Travel Toolbox: Make the Most of Social Media

 
 

Brian Jewell
Published May 18, 2017

Chances are you’re already using social media in your personal life. So why not put it to work promoting your organization when you travel?

Group trips are ideal opportunities for social media promotion. They’re perfect for taking photos, shooting video, sharing travel highlights and engaging with others on the trip. If you learn to make strategic use of social media when you travel, you can add an element of fun and entertainment to the experience for the people traveling with you, as well as create some travel envy and pique interest in your program among those who aren’t joining you on the road.

Use these five tips to make the most of social media when your group travels. The time investment will be minimal, but the returns in connections and visibility can be fantastic.

#YouNeedAHashtag

No matter which social platform you use, hashtags always make group experiences more fun. You should create a fun and memorable hashtag for your travel group — something like #SoonersTravel — as well as for each individual trip — like #SoonersTakeManhattan. Encouraging your travelers to use these hashtags when they post about the trip will give them something fun to rally around and may help remind them to post more. It will also make it easy for you to find what everyone is saying online by searching for those tags on Facebook or Twitter afterward.

Go Live

Video is all the rage on social media right now. Facebook is said to prioritize videos above all other content being shared by its users, which means that the best way to make sure your posts are seen by your target audience is to include video in them. You can do this by recording short video clips on your smartphone to post to the network. But even more exciting is the opportunity to “go live,” broadcasting events from your travels as they happen in real time. The most popular tool for this is Facebook Live, although Twitter offers its own live video app, called Periscope.

Post and Repost

One of the great powers of social media platforms is that they allow you to extend the reach of a post by sharing, reposting, retweeting, etc. Make the most of this function by keeping an eye on your travelers’ social media feeds during a trip and reposting photos or other content from the trip that you would like other people to see. You should also have someone from your organization’s communications department reposting your content from the trip on the organization’s official social media accounts so that your entire membership can see the fun things you’re up to.

Play Tag

The best part of social media is that it is, well, social. Posting photos, videos or status updates is good, but tagging your friends, fellow travelers or other key people in those posts is even better. Invite your travelers to be your friends on social media, and then tag them in your photos and posts as you make your way through a trip. When you do that, your posts are seen not only by your own personal network but also by the networks of all the people you tagged, giving your content a much wider audience.

Buy Data

One downside of using social media on the go is that all those photos and videos can eat up a lot of data. As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi, that’s no big deal, but you can’t count on wireless being available throughout a trip. It might be smart to consider checking your data limits with your mobile provider before going on a trip and bumping up to a higher-level data plan, if necessary, to avoid big overages. And if you’re traveling abroad, buy an international data package for the month; doing so will allow you to use your phone wherever you travel without paying enormous data roaming fees.