Friday, August 10, 2012

Social Media, Travel, and You.

Travel. Fun, isn’t it? I don’t mind being in the air, but the packing, planning, going through security, sitting, waiting, holding your breath because the guy next to you doesn’t smell nice, lugging a big suitcase and a computer bag on wheels, catching your ride to your final destination, wait…STOP!

What happens to your social media efforts when you’re tied up with all the above? Well, you don’t want to be in a rush with things like the folks at The Onion were (article is here). Accidentally setting up DMs as tweets caused a lot of anger among their tweeps!

And, it appears that they had the attitude to just set up tweets and leave it.


If you must schedule things in advance make sure you are there to respond to people! Think about it from the tweeps end. They see a tweet and respond to it immediately. They EXPECT your response since it appears you are there. And…nothing.  Simply put: If you’re on a ten hour flight to somewhere and have NO internet access, why are pretending you’re available?

This will hurt your business!

For my recent travel I did plan things out my social media and schedule in advance. The first wave went out when I was at the airport. I had time to respond to tweeps before flight via Hootsuite on my phone. Then, I went silent for several hours. My next group of tweets went out about 30 minutes after landing.  Again, I was able to respond.

There are lots of great tools out there that are intended to make our social media efforts easier, however, the limitations need to be understood. These tools are not there to make us lazy and uncaring; they are there to offer some convenience.
If you’re going to schedule posts or tweets, be available to respond! Period.
Don’t schedule a non-stop 24 hour party of tweets or posts; space them out (5 minutes apart is good) and try to limit it. For how long and how many can vary depending on the subject matter, who the audience is, and what you’re out to achieve (and no, more is not always better)! 

I’ve heard people say this about a well know social media “expert”: “His tweets are all automated. He may get back to you but it will take a few hours.” And this is OKAY? 

No, it’s not!

Next time you’re on the road again, perhaps listening to Canned Heat (see below) do remember to take the time and prepare for your social media downtime. One of the Dale Carnegie principles asks us if the world is going to end if we don’t do something. 

No, it won’t. Oh, and when you're grounded, stop by and say hello!: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or the website.


Shannon Grissom said...

I struggle with this one for a couple reasons... 1) I'm only "live" twice a day. Just before work and just after work. But I'm consistent in my "live" appearances.
2)I also don't want to let folks know when I'm out of town. What are your thoughts on this?

Gerry Wendel said...

I personally do not announce travel publicly, ever. Nor do I post or tweet about my surroundings while traveling (except to friends only on Facebook). Early June I was on the road for a week and very few folks knew. It's not hard!