Let’s face it. Social media is everywhere. Whether you are one of those few left that are still resisting the new ways of the world or if you are someone that is on top of their social game, just because you are away from the office doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on social marketing opportunities. Listed below are some top ways to enhance your social experience when you are traveling for business if you don’t see a platform that you use and love tell us about it in the comments below!
Before you go….
Just like you would check that you packed everything in your suitcase make sure that you cover all your bases on your social networks so you can get the most out of your business travel experience. Tap into your Twitter, Linked-In Facebook and Plaxo networks and explore who will be in town, what is happening in the area and find details and deals on where you are staying. Remember that you control what other people see so if you don’t want the whole world to know your whereabouts, we recommend you send a private message. If you do not have all of the recommended social networks covered below it’s recommended that you download them, familiarize yourself with them and do a sweep/search of your email account to start building your network. Remember that social media for business is about engagement with your target market and your network. So start the conversation, listen to your network and react accordingly via your social platforms in real-time.
There are hundreds of social platforms. It is important that you find the platforms that you prefer before your trip, download them, familiarize yourself, make sure that all of your profiles are updated and start to build your network. Here are some platforms that you should tap into before you leave out of town on your business trip:
Facebook, Twitter,Linked-In, Plaxo: Keeping on top of your travels and meetings via posts is a great way to keep the online conversation going. Not only is it recommended to post your travels and happenings but also tap into your network on their knowledge of the area and their recommendations. Posting pictures and short videos is also great way to enhance the documentation of your trip.
Four Square, Gowalla, Scvngr, Facebook Places:Whether you are looking to find something to do, looking to meet up with friends or just want to share your travels with those back home these location based, social sites are fun and interactive ways to share your travels, learn of new specials or get deals on dining and entertainment directly from the GPS on your phone. The reward in using these platforms is two-fold: you have the reward of discovering something new and you have the opportunity to connect with more people—thus growing your network.
Trip-It:With Trip-It you can organize trip details into one master online itinerary. You can include directions, maps and weather, book restaurants, entertainment tickets and activities as well as check-in for flights and share your travel plans with others. Organization is crucial when traveling and the Trip-It application is seamless in its programming and easily linked to your social sites like Linked-In.Once you trip is in full swing Trip-It is an invaluable resource. You can find confirmation numbers, store all of your frequent flyer miles, itineraries and travel information. If you upgrade to the Trip-It Pro you can also be alerted of delayed flights and important information leading up to your flights and travel.
Meet-Up:Check out the local Meet-Ups and conventions that are happening in the area that you may coincide with your travel plans. If there are no events happening try reaching out to someone in your industry for a cup of coffee or visit. A handshake and putting a face to the name can go a long way in the professional world.
Flckr, PhotoBucket, Fotki, Smug Mug:Utilizing photographs during your travels is all about creating a visual accompaniment to whatever you are sharing and it also increases your visibility and reach. Search for groups that are applicable to your professional interests, commented on other photo’s which relate to your business, tag your photos and make sure to write good titles for your photos to ensure traffic to your uploads.
You Tube:Short clips and video are always a great way to optimize your online presence, showcase your meeting or event or just say a word or two about your trip. Think of it as a video diary or a compliment to your posts. When video is tagged and linked appropriately it can generate more traffic than written content alone.
Foodspotting, UrbanSpoon, and Yelp: Your industry may not be in food reviews but the entire purpose behind social marketing is that it is “social”. If you are new in town or unfamiliar with the area, relying on others that know the area may point you in the direction of where to go for dinner or where to have a cup of coffee with your clients. Maybe you had a great experience at the restaurant where you had your last business meeting and you want to let the world know. Maybe it was at the coolest new place in town and you held an event showcasing your new product—whatever the case letting your voice be heard will spark the conversation, potentially brand you as the expert or person to listen to or even grow your network. A big part of business travel consists of business lunches and dinners and unfortunately you can’t always depend on the concierge at your hotel to point you in the right direction. With mobile apps such as Foodspotting, UrbanSpoon, and Yelp, you can find a restaurant through fellow reviewers all the meanwhile you explore your new destination.
Home Sweet Home
The most important part of any business trip is the follow up after you have returned home. If done correctly your posts and interactions should serve as a timeline to your entire trip. Once you return post that you are home, write a blog about the entire trip if you want to summarize the adventure and most importantly remember to reach out to the new people you met along the way. Unless you actually take the time to return e-mails, connect with the people that you interacted with on-line and off-line and continue to maintain these relationships interactively you’re losing part of the extension of the relationship, a crucial key to extending and maintaining business relationships in social media. No matter where you go or where you return to-by implementing social media into your business travels you will grow your network, reach and business. Safe Travels!
What social platforms do you use when traveling for business?