• Is Social Media Use During Travel The Norm?

    Checking into Foursquare, posting a status update on Facebook or sharing in 140 characters or less on Twitter is the norm today for an individual when traveling. Why is it the norm? In a Sun Sentinel article, Jennifer Polaro from Albany, NY states why this is true by saying, “I want to be connected with my hometown. I need to know what is going on. I have friends on cruises who are doing the same thing. You can’t break away.”

    The article continues on to give reason why many vacationers use social media by saying, “Many visitors find it hard to disconnect during vacation because they feel social (media) pressure to let their friends and followers know what they’re doing and where they’re doing it.”

    I agree with the above statement but their are many other reasons why. In addition to visitors feeling social (media) pressure, the use of social media during travel is a way to grow their travel brand and blog, being loyal to their audience and fulfilling an obligation.

    • Travel Brand, Blog – Sharing content while on vacation is a way to gain feedback from the audience so you know what to share on your travel website or blog resulting in exposure and growth.
    • Being loyal – Months before traveling, an individual shares they are traveling to a certain place. When this is conveyed, their audience expresses interest. Social Media is all about what your audience wants to see or hear about. We must remain loyal and deliver as this is a way to gain trust and influence.
    • Obligation – Often many times, a certain hotel, resort, etc will invite a traveler down in exchange for promotion in real time which means sharing pictures and other content as you experience it. To keep our character and credibility intact, we must abide and fulfill our end of the deal.

    Social Media use during travel goes beyond checking in to see what’s going on back home and feeling pressure from social media friends and followers. In fact, it’s a job to 1000’s in the travel industry and a way to live their passion resulting in social media use during travel. Not only is it a job to many but it’s advertising for the place we travel to, a chance to showcase creativity, be authentic and build relationship’s with travel brands.

    So, is social media use during travel the norm for you? If so, why?

8 Responsesso far.

  1. Cool post. I feel more compelled than ever to share photos on networks like Instagram or Flickr when I’m traveling. There’s something about being in a new place, even if its just an airport, that gets me seeing things in creative ways.

  2. Jason Houck says:

    Hi Randy. I appreciate you stopping by. I agree with you. It creates the perfect timeline as well as mobile marketing for the place visited. Happy Monday!

  3. Randy says:

    Good post… thanks for sharing. Personally I like to check in more (4square) when traveling because it provides an easy way to look back at the end of the year to remember where I’ve been.

  4. Jason – For active users of social media, I think this is the norm. However, if you just look at the Facebook user demographic, many people actually just enjoy their time away from home and post pictures and updates when they return home. For those of us that are travel industry pros (be it PR, writing, etc) it’s a necessity to post real-time updates while in transit. Out of sight, out of mind! Great post.

  5. I usually check in more often on foursquare or facebook when traveling because my phone is in my pocket and I think about it more. When I am home, my phone is usually on a counter somewhere charging and other social media outlets may get attention at this time (like catching up on reading blogs).

    Thanks for the insight Jason! Miriam

  6. Jason Houck says:

    Thank you Shannon for stopping by. You are exactly right. For travel industry pros, fresh and instant content is important to share. It puts our audience there virtually.

  7. Jason Houck says:

    Hi Miriam. Thank you for stopping by. You’re very welcome.

  8. Chris B says:

    I’m not sure that I consider it an obligation to my friends – as much as my ability to share an experience and provide a place a place to go back and look to my experience as I enjoyed it (in semi real-time).

    In particular, I use Foursquare during a vacation (usually with images if I can) to remember locations for return trips. This came in useful when I want to Oahu for a second time.

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