Technology Never Sleeps and Travels Fast
24th Jan 2012
Keeping up with the technology curve can feel like a never-ending battle. It often seems like there is no way to ever get caught up. There is always something new, always something going on and always somewhere to be. The Internet is constantly growing, and most recently social media has caught everyone’s attention.
The good news is that all these new social networks and apps can seriously enhance your travels. The bad news is that with so many options out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The following are some tips on how to manage your time and social media endeavors to make the most of your travels without getting distracted by all the activity in the social sphere.
1. Avoid filter failure
It is really easy to get bogged down by trying to follow too many things, which is why filters can be your best friend. Rather than following everything on Twitter, use an outside agent like HootSuite or TweetDeck to pare it down to the essentials. There’s simply too much information out there to take it all in. Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, filters help you get the information you need and share your news with the right people.
One of the best filters to help plan your next travel experience are the hashtags on any Twitter application. As shown above there are quite a few hash tags to get your started:
- #FlipCamFriday - This is a fun event where anyone has the chance to win a free Flip camera as they participate.
- #TravelTrivia - As the name implies, this is a great source to find and contribute to daily trivia regarding travel.
- #TMOM – This is a hashtag for the very active Travel Mom Blogger Network.
- #SATW and #TBEX are specific to the Society of American Travel Writers and the Travel Blog Exchange.
- #TravelTuesday (also sometimes used as #TT) – Similar to #FollowFriday but specifically for the travel world, every Tuesday is “Travel Tuesday,” and anyone who shares travel-related information uses the hashtag on this day.
2. Plan ahead
If you are worried about keeping up your blog schedule, many blog platforms and social networking sites will let you create posts ahead of time. If your business relies on this kind of social media presence, it can be crucial for you to plan for your time away. This way, if you have to spend time looking for hotels in Las Vegas, you won’t fall behind schedule. If you have a plan, you can create some blog posts and pre-schedule them to go out on specific dates. The same applies to other social networking platforms. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the social tools that are available.
Have you ever wished there was just one magic button that you could push to simultaneously update every one of your social networks? When you’re travelling, a lot of people will want to see a lot of updates, and you could end up spending more time blogging and updating than actually enjoying your journey while you try to keep them all happy.
Chances are you will be publishing the same thing to multiple social media sites, so rather than logging into each one separately, update them all at once with sites like OnlyWire, HelloTxt or Ping.fm. If you do this, make sure you keep your work and personal updates separate – there have been quite a few examples of people who have lost their jobs over social media and an erroneous or discourteous tweet.
4. Restrain yourself
Don’t let yourself get carried away with social media while you are travelling. It’s just too easy to get sidetracked. Have a little self-discipline and, if you can, leave it behind. If you are travelling for enjoyment, realize that the social networks will still be there when you get back. If you are travelling for business, make sure you manage your time wisely. If you have to, set a timer and allow yourself small increments of time to take care of all your networking.
5. Know your purpose
You need a clear goal when using social media. If you do not know what you are trying to accomplish, then you are simply wasting time. Think of what you’re trying to gain, and then work toward that end. Discard the things that get in your way.
Even if you travel a lot, you can still effectively manage your time online. There’s a lot going on, but with the right tools, discipline and practice, these social media applications and networks can help enhance your travels rather than bog you down with countless updates and unwanted tweets.
Hotels.com is a leading provider of hotel accommodation worldwide, offering reservation services through its own network of localized websites and telephone call centers.