Interview: the social media strategy of Val Thorens

On the occasion of the special community management week, we are fortunate to have feedback from Thibaut Loubère, digital marketing manager for the famous ski resort Val Thorens. He explains his strategy, his operational actions, and the tools he uses on a daily basis.

Monitoring of the performance of Val Thorens with Agorapulse.

We produced this article in partnership with Agorapulse, which is the solution used for the social media management of Val Thorens. If you want to know more about this benchmark French solution, go to this link.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us more about your missions as marketing manager for Val Thorens?

I am Thibaut Loubère, marketing manager for a Tarentaise resort perched at an altitude of 2300m: Val Thorens. Overall, my missions as marketing manager are missions of animation of a team of 6 people, all recruited for their specialized skills but also and especially for their passion for the mountain. My job is to make them work on effective, innovative and impertinent communication levers, in line with our brand DNA Val Thorens Live United. To sum up, I’m kind of a channeler of good ideas!

What are the social media objectives of Val Thorens, and on which networks are you present?

We have 2 main objectives in Val Thorens. The first: to bring Val Thorens to life for people who only come for one or two weeks a year to stay with us. We must constantly make them experience the destination as if they were with us, every day. The second objective is to bring together a community around us by erasing as much as possible the barrier that exists between Online and Offline. To meet these objectives, we have chosen to actively focus on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, which are our essentials as a tourist destination. At the same time, we are activating great things on Tik Tok and WhatsApp.

@ val_thorens🚀🚀 ## valthorens ## foryou ## pourtoi ## seeya ## ski ## salomon ## skiing ## freestyle ♬ Woah – KRYPTO9095

What are the most important social networks for you (in terms of branding and / or in terms of business)?

Today, in terms of interactions and therefore business, Facebook remains THE most important social network. In terms of possibilities for personalizing content and interacting with communities, Instagram is clearly in TOP1!

Do you follow a different editorial line on each social network with different content?

Clearly, due to lack of time, we have a common editorial line on Facebook and Instagram. We have a different line for Twitter and LinkedIn which we consider more B2B (we are talking about the “comm de la comm”). On the other hand, on Instagram, we work on our stories with content and stories that are different from “classic” content.

Val Thorens is an international brand. How do you manage this in your social media strategy (translation, different messages, multilingual presence…)?

We have chosen to translate our content into English with equivalent messages. It’s a strategic choice that allows us to accumulate likes and comments on a single post. Also, we like in the comments to have this “international” side with comments in French, English, Dutch: this reflects the cosmopolitan side of Val Thorens.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your actions and on which KPIs?

For the measurement of KPIs, we only use the statistics tool embedded in Agorapulse. This tool allows us an easy comparison from one season to another. Today, the KPIs retained are “classic” (likes, shares, comments) and divided into several categories to give weight to each interaction: micro-interaction, contribution, enthusiasm.

What will be the big social media projects for the brand in the coming months? Are you going to focus on emerging formats or networks (TikTok in particular)?

We are currently working on a project that is not 100% social media but rather linked to the e-reputation of our brands. By setting up a partnership with Easyguiders, we will monitor all the opinions on Facebook, Tripadvisor and Google My Business on all of our brands, which will allow us to follow the evolution week by week of the satisfaction of the destination. Of course, this monitoring is extended to the global Val Thorens pages on which our commitment to the Qualité Tourisme brand prompts us to respond to all opinions.

You use Agorapulse to manage your different presences. Why go through a third-party tool? How is it integrated into your strategy?

What we appreciate about Agorapulse is this Inbox aspect that allows us to have a global vision of all our conversations, regardless of the communication channel. It’s a huge time saver for our team given the amount of comments, private messages and reviews we have to deal with. The tool is really very easy to manage for the community manager who, despite the large volume of comments on our platforms, has the possibility of interacting quickly with our subscribers (25,000 comments on a weekend of first snowfall at the end of September). This tool also allows us to never miss a comment (even if the comment was made on a post that dates from 3 months ago). Special mention to the Social CRM side which allows us to intelligently bounce back to requests from our customers using their history of interactions with us (a customer who declares coming in February on the second week of the holidays? We add a specific tag on this user and a few days before his arrival we came back to hear from him!). However, we want to avoid the Big Brother side on the use of this data, which is why we remain very vigilant.

How do you see the evolution of community management? What do you think are the major challenges and the major trends to come?

For me, community management is not just a story of social networks but also a question of relationships. This is something that is very strong in Val Thorens, where there is an attachment to the destination which is almost indescribable and which was there long before the arrival of social networks. The role of the community manager is therefore twofold in my opinion. On the one hand, to share the life of the resort and to promote it in an inspirational way. On the other, animate a community by erasing as much as possible the Online / Offline barrier. We must therefore animate a virtual community and not hesitate to go and share more concrete things as soon as possible, such as a ski slope for example, with members of the community.

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