We have all done it – “I’m just going online to check something quickly” and two hours later you have forgotten the reason that you went online in the first place! Social media is a great distraction, but it can also be a useful tool to inspire and assist you in planning your dream holiday. The time has come to think less guide book and more hash tag…because you know it’s all about that hash tag, #justsaying.
Social media’s Big 5 in numbers…
- Facebook (connect) – 1.35+ billion monthly active users | billions of pieces of content shared monthly | growth has ↓ but engagement has ↑
- You Tube (video) – 1 billion+ unique monthly user visits | 100 hours of video uploaded every minute | 6 billion hours of videos viewed monthly
- Instagram (image + video) – 300 million+ monthly active users | 70 million photos posted daily | significant ↑ in users (surpassing Twitter in 2013)
- Twitter (micro blogging) – 280+ million monthly active users | 500 million tweets sent per day | 80% of active users on mobile
- Pinterest (image book-marking) – 70 million+ active users | 80% of users are female | 750+ million boards created
Statistics sourced directly from company website (where available) or credible news reports.
Why social media for travel planning and inspiration?
Travel bloggers, passionate locals, Tourist Boards and travel editors are highly active across various social media platforms – enabling you to connect directly with a wide range of people and brands that are based in (or have visited) your destination of choice. Not only will you be able to source valuable advice and tips direct from where you are going, the information will be up to date as these platforms are typically used in real-time, providing you with ‘up-to-the-minute‘ information.
In addition, we are actively seeking and consuming more video and image content than ever, with the travel industry and all the relevant players responding by producing more engaging and inspiring videos and high quality images than we know what to do with!
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time online – and stop you from getting stuck down the social media rabbit hole!
Facebook – best for sourcing non-bias recommendations from friends and family
- Post questions to your Facebook network and receive honest reviews, feedback and suggestions
- Search popular hash tags to see what other people are saying, posting and commenting about the destination
- ‘Like’ a person, brand or company that is relevant to the destination you are visiting and see updates in your daily news feed
You Tube – best for understanding a destination better by watching relevant videos
- Search by where you are going, what you want to do, where you want to stay etc and get a true feel for the destination, activity or hotel by watching a selection of videos
- Browse the comments posted on popular videos to gauge views from other people
Instagram – best for ‘up-to-the-minute’ inspiration
- Search destination images and videos by users and hashtags
- Follow a relevant/popular user that posts images and video in the destination you are visiting
- Where available, select the ‘geotag‘ icon to find the location of the image and view other pictures taken at the same location
- Select ‘Open in Maps‘ to see the exact location and if you are in the destination…start walking!
- For user spotlights, photo features and more, check out Instagram’s blog
Twitter – best for connecting with destination experts and passionate locals
- Search by popular hash tags to see what other people are saying and tweeting about the destination you plan to visit
- Follow a person, brand or company that is relevant to the destination you are visiting for updates in your daily feed
- Tweet questions to relevant Twitter accounts to get the most out of your holiday with up to date information and insights
- Look out for hosted destination Travel Chats, where experts contribute with their responses to the questions posted by the chat sponsor (example of a South Africa #TravelChat below)
- Start by creating a board, select the ‘Travel’ category and add a map
- Search for your destination and when you see interesting content, save it to your relevant board by selecting ‘Pin it‘
- Make the most of the search function by selecting from the three options available: e.g. Sydney – ‘All pins‘ (pins about Sydney), ‘Pinners‘ (boards with Sydney in the title) and ‘Boards‘ (people with Sydney in their name)
- To see relevant content in your daily feed, start following relevant boards and pinners
- Check your inbox for relevant suggestions from Pinterest, based on the theme of your board
Create your own ‘holiday hashtag’
Let other people search and find your content by creating your own ‘holiday hashtag’ for your next trip, such as #JoeMeetsChicago! If you are travelling in a large group, this is a great way to share your photos and videos – as well as providing an easy way to re-live your trip when you return back home (and drive everyone crazy at work)!
#quickguide to using Twitter – planning a trip to Nashville
Call me a #setjetter, but my love for Country music and the ABC show ‘Nashville’ has ignited a desire to visit Nashville, TN. Not knowing a thang about the Music City, I began to research what people are posting about Nashville on Twitter…..
Step 1: Search ‘Nashville’ related Twitter accounts and follow preferred accounts
- @ – “Music City news, events, concerts, travel info, special offers, happenings, developments and more from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp”
Step 2: Search tweets under top accounts and look for popular hash tags
Step 3: Search tweets listed under popular hash tags and look for informative Twitter accounts
- Restaurants – @EaterNashville | food news and dining guides
- Things to do – @nashvilleguru | best neighborhoods, happy hours, events, news, guides and music
- Local bloggers – @experiencenash | an average Local’s view on the sights & sounds of Nashville
Step 4: Connect with locals, tourism authorities and other related brands by tweeting your questions
Now for the fun part – start tweeting any questions you may have and see what comes back!