Time for a change

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

For nearly three years, this blog has published the top 50 French ski resorts on Facebook and the top 30 on Twitter, every month, together with insights into who’s doing what on social media and why it’s working. This month, for the first time, I didn’t. Not because I was on the beach, but because it’s time for a change.

I started this blog because I moved to a small(ish) French ski resort and mountain village – Les Contamines-Montjoie – and I was curious about what makes smaller resorts like this tick… I wanted to see if I could contribute some of my experience in journalism and communications gained in the big city and corporate world to my first love, skiing, and the mountain environment I was now living in.

It’s been great fun, I’ve learnt a lot, met and have spoken to lots of people and hopefully been useful to some of you. The page views keep growing and while I’m appreciative, we all know it’s not just about the numbers.

So, starting this autumn, I’ll be refocusing more closely on what, for me, has grown from curiosity to a passion – exploring how mountain villages and resorts like the one I live in can survive and thrive – sustainably. After the last few weeks of heatwave here in the Alps, crumbling glaciers and melting permafrost, it seems timely.

There’ll be a new and different blog and news of an exciting project I hope to be able to talk more about soon. I will keep you posted.

Thanks very much for following all this time, have a great (but not too hot) summer and à très bientôt.

 

 

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter this season

Not only did this season see a French ski resort become the first in Europe to reach 200,000 likes on Facebook, it also saw the first reach 20,000 followers on Twitter: Alpe d’Huez.

Now I know it’s all about the quality not the quantity of the social media engagement, but still… In the case of Alpe d’Huez, which has grown its followers 197% this season (1 Dec-1 May), it does at least partly have to do with its success in playing to its reputation as both a winter and a summer destination and not a little with the fact that it will be a Tour De France finish yet again in 2015.

This was its most RT’d tweet in April:

Other resorts reaching milestones this season were Val Thorens and Val d’Isère which both broke through 10,000.

Who grew their followers the most? 

It was not, in fact, Alpe d’Huez that grew its followers the fastest this winter season among the top 30 French resorts on Twitter. These were the top three:

  1. Courchevel (+260%)
  2. Val d’Isère (+200%)
  3. Alpe d’Huez (+197%)

Tweeting into spring

Finishing strongest in April was Val d’Isère (+11%), followed by Tignes (+5%), even though the latter tweeted barely more than a dozen times over the month.

Overall, the top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter averaged just 2% follower growth in April, down from over 6% in March, and also lower than this time last year (3.1%).

Season average growth was 62% (1 Dec-1 May), compared to 66% last season.

Here is the ranking in full, as compiled on the 1st of May 2015:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 6,315 followers
  2. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 4,067
  3. Portes du Soleil – 4,041

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Alpe d’Huez – 21,232 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 13,425
  3. Val d’Isère – 11,883
  4. Megève – 8,602
  5. Chamonix – 8,107
  6. La Plagne – 6,556
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 4,802
  8. Morzine (en) – 4,403
  9. Les Gets – 3,870
  10. Méribel – 3,488
  11. Les Menuires – 3,355
  12. La Clusaz  – 3,204
  13. Avoriaz (fr) – 3,190
  14. Avoriaz (en) – 3,083
  15. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,969
  16. Morzine (fr) – 2,968
  17. Tignes – 2,914
  18. Le Grand Bornand – 2,896
  19. Vars – 2,797
  20. Les 2 Alpes – 2,571
  21. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,477
  22. Ax3Domaines – 2,335
  23. Peyragudes – 2,133
  24. Courchevel – 2,008
  25. Cauterets – 1,984
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,970
  27. Les Contamines – 1,912
  28. La Tania – 1,893
  29. Piau – 1,838
  30. Montgenèvre – 1,773

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of May 2015. 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.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (2 Mar ’15)

What a difference a day makes. This month I polled the numbers for the top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter on the 2nd of March instead of the 1st and, in that time, Alpe d’Huez added another 1,000-odd followers (+13%), following a Twitter card promotion.

chart of alpedhuez followers

source: socialbakers.com

They are not the only resort that has been active on social media recently and the word ‘gagner’ came up often as I scouted around this past month.

Val d’Isère grew its followers 44% in February and has certainly stepped up its tweeting since the start of the year.

valdisere tweet chart

source: Twitonomy

Other climbers in February were Courchevel (+21%), Tignes (+18%) and La Plagne (+17%). Follower growth for all the top 30 last month averaged just under 10%, down from 13% in January.

Here are all this month’s numbers, as compiled on the 2nd of March 2015:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 5,878 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 3,882
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 3,750

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Alpe d’Huez – 14,083 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 12,959
  3. Megève – 8,570
  4. Val d’Isère – 8,295
  5. Chamonix – 7,715
  6. La Plagne – 5,806
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 4,547
  8. Morzine (en) – 4,282
  9. Les Gets – 3,653
  10. Les Menuires – 3,229
  11. Méribel – 3,181
  12. Avoriaz (fr) – 3,032
  13. La Clusaz  – 3,012
  14. Avoriaz (en) – 2,974
  15. Morzine (fr) – 2,858
  16. Le Grand Bornand – 2,782
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,764
  18. Tignes – 2,595
  19. Vars – 2,567
  20. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,442
  21. Les 2 Alpes – 2,343
  22. Ax3Domaines – 2,293
  23. Peyragudes – 2,049
  24. Cauterets – 1,876
  25. La Tania – 1,848
  26. Les Contamines – 1,832
  27. Pic du Midi – 1,818
  28. Piau – 1,766
  29. Courchevel – 1,688
  30. Montgenèvre – 1,653

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 2nd of March 2015. 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.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (1 Feb ’15)

Welcome to winter, everyone! Here’s a random personal selection of tweets of the last few days of #snowmageddon:

All of this translated into average follower growth of a whopping 13% for the top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter in January, the same as last month.

At the top, Alpe d’Huez is just holding on to its newly acquired lead, but with Val Thorens in close pursuit.

Meantime, Méribel (+23%) jumped to 11th, from 16th, and 3 Valleys neighbour Courchevel (+36%) is close to breaking into the top 30, having only started tweeting less than six months ago.

Powder rules apply at the moment so I’ll keep this post short and sweet and just give you the latest ranking in full, as compiled on the 1st of February 2015:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 5,481 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 3,647
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 3,324

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Alpe d’Huez – 12,505 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 12,488
  3. Megève – 8,471
  4. Chamonix – 7,403
  5. Val d’Isère – 5,780
  6. La Plagne – 4,206
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 4,204
  8. Morzine (en) – 4,045
  9. Les Gets – 3,377
  10. Les Menuires – 2,962
  11. Méribel – 2,885
  12. Avoriaz (fr) – 2,869
  13. La Clusaz  – 2,799
  14. Avoriaz (en) – 2,788
  15. Morzine (fr) – 2,725
  16. Le Grand Bornand – 2,631
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,533
  18. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,401
  19. Vars – 2,257
  20. Tignes – 2,209
  21. Ax3Domaines – 2,207
  22. Les 2 Alpes – 2,124
  23. Peyragudes – 1,898
  24. La Tania – 1,781
  25. Les Contamines – 1,757
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,685
  27. Cauterets – 1,623
  28. Piau – 1,594
  29. Montgenèvre – 1,534
  30. Orcières – 1,521

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of February 2015. 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.

New year, new top French ski resorts on Twitter

Happy new year and welcome to a new leader among top French ski resorts on Twitter: Alpe d’Huez. This time last year it was ranked 19th by number of followers, with just over 1,000 of them. A year later, it is at over 9,000.

We’ve tracked this meteoric rise over the past year and just last month it grew its followers another 28%, taking top spot by number of followers, with tweets like these:

Val Thorens meanwhile has not sat still and attracted hordes of new followers (+45%) in December to reclaim 2nd spot, after it was voted World’s Best Ski Resort for the second year in a row and European Best Ski Resort 2015:

The leader for much of last year, Megève, has now dropped into third (+1%).

Méribel was the other big climber, adding 28% more followers, in the month in which its tourism director left rather suddenly and was replaced by an interim director.

Over the whole top 30, follower growth averaged an impressive 13%, up from 9% this time last year, despite a difficult start to the season.

Thank you all for following this blog over the past year and here are all the scores, as compiled on the 1st of January 2015:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 4,369 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 3,280
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 3,067

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Alpe d’Huez – 9,175 followers
  2. Val Thorens – 8,408
  3. Megève – 8,376
  4. Chamonix – 6,766
  5. Val d’Isère – 4,822
  6. La Plagne – 4,206
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 3,725
  8. Morzine (en) – 3,648
  9. Les Gets – 3,083
  10. Les Menuires – 2,671
  11. Avoriaz (fr) – 2,634
  12. Morzine (fr) – 2,562
  13. La Clusaz  – 2,551
  14. Avoriaz (en) – 2,118
  15. Le Grand Bornand – 2,402
  16. Méribel – 2,348
  17. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,337
  18. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,305
  19. Ax3Domaines – 1,910
  20. Tignes – 1,960
  21. Vars – 1,927
  22. Les 2 Alpes – 1,811
  23. Peyragudes – 1,746
  24. La Tania – 1,704
  25. Les Contamines – 1,683
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,550
  27. Aussois – 1,464
  28. Piau – 1,456
  29. Cauterets – 1,435
  30. Orcières – 1,336

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 1st of January 2015. 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.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (2 Dec ’14)

Yep, I think it’s clear from this month’s analysis that fresh snow = more social media engagement for ski resorts.

Just take a look at which top 30 French resorts grew followers most in November and their top tweets for the month:

Les 2 Alpes (+17%)…

and Meribel (+16%)…

Then there’s Alpe d’Huez (+14%), whose most engaging tweet cleverly managed to combine both skiing and the Tour de France:

In fact that was the most RT’d tweet originating in France on that day about anything, according to TopRT.com. 

La Plagne (also +14%) gained another place this month and now ranks 6th by total followers.

Meanwhile Megève dropped followers for the eighth month in a row, presumably still spilling some of the ones it gained when it ran a Twitter card promotion last February.

Average follower growth for the top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter rose to 8.6% in November (from 5% in October).

So, without further ado, here’s the ranking in full, as compiled on the 2nd of December:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 3,404 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 2,993
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 2,860

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Megève – 8,285 followers
  2. Alpe d’Huez – 7,157
  3. Chamonix – 6,360
  4. Val Thorens – 5,792
  5. Val d’Isère – 3,967
  6. La Plagne – 3,444
  7. Les Arcs (fr) – 3,222
  8. Morzine (en) – 3,201
  9. Les Gets – 2,769
  10. Morzine (fr) – 2,395
  11. Avoriaz (fr) – 2,366
  12. Les Menuires – 2,357
  13. La Clusaz  – 2,355
  14. Le Grand Bornand – 2,281
  15. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,245
  16. Avoriaz (en) – 2,118
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 2,089
  18. Ax3Domaines – 1,910
  19. Méribel – 1,840
  20. Tignes – 1,706
  21. Vars – 1,624
  22. Peyragudes – 1,616
  23. Les Contamines – 1,611
  24. La Tania – 1,605
  25. Les 2 Alpes – 1,484
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,446
  27. Aussois – 1,418
  28. Orcières – 1,336
  29. Piau – 1,322
  30. Cauterets – 1,294

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 2nd of December 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.

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter (2 Nov ’14)

First of all, in acknowledgement of the snow fall yesterday, I’ve changed my header image. Yay, winter is coming! That should wake things up a bit on social media.

In the meantime, here’s a look back at what happened with French ski resorts on Twitter in October. Not a whole lot, it must be said. Average follower growth for the top 30 ticked up to just over 5%, from 4% in September. Better than on Facebook anyway.

La Plagne grew its followers fastest (+17%) and, hmmm, was also one of the biggest movers on Facebook earlier this autumn. What’s going on over there? Well, a contest for a start, to win… a keyring (but a cute one):

And, behind that, a new community manager, since a few months, and a mega new chairlift going in, appropriately called Colosses:

Also running hot (or rather cold) in October was Les 2 Alpes (+10%), which re-opened for skiing on its glacier:

Meribel meanwhile gained nearly 10% more followers as well, even though it only graced us with 5 tweets all month.

Here’s the list in full, as compiled on the 2nd of November:

Top 3 French ski domains on Twitter:

  1. Les 3 Vallées – 3,028 followers
  2. Portes du Soleil – 2,793
  3. Nouvelles Pyrénées – 2,708

Top 30 French ski resorts on Twitter:

  1. Megève – 8,292 followers
  2. Alpe d’Huez – 6,260
  3. Chamonix – 5,953
  4. Val Thorens – 5,184
  5. Val d’Isère – 3,595
  6. Morzine (en) – 3,029
  7. La Plagne – 3,019
  8. Les Arcs (fr) – 2,979
  9. Les Gets – 2,582
  10. Morzine (fr) – 2,256
  11. Les Menuires – 2,232
  12. La Clusaz  – 2,195
  13. Avoriaz (fr) – 2,169
  14. Le Grand Bornand – 2,168
  15. Serre Chevalier (en) – 2,164
  16. Avoriaz (en) – 2,169
  17. Serre Chevalier (fr) – 1,885
  18. Ax3Domaines – 1,752
  19. Méribel – 1,589
  20. Les Contamines – 1,534
  21. La Tania – 1,521
  22. Peyragudes – 1,511
  23. Tignes – 1,507
  24. Vars – 1,456
  25. Aussois – 1,358
  26. Pic du Midi – 1,319
  27. Les 2 Alpes – 1,272
  28. Orcières – 1,265
  29. Piau – 1,231
  30. Cauterets – 1,176

Please note: these numbers were polled on the 2nd of November 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.