Okay, you’re not going to find out here. Instead, head over to the guest post I wrote on Scene by Laurie, exploring how travel bloggers can fall victim to niche audiences that generate plenty of social media chatter but never really click through. If you are over-reliant on Twitter or Facebook for traffic, this is the downside to which you’re exposed. And yes, I do anchor it with a real world travel example.
As the date of a press trip approaches, itineraries are flying around, details are being finalized and media kits are assembled and distributed. Amid all of this, I’ve noticed over two and a half years of travel writing, there is no social media “kit” provided at the beginning of a trip … and it wouldn’t be hard to do. Look at the top of any itinerary: you see property and agency contact information. How hard would it be to include a Twitter account, too?
Hey, travel PR folks: in addition to thinking about the coverage you hope to secure in a magazine or on a blog after the trip has run its course, think about the incremental gains you could realize during the trip itself – especially for a group trip.
When you’re planning your next press trip, consider the following social media essentials:
I’m sure most of the other travel bloggers out there would cite some sort of hunger for adventure or yearning for excitement as essential to the trade. You need to be down for anything on a moment’s notice. That’s bullshit. You can actually be a fantastic travel blogger without those qualities (I would say, in many cases, those characteristics are actually impediments to kickass travel blogging). Instead, the key is to be able to see meaning in everything you do and turn it into a story.
When I walk through my apartment, I don’t see stuff – I see experiences. The painting hanging over my couch? That’s from the $1 auction stunt with artist Nelson Diaz. The Casey’s coffee mug? It kicks off memories of a consulting assignment I had outside Toronto back in 2002 and how we used to play “credit card roulette” to see who would pick up the tab at dinner (Casey’s is a restaurant where we used to have lunch). And each of these stories triggers a hundred more … which is probably why nobody visits my apartment.
There’s always an awkward moment when you’re out for dinner with other people and the check arrives. Do you split it? How? Are the circumstances such that someone should pick up the whole thing? Frankly, I find nothing more irritating than this post-dining kabuki, especially when there’s some would-be accountant who wants to carve the whole thing up in bizarre and annoying ways. You can avoid this problem with a simple game: credit card roulette.
Calling all social media-philes! If you’re in Manhattan tomorrow, stop by Two E, the bar at The Pierre (on the southeast corner of Central Park) to celebrate Social Media Day. Just stopping by will score you $18 carafes, with five flavors available to you. If you put your social media panache to work, you could get a little more.
Here’s the deal:
Somehow social media-ize the event: tweet it, blog it or slap something on your Facebook Wall
Print a copy of your newly developed social media content
Long lines, staccato questions and the ever-present threat o detention can make even the most honest of travelers start to sweat. With long, bureaucrat-controlled lines, the potential for frustration reaches incredible levels at customs stations around the world.
You’ll find none of this at the lone airport on St. Barthelemy.
Arriving off-season, of course, helped take the sting out of the customs gauntlet, such as it is, on St. Barths. But, I can’t imagine it being terribly daunting even during the busiest days of the year. The customs agent merely stamped and waved each visitor on.
As my fellow passengers left the terminal, the layer of border security left, too. Before I’d even stepped into the car, he was already leaning against a wall, cigarette in hand.
Disclosure: Eden Rock picked up the tab for this trip, and it would have been impossible to cover this destination otherwise, given the cost. Nonetheless, my opinions are my own – they’re certainly not for sale at any price.