnership with Guest Research, Inc. The goal was to learn more about how resort customers are influenced by and use social media. With a new batch of data for 2012/13, we’ve added another layer to the results: year-over-year trends.

1) Guest Activity
Rather than just ask if guests had an account, we asked if they were active on social media to identify the likelihood of social content reaching them.

DBL Chart - Active

From 53.6% in 2011/12, the percentage of guests that are active on social media rose to 55.5% in 2012/13.

2) Where They Follow
Of those guests that are active on social media, each were asked if they follow the resort they were visiting (or had recently visited) on Facebook, Twitter, both Facebook and Twitter, or neither:

DBLChannel

Overall, the percentage of guests who followed the resort exclusively on Facebook dropped from 39.2% to 35.0%. Instead, these guests either aren’t following the resort at all or following on both Facebook and Twitter.

3) Social Media Influence
The final questions dealt with how influential a resort’s social media content was on someones decision to visit. Guests then rated how much they were influenced by these posts (1-10 scale):

DBLInfluence

Although the percentage of guests who had been influenced by social media went up, the average influence level dropped slightly.

What This Means
If we had to condense all of these figures into three takeaways, this is what they’d be:

  1. The percentage of resort guests who are active on social media is increasing.
  2. Fewer guests are relying solely on Facebook when following a resort on social channels.
  3. More guests are being influenced by social media, though that influence may be waning.

The second takeaway is an interesting one. Resorts are developing their presences on new social networks each year. So, are skiers following resorts on more networks because that’s their preference or are the followers resorts are obtaining on new sites already followers on other networks?

As for inlfluence, the good news is that more of the people who are using social media are basing their vacation decisions on what they see. Though influence levels may be dropping, that’s something resorts do have a bit more control over.

Coming up next for this study? Instagram. We’ll try to find out if skiers are using it, following resort accounts and, most of all, being influenced by what they see. Stay tuned.

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