Every autumn, French digital marketing agency We Like Travel publishes the results of their annual social media survey of French mountain resorts and regions.

The 2021 survey looked at responses from 233 destinations, including 181 ski resorts, 19 ski areas and 33 regions.

Here are six of the key points we took from this year’s report:

1. Every destination is on Facebook, but only 14% are on TikTok

The survey found that 100% of respondents have Facebook accounts, with Instagram the next most popular social network at 81% (having increased from 76% in 2020).

Perhaps surprisingly, more destinations are using LinkedIn than Pinterest.

Only 14% of respondents have started accounts on the ‘new kid on the block’ social network TikTok. See more thoughts on TikTok in #5 below.

2. Regions > Resorts

We Like Travel has created an algorithm to measure the best performing destinations on social media. Their calculations take into account millions of data points across all the different social channels used.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that destinations such as Savoie Mont Blanc and Auvergne come out on top in this metric. Both have specialist social media teams and large marketing budgets, but their content strategies still have to work…and apparently they do.

The two leading ski resorts are Val Thorens and La Plagne. However, La Clusaz has moved up seven places since last year, while Valloire Galibier has gained four places.

“We are happy and proud to feature at the top of the best destinations on the social networks. New tools will soon be deployed to better understand our communities, segment them and invite them to join us”

Michaël Ruysschaert Directeur Général de l’Agence Savoie Mont Blanc

3. Which ski resort has the most Instagram Followers

Excluding the regional destinations, We Like Travel’s research shows that the following resorts have the most fans in Instagram (at 31 May 2021).

Val Thorens tops the list, less than a percentage point ahead of Chamonix, with Val d’Isère and Tignes also only separated by a few thousand fans in third and fourth place respectively.

4. Is Engagement easier with fewer fans?

Perhaps surprisingly, the research showed that engagement rates didn’t fall during the Covid period. More predictably, ‘smaller resorts’ (although the ones shown below all have at least 30,000 Facebook fans) recorded higher engagement rates.

Villard-Correncon in the Isère recorded a Facebook engagement rate of 7.29% – more than twice that of Val Thorens.

5. The Rise of TikTok

Although the numbers of accounts and subscribers are relatively small at present (Val Thorens has less than 8,000 TikTok subscribers, but over 150,000 on Instagram), there has been exponential growth.

Never has so much been written about a social network since the last time this happened. It’s not unusual to see dynamic trends, but what’s not yet clear is whether, or how, TikTok can benefit brands.

Certainly it’s easier for destinations to showcase their product than for tour operators.

To make TikTok work you need to celebrate the energy of the platform, and you need to put effort into creativity. If you can do that, then it could be worth investing the time.

6. A clear ‘Sustainability’ message is more important than ever

We Like Travel’s analysis showed that the use of the word ‘Ecologique’ in social media posts increased by 180% in the last year, with similar increases in ‘durable’ (+60%) and ‘responsible’ (+21%).

This matches consumer sentiment as identified in the recent Mountain Trade Network‘s recent research, which shows that sustainability is more important than ever to UK holidaymakers: