When I first started the research for this assignment I thought I would compare two Ontario Vacation Destinations that I love, Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, and Hockley Valley Resort in Mono.
I thought for sure Blue Mountains would have a better Social Media plan but I was wrong! The smaller resort, Hockley Valley has an amazing Social Media Strategy, that is modern, consistent, attractive, immediately accessible and customers are interacting and engaging on their pages. To compare, Hockely Valleys Website design is very clean, portrays attractive pictures of the resort and the beautiful nature surrounding them, easy to navigate and has access to all Social Media links on the first page, on the right hand side bar. http://www.hockley.com/ All of their Social Media Sites are updated regularly, their YouTube site has several videos and updates on what is going on at the resort. Hockley Valley has immediate direct access to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and their own resort Blog. Perhaps as Blue Mountain is a larger resort, the need for a Social Media Strategy is not a larger focus. Blue Mountains does have many Google Reviews, and they do actively post videos on Google, but as research states Google+ is not a main traffic site. Blue Mountain, I found does have a YouTube site with just over 1000 subscribers, but their main website does not have any links to YouTube.
No one is watching their videos on Google, and some are watching the videos on YouTube. If they connected the Social Media sites to their webpage, more people would be engaging and watching! Blue Mountain does have a clean and modern webpage, however, the main photo of bikes parked at a Bike Rack really does not entice me to want to come to Blue Mountain. https://www.bluemountain.ca/ On their first page of their Website there are absolutely no direct links for customers to engage with, no Social Media tabs until you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the last frame. At the very bottom of their webpage frame you find 4 little greyed out boxes that link to Social Media. Once I found the Social Media pages, I discovered they are updated on a regular basis, hence a Social Media Plan is in place, but needs improvement. Blue Mountain Resort Website features, at the bottom of their site, access to their Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ sites. Their Facebook Page has over 62,000 Likes! Their Twitter Page has over 27,000 followers, coming in last their Google+ page has 640 members. So why have their Social Media Links at the bottom of their Webpage? Perhaps as they have been attracting large crowds of Skiers and Hikers for years, the need to paste their Social Media on their Webpage is a mute issue for them. The interesting thing I found, if you contrast, Hockley Valley has fewer likes at just over 8000. However, their customer engagement with their Social Media pages is much higher than it is for Blue Mountains customer engagement.
It’s easy to “like” and forget, but to gather a “like” and keep customers engaging is the key to keeping them interested. Hockley Valley, although a smaller resort, provides more accessible links to their Social Media pages which in turn keeps this smaller resort very popular. Even though Blue Mountain has its history and regular crowd of event followers, I would make several changes to their Webpage Design, and Social Media Links to allow more customer engagement with their Social Media sites. Blue Mountains Resort will still need to attract the millennials and their upcoming future families, linking and engaging their new customers through Social Media will be key!