Social Media Abounds

 “Social media has increased the ability to communicate exponentially, in new and more immediate ways.” – George Rimalower

 

For this week’s blog, I returned to one of the most successful bloggers online today, Tim Leffel of cheapestdestinationsblog.com. While he is a huge supporter of online, digital publication and believes “We are clearly in a transition phase right now with media and there are two sides to the story.” He is also mourning the loss of the way things have traditionally been done for many years. He continues, “On one hand the destruction side, where the print and network broadcast world we’ve known for more than half a century is crumbling down around us…Some see a threat in this transition, others see a huge opportunity” (Leffel 87).

TIM’S SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

So, I began to wonder about his social media presence. What I found was a recent story on his travel blog talking about how he disliked mixing his travel career with his Facebook page, but alas, he has succumbed and started a fans page called Cheapest Destinations. The layout is pretty good, but I did notice there are no comments posted yet, so we can see he’s just getting started, but the important thing is, he’s getting started. He also has a YouTube page that is currently empty, but it’s up and running so he’s obviously looking into that as well. Now his Twitter site is looking better. He has over 6,000 tweets and over 5,600 followers, so this page is doing better than the others. But, that’s okay. James Howe tells us, “…it’s probably best to wade into the pool rather than to jump in the deep end. Pick one platform and learn to use it well, instead of using too many and using none of them well” (1). So, clearly Tim started with Twitter and he’s now branching out.

Cheapest Destinations

MATT”S SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

I also looked up Nomadic Matt, another great travel blogger to see how his social media world was coming along. His Twitter site is one of the best I’ve seen. It was very attention getting and he seems to have mastered getting to the point in as few words as possible. Nearly every tweet has been re-tweeted at least once. He has 44.4 thousand tweets and 74 thousand followers. I then checked out his Facebook page and found it has received 66,687 likes. Clearly he’s on his way to being known in the social media world. Of course, here there are longer posts and photos to accompany them. His fans comment regularly and they have a good rapport with him, talking as friends do about his trips and postings. His YouTube site is fantastic as well. This writer has obviously embraced social media and has every site up and running. It’s clear he’s put a lot of time into this and it’s paying off. Helene Solomon tells us, “It takes preparation, patience and persistence” (1). I can see all of that has come through and Nomadic Matt is off and running.

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

THE INTERVIEW

I decided to meet with a travel professional, Diana/Travel Consultant, and see how important she feels social media is to the travel industry. This is what we found:

Stacie: In your experience, do you speak with many clients who are regularly using the internet?

Diana: Absolutely. Almost everyone is at least researching online before they call. Once in a while, we’ll get the older generation that’s not comfortable with technology, but overall our clients use it. It feels like they often double check with us, saying things like, “Well, I’m on (name website) and they have a price that’s less. Why can’t you get this price?”

Stacie: So, obviously people are online. What about social media? You have a home-based travel agency. Do you have a Facebook page or any other social media connection?

Diana: I don’t have those set up right now, but I’m working on it. I use Facebook on a personal level, but I don’t know a whole lot about it. My son and daughter are going to be helping me get my online presence up to date and trendy.

Stacie: So, you feel that it is important to have these sites?

Diana: Definitely! We are living in a time where people can access the internet from the palm of their hands. It’s imperative that your name and company name appear as often as possible while they are doing searches.

Stacie: What kind of an increase do you expect to see once your sites are up and running?

Diana: It’s hard to say at this point. But, I think the important thing is to have the sites up and running. There was a time, a decade or so back, when having a website was what it was all about. If you had that and email it was a sign that you were in business. Unfortunately, that’s just not enough anymore. To really be up to date, we’ve got to reach the people who are so tech savvy that they could book their own travel online without our help. If my Facebook postings can change that and have them calling me instead, business will improve. I also think it will add credibility to my business, showing that it is real and I can be trusted.

WHAT DID I LEARN

From this interview, I learned that even travel professionals are aware of the need to increase their internet presence and it has helped me to think in terms of my own writings. Not only for the travel blog, but for my other writing as well. I wonder how effective it would be to add social media to those outlets. I know now, for my personal blog www.thethinkingwell.wordpress.com, I currently link this on my Facebook account and thereby get more viewers. If I were to link it to Twitter and YouTube as well, I think it would increase even more. As Barbara Fagan-Smith stated, “…the digital revolution has truly turbo-charged everything” (1). So, if we want to keep up, we better turbo-charge ourselves as well.

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6 thoughts on “Social Media Abounds”

  1. It was great to see examples of someone who is still making their way in the digital media world and another that is well established. I would have loved some links to their sites to make looking for them easier. Social media is a great way for bloggers or others trying to get themselves heard to be able to reach out to wider audiences. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube can all be interconnected, but they also have their own independent audiences to pull from.

    Wix is an organization that helps build blogs and websites (I have used them a few times). Although it is important to remember that this is a self-promotion article, Wix does include good medias to share content on as well as provide viewer facts and reasons for choosing certain media over others. http://www.wix.com/blog/2014/03/social-networks-to-promote-your-business/

    I enjoyed to formatting and layout of your post. The pictures to separate information was a nice contrast to black on white text. Great post!

    **Side note: I visited your personal blog and the post on Ice Cream Sundaes was very intriguing!

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  2. I hear a lot of people who are skeptical and resistant to starting Facebook fan pages. More often than not people express their reluctance but feel as if they do not have a choice but to start one with the growing media and their eye on the future. However, I do not often hear people complaining that they regret their decision to have started the fan pages. You can be as much or as little involved as you want which will reflect in your number of fans but also is not a huge commitment if you don’t choose it to be so. I think it is an important necessity for anyone who wants to keep their eye on the future.

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  3. Stacie,

    Great information and great use of pictures! I really enjoyed how they were incorporated into this post, almost like page breaks, while they still contributed to the overall feeling and knowledge presented.

    As I was reading the first part of this post, it seemed as though you were almost interviewing the blogs of Tim Leffel and Nomadic Matt. The way you discussed their social media presence and “how it’s going” was comfortably casual yet extremely informative. Wonderful tone and voice. You transition nicely to and from the actual interview as well, getting some great information from your interviewee. It’s nice to see that there are still many who are just beginning to create their social media presence. It makes me feel like I’m not so terribly far behind! I like the way she described the importance of being involved in social media though. And, as always, you connect so well with your reader when you take the information you’ve presented and show us how you’re applying it in your own endeavors.

    This is a fantastic post! Well done.

    Katy

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  4. Hi Stacie,

    Thanks all the wonderful details you’ve included in your post. I’d like to zero in on what your interviewee, Diana, pointed out—that of reaching potential clients who prefer to make travel arrangements online. I am one of those. When my family and I travel, I refer to tripadvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, etc. I prefer to book my tickets and hotel/car on my own, as well as plan our itinerary.

    One way travel sites help me in planning (and even while at our destination) is to share pros and cons of choosing one activity over another, or presenting me with some “must do” suggestions when time is limited. Unique experiences—beyond the more “tourist-y” options—is always a draw for my family!

    Best of luck!
    Tessa

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