Top French ski resorts on Facebook this season

Tignes, Val Thorens and Orelle are soldiering for another week and the Pic du Midi is still open too, but it’s raining at over 2,000m as I write this and most resorts are gearing up for summer already. Time to round up how the winter season went on social media for the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook.

Winners and losers

So who posted the biggest gains in terms of fan growth this season among the top 50?

Saint Gervais (+156%) after it cleaned up its social media presence and merged the tourist office and lift company pages. Second was Valloire (+69%) which benefited from the JB effect after local hero Jean-Baptiste Grange was crowned slalom World Champion for the second time in a row. And third: Ax 3 Domaines, which hit the 30,000 fans milestone in March. Among the domains, the Grand Massif made good progress (+46%).

At the other end of the scale, Megève lost just under 7% of fans over the season, mostly after Facebook initiated a clean-up of inactive accounts in March.

A season of milestones

This was the season that the first European ski resort hit 200,000 Facebook fans and it was a French one: Val Thorens. Fresh from its success in being voted World’s Best Ski Resort for the second year in a row, Val Tho joins an elite band of North American resorts: Jackson HoleMammoth and Whistler / Blackcomb.

Other resorts hitting milestones this season included La Plagne (50k), Ax 3 Domaines and Saint Lary in the Pyrenees (30k), La Norma (20k), and several at 10k+ : Saint Gervais, Les Saisies, Piau-Engaly and Sainte Foy.

A successful printemps du ski?

This spring’s France Montagnes’ campaign, Le Printemps du Ski, or Skiing into Spring in English, was an attempt to fight back against the erosion of late season business in recent years, not helped by the Easter calendar and late French school holidays. How well did it go?

Well, one particularly active participant in the campaign, Saint François Longchamp, certainly seems to have benefited, at least on Facebook. It finished the season strongly, gaining 10% in March, 24% in April, and scoring nearly 58k views for this video:

Overall, though, the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook grew their fans just 0.9% in April on average, down from 2.6% in April 2014.

A time to thank the fans

Finally, this is a good time for resorts to show their appreciation and thank their fans for their support over the season. Show them some love. Here’s what happens when you do (they appreciate it):

Ax 3 Domaines FB screenshot

Have a good relaxing inter-season everyone and here is the ranking in full, as recorded on 1 May 2015:

Top 5 French ski domains on Facebook

  1. Portes du Soleil – 111,417 fans
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 60,016
  3. Haute Maurienne Vanoise – 48,309
  4. Les 3 Vallées – 29,475
  5. Grand Massif – 19,181

Top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook

  1. Val Thorens – 202,553 fans
  2. Megève – 107,579
  3. Val d’Isère – 96,370
  4. Chamonix – 79,225
  5. Les Menuires – 73,393
  6. Tignes – 64,900
  7. La Clusaz – 62,851
  8. Les Arcs – 61,493
  9. Courchevel – 55,122
  10. La Plagne – 50,580
  11. Alpe d’Huez – 46,036
  12. Les 2 Alpes – 44,847
  13. Cauterets – 41,403
  14. Serre Chevalier – 39,977
  15. Le Grand Bornand – 37,708
  16. Avoriaz – 36,572
  17. Vars – 31,551
  18. Saint Lary – 30,797
  19. Ax 3 Domaines – 30,004
  20. Méribel – 29,134
  21. Les Gets – 24,775
  22. La Norma – 20,793
  23. Orcières – 19,267
  24. Saint François Longchamp – 18,235
  25. Valloire – 17,684
  26. Les Sept Laux – 15,366
  27. Le Dévoluy – 15,214
  28. Peyragudes – 15,179
  29. Lac Blanc – 14,207
  30. Les Orres – 13,911
  31. Châtel – 13,876
  32. Morzine – 13,587
  33. Les Contamines – 13,347
  34. Le Lioran – 12,117
  35. Montgenèvre – 12,010
  36. Grand Tourmalet – 11,960
  37. Saint Gervais – 11,598
  38. Les Saisies – 11,379
  39. Piau-Engaly – 11,379
  40. Sainte Foy – 10,741
  41. Aussois – 10,202
  42. Les Angles – 9,506
  43. La Pierre St Martin – 9,275
  44. Chamrousse – 9,059
  45. Isola 2000 – 8,594
  46. Val Cenis Vanoise – 8,251
  47. Gourette – 8,198
  48. Risoul – 7,996
  49. Praloup – 7,855
  50. Arêches-Beaufort – 7,612

Please note: these are official pages only and only those resorts are included that have at least some alpine ski uplift capacity, ie a ski lift. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Linked resorts/domains like the 3 Valleys are ranked separately and the count was done on 1 May 2015.

French ski resorts lose likes after Facebook clean-up

Many French ski resorts saw their Facebook pages lose likes in March, after Facebook started a clean-up to remove likes from inactive and in memoriam accounts. As one tech site explained, “the new changes in their likes policy should mean that those buying likes… would also see their page likes decrease by the thousands…”

So which French resorts have been most affected so far? These resorts lost the most likes in March:

  1. Megève (-8,824)
  2. Val Thorens (-4,179)
  3. Courchevel  (-1,100)
  4. Saint Lary (-1,008)
  5. Alpe d’Huez (-997)

Despite the purge, 20 of the top 50 still managed to gain fans in March, led by Saint Gervais, which jumped to no. 37 (+59%) after merging the lift company’s page with that of the Tourist Office.

Valloire grew its fans 20%, still riding the wave of Jean-Baptiste Grange’s World Championship success, running a photo contest and promoting cross-linkage with its instagram account:

Saint François Longchamp (+10%) has been actively pushing the Printemps du Ski campaign of France Montagnes and the hashtag #mySFL:

Overall, taking into account the purge, the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook in February grew their likes by just 1.5% on average, compared to 12% in February.

Here is the ranking in full, as recorded on 2 April 2015:

Top 5 French ski domains on Facebook

  1. Portes du Soleil – 111,574 fans
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 59,471
  3. Haute Maurienne Vanoise – 48,393
  4. Les 3 Vallées – 29,283
  5. Grand Massif – 18,930

Top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook

  1. Val Thorens – 202,499 fans
  2. Megève – 107,687
  3. Val d’Isère – 94,867
  4. Chamonix – 79,080
  5. Les Menuires – 73,443
  6. La Clusaz – 63,020
  7. Tignes – 62,161
  8. Les Arcs – 61,449
  9. Courchevel – 54,964
  10. La Plagne – 50,452
  11. Alpe d’Huez – 45,945
  12. Les 2 Alpes – 44,635
  13. Cauterets – 41,421
  14. Serre Chevalier – 39,917
  15. Le Grand Bornand – 37,259
  16. Avoriaz – 36,400
  17. Vars – 31,198
  18. Saint Lary – 30,821
  19. Ax 3 Domaines – 30,020
  20. Méribel – 29,035
  21. Les Gets – 24,702
  22. La Norma – 20,820
  23. Orcières – 19,236
  24. Valloire – 17,663
  25. Les Sept Laux – 15,303
  26. Le Dévoluy – 15,219
  27. Peyragudes – 15,170
  28. Saint François Longchamp – 14,678
  29. Lac Blanc – 14,146
  30. Les Orres – 13,891
  31. Châtel – 13,851
  32. Morzine – 13,568
  33. Les Contamines – 13,353
  34. Le Lioran – 12,092
  35. Grand Tourmalet – 11,930
  36. Montgenèvre – 11,854
  37. Saint Gervais – 11,495
  38. Les Saisies – 11,316
  39. Piau-Engaly – 11,302
  40. Sainte Foy – 10,439
  41. Aussois – 10,194
  42. Les Angles – 9,482
  43. La Pierre St Martin – 9,218
  44. Chamrousse – 9,026
  45. Isola 2000 – 8,538
  46. Val Cenis Vanoise – 8,204
  47. Gourette – 8,199
  48. Risoul – 8,012
  49. Praloup – 7,835
  50. Arêches-Beaufort – 7,603

Please note: these are official pages only and only those resorts are included that have at least some alpine ski uplift capacity, ie a ski lift. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Linked resorts/domains like the 3 Valleys are ranked separately and the count was done on 2 April.

First European ski resort reaches 200,000 fans on Facebook

As predicted, Val Thorens has become the first European ski resort to reach 200,000 fans on Facebook. It hit the milestone in February and changed its cover shot to this:

Of course size isn’t everything and the number of fans is just one possible social media measure but, still, ValTho is now at almost twice the number of fans of its nearest French rivals, Megève and the Portes du Soleil, and well ahead of other European resorts like Saalbach Hinterglemm in Austria (140,315 fans) and Grand Valira in Andorra (137,977 fans).

It joins an elite band of just three other resorts to boast 200,000-plus fans, all North American: Jackson Hole, Mammoth and Whistler / Blackcomb.

Guess who else had a good month? Valloire, after its local hero, Jean-Baptiste Grange, was crowned World Champion in slalom for the second time in a row at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail / Beaver Creek.

Fans of its Facebook page surged 26%, however we can’t put it all down to the JB effect because the resort was also running a competition in February.

Other risers were La Plagne, which climbed into the top 10 in February (+11%) and  Saint Gervais (+42%) in at number 50, helped by a bit of highlighting:

Overall, fan growth for the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook in February averaged 12% in this peak season month, up from 5% in January.

Here are all the scores, as recorded on 1 March 2015:

Top 5 French ski domains on Facebook

  1. Portes du Soleil – 119,737 fans
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 58,998
  3. Haute Maurienne Vanoise – 49,069
  4. Les 3 Vallées – 29,443
  5. Grand Massif – 16,494

Top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook

  1. Val Thorens – 206,678 fans
  2. Megève – 116,511
  3. Val d’Isère – 90,447
  4. Chamonix – 79,806
  5. Les Menuires – 70,593
  6. La Clusaz – 62,940
  7. Tignes – 62,524
  8. Les Arcs – 61,486
  9. Courchevel – 56,064
  10. La Plagne – 49,033
  11. Alpe d’Huez – 46,942
  12. Les 2 Alpes – 44,682
  13. Cauterets – 41,573
  14. Serre Chevalier – 39,107
  15. Le Grand Bornand – 37,058
  16. Avoriaz – 36,603
  17. Saint Lary – 31,829
  18. Vars – 31,037
  19. Ax 3 Domaines – 28,879
  20. Méribel – 26,801
  21. Les Gets – 24,133
  22. La Norma – 20,449
  23. Orcières – 19,535
  24. Le Dévoluy – 15,435
  25. Peyragudes – 15,257
  26. Les Sept Laux – 15,173
  27. Valloire – 14,691
  28. Lac Blanc – 14,566
  29. Les Orres – 14,211
  30. Châtel – 14,045
  31. Les Contamines – 13,746
  32. Morzine – 13,655
  33. Saint François Longchamp – 13,323
  34. Le Lioran – 12,181
  35. Montgenèvre – 12,120
  36. Grand Tourmalet – 11,976
  37. Les Saisies – 11,404
  38. Piau-Engaly – 11,287
  39. Sainte Foy – 10,603
  40. Aussois – 10,340
  41. Les Angles – 9,650
  42. La Pierre St Martin – 9,162
  43. Chamrousse – 9,066
  44. Isola 2000 – 8,497
  45. Risoul – 8,350
  46. Gourette – 8,298
  47. Val Cenis Vanoise – 8,103
  48. Praloup – 7,932
  49. Arêches-Beaufort – 7,575
  50. Saint Gervais – 7221

Please note: these are official pages only and only those resorts are included that have at least some alpine ski uplift capacity, ie a ski lift. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please let me know so this list can be improved for next month. Linked resorts/domains like the 3 Valleys are ranked separately and the count was done on 1 March.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter this season

As French ski resorts tot up their skier days this past winter, I can already report that in one measure, at least, performance has been exceptionally healthy.

The top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter saw a 66% increase in followers this winter on average (1 December-1 May), compared to +36% for the top 50 on Facebook.

Here are the five who grew their follower base the most:

  1. Megève (+574%)
  2. Alpe d’Huez (+222%)
  3. Méribel (+109%)
  4. Avoriaz (+79%)
  5. Les Gets (+66%)

Of these, Megève ran a Twitter card campaign in February that saw it quadruple its followers in the space of a month. A few have since been drifting away (followers were down 2% in April).

Alpe d’Huez, meanwhile, has achieved its growth organically, since it set up a new team of community managers at the start of the season. It has been getting monster RTs recently for cycling-related tweets as the biking season gets underway:

Other random facts:

  • Pyrenees resorts were among the most dynamic with 5 among the top 12 biggest gainers, led by Cauterets (+65%)
  • Outside the top 30, Saint Gervais (+377%, rank 65) and Samoëns (+293%, rank 57) have made great strides
  • 11 French resorts now have 2,000+ followers, up from just 1 – Val Thorens – a year ago (official accounts only, in French and/or English)
  • 25 have at least 1,000 followers, up from just 11 this time last year
  • 2 resorts have English-language accounts in the top 10, both ranked higher than their French language accounts: Serre Chevalier and Morzine

Looking just at this April, average follower growth for the top 30 Twitter dropped to 3.1%, from 6.1% in March.

Here is the latest ranking in full, as compiled on the 1st of May:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 2,666 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 2,358
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 2,274

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Megève – 8,620 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 4,573
  3. Chamonix – 4,414
  4. Val d’Isère – 3,060
  5. Alpe d’Huez – 2,862
  6. Morzine (en) – 2,591
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 2,582
  8. La Plagne – 2,299
  9. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,053
  10. Les Menuires – 2,014
  11. Les Gets – 2,008
  12. Le Grand Bornand – 1,892
  13. La Clusaz  – 1,879
  14. Morzine (fr) – 1,852
  15. Avoriaz – 1,805
  16. Ax3Domaines – 1,634
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 1,591
  18. Les Contamines – 1,389
  19. La Tania – 1,337
  20. Aussois – 1,239
  21. Vars – 1,212
  22. Méribel – 1,151
  23. Tignes – 1,121
  24. Orcières 1850 – 1,080
  25. Peyragudes – 1,045
  26. Piau – 954
  27. Pic du Midi – 946
  28. Montgenèvre – 931
  29. Cauterets – 839
  30. Gourette – 818

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of May 2014. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please do let me know so this list can be improved for next month… Official resort accounts only and linked resorts/domains are ranked separately.

L’embarras du choix

This is a schizophrenic time of year for ski resort marketers on social media: do you keep talking about skiing till the very end, or start building a buzz about summer?

Well, judging by my Twitter feed at the moment, you can take your pick.

So… will it be winter?

…or summer?

Or, wait a minute, how about both? That’s the great thing about springtime in the mountains…

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (on 2 July ’13)

Twitter growth continues to outpace Facebook for French ski resorts. Average follower growth for the top 30 was 3.4% in June, compared to 1.4% growth in likes for the top 50 on FB.

Chamonix grew fastest once again, up 15% and now taking over 2nd spot in the rankings. Two others in the top 30 grew more than 5%: Les Contamines (up 9.5%) and Serre Chevalier‘s French language account (up 7.2%).

Meanwhile St Gervais is the newbie of the month, with a brand new Twitter account since late June… welcome.

And here’s the full list by total followers:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Portes du Soleil – 1,283 followers
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 1,231
  3. Les 3 Vallées – 983

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Val Thorens – 2,394 followers
  2. Chamonix – 1,892
  3. Les Arcs (fr) – 1,845
  4. Val d’Isère – 1,579
  5. Serre Chevalier (en) – 1,509
  6. Morzine (en) – 1,506
  7. Les Menuires – 1,431
  8. La Plagne – 1,293
  9. Ax3Domaines – 1,253
  10. Le Grand Bornand – 1,104
  11. Morzine (fr) – 1,041
  12. Megève – 1,034
  13. La Clusaz  – 982
  14. Aussois – 904
  15. La Tania – 902
  16. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 834
  17. Les Gets – 823
  18. Avoriaz – 736
  19. La Chapelle d’Abondance – 695
  20. Vars – 653
  21. Orcières 1850 – 628
  22. Les Contamines – 579
  23. Le Dévoluy – 534
  24. Vallée Louron – 514
  25. Peyragudes – 500
  26. Les Sept Laux – 493
  27. Montgenèvre – 490
  28. Lac Blanc – 458
  29. Piau – 420
  30. Les Arcs (en) – 419

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 2nd of July. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone and please do let me know so this list can be improved for next month… Official resort accounts only and linked resorts/domains are ranked separately.