As an Alaskan and a public relations student I am very proud to witness Alyeska’s use of social media. Way to go Alyeska! You have successfully realized and harnessed the power of social media.
For those of you who are not familiar with Alyeska, the Alyeska Resort is a premier ski resort located in Girdwood, Alaska. The resort offers an amazing mountain for skiing and snowboarding. The hotel is also quite extraordinary offering a spa, saltwater pool, great views, a scenic aerial tram, and the award-winning Seven Glaciers Restaurant for mountain-top dinning. The resort is a major tourist attraction for visitors to Alaska.
When I first visited Alyeska Resort’s website I was thrilled to see a social media tab. The tab is full of links, pictures, and social networking outlets. The tab allows visitors to view recent Twitter updates and blog posts as well as links to Alyeska’s Twitter and Facebook homepages, youtube videos, and RSS feed.
Obviously, Alyeska Resort is well aware of social media as a powerful public relations tool. The fact that Alyeska has embraced social media is a great feat on its own, but my real concern is that Alyeska is leaps and bounds ahead of their competition in terms of social media communication. The Hilltop Ski Area and Arctic Valley Ski Area, both located in Alaska, lack social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and photos or video links.
Why get involved in social media? Just to name a few reasons, according to Facebook.com’s statistics, the networking site has more than 350 million active users. That’s a lot of networking, potential visitors, and clients that companies are missing out on if they don’t embrace the world of social media via Facebook. Alyeska has more than 6,000 friends on Facebook. According to Brain Solis, author of the Social Media Manifesto and BrainSolis.com, social media “ is only going to become more persuasive and as such, become a critical factor in the success or failure of any business.”
To put it simply, if you are not engaged in social media your missing out on a number of opportunities to improve your business.
My advice – ski resorts in Alaska need to get involved in social media (except you Alyeska)! Next time I check out Hilltop or Arctic Valley’s websites I hope to see the use of Facebook, Twitter ,blogs, and more links to photos and videos.Updating your communication to include more social media will improve your business as well as the Alaska tourism industry as a whole.
– Kyla Morris