4 Things Travel Can Teach Us About Social Media

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Summer travel – you can’t beat it. Crowded airports, screaming children, walking through gate after gate looking for the iconic green sign that tells you caffeine is near. As I sat through a long layover in a tiny airport in Florida, I consoled myself by browsing through the trip images I had captured on my phone and smiled.

Cancun turned out to be a hub of activity and fun. Lo and behold, social media played a big part in organizing much of my activity without actively setting out to manage it. As I waited for my flight and thought about it longer, I realized my travel provided pointers about social media.

Here’s four of my favorite, travel inspired tips about social media.

1. Know What Your Client’s Care About

In Cancun, I stayed at a boutique resort where the staff was eerily aware of when to engage and when to blend into the scene. They seem to know when I wanted to be left alone to ponder my thoughts while sipping a margarita and when I was interested in hearing about a trip recommendation. If I asked about a restaurant, the concierge told me all about the restaurant and offered to make the reservation for me. Then, she gave me a card to present to the restaurant and as a result the staff treated me well and provided extra perks.

Before you create your next awesome piece of content, make sure you know the type of information that your clients care about and find useful. For instance, an owner at an independent pet supplies store noticed that its customers often engaged with stories about rescue pets. The owner added to her plan weekly stories about rescues and pets still waiting for their forever homes.

2. Make it Easy to Share

For me a vacation is rarely complete without a massage. Having never been to Cancun before, I quickly scoured my social media favorites to find a day spa that turned out to be a gem. I certainly appreciate reviews before I visit a place for the first time, but why is it sometimes so hard to share information about a specific place?

Make the content on your website or in social media easy to share. Add a button that allows people to easily post without having to worry about links and images. Make it easy for them to add their perspective on your content.

3. Customize Your Images

One of my favorite dinners occurred on the last night of the trip at a seafood fusion restaurant. I had read a recommendation of the restaurant in a travel magazine. I don’t remember the magazine, but the images featured both in the article and the restaurant’s website sold me. They were beautiful and memorable. As the taxi pulled up to the eatery, I recognized the location immediately.

If there’s no money in your budget for professional photography or one-of-a-kind images be your own photographer. Images of your actual products and business connect better than run-of-the-mill stock images. However, if you must use stock images, customize them with your brand colors or with text that conveys your ideas. There are creative ways to make images your own.

4. Be a Surprise

A highlight of the Cancun trip was an all-day trek to see Mayan ruins and a stop for swimming at one of the numerous “cenotes” in the area. The trip was not a surprise since it’s a common type of trip for the area and I knew the itinerary. The trip experience and how we were treated on the trip left me smiling.

Our guide and driver delivered a fun and unique experience. He gave us great tips at each of our stops and timed our stops to be either ahead of or behind the crowds. At one meeting place, I had just started enjoying a much needed drink on a humid, hot day when our driver arrived announcing the van was ready. The server was getting ready to pour my drink into a to-go cup, but our driver convinced the server to let me keep the glass. They did.

People like to see regular rotations of stories and information. For example, a cupcake artist, who is a friend, regularly posts info about interesting cupcake flavors and pictures of her latest creations. Every once in a while, she shares events considered off the beaten path. The event posts seem to generate more engagement. Posting something unusual or out of the ordinary is unexpected and noticed. Work to develop your brand, but keep your audience waiting to see what happens next.

Has travel inspired any tips for you? Share your favorites; they don’t have to be about social media.

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