Social media is instant. It is fleeting. The old 15 minutes of fame has been shortened to only 15 seconds in today’s world of new media and social technology. Every once in a while, someone gets a foothold and manages to hold on for longer than that 15. If you branch outside of your community, you might possibly accomplish this.
We know all the big names in the travel industry – The ones on tv, the ones with the travel memoir books, and the ones with the regular travel columns in the big city newspapers. But have you ever heard of Jason Falls or Gary Veynerchuk? I was speaking at another country’s tourism summit (who were wanting to know more about social media). I polled the audience, asking who had heard of Chris Brogan. Only one person had raised their hand.
Chris Brogan is a social media rock star and recently created a travel site (Man on the Go) and in it’s second month had more than 80,000 visitors. You should probably read his entire personal blog, ChrisBrogan.com and learn a few tips from him, or at least follow him on Twitter.
Here some other names to Google: Guy Kawasaki, Beth Harte, Mack Collier, Robert Scoble, and Darren Rouse. Look them up and browse through their blogs.
Travel brands are moving away from the travel industry. Sure, it may look to most of you that the travel industry is getting more social media friendly, and boy are they. Have you heard of Audrey McClellend or Colleen Padilla? They really nice ladies, and very savvy. They’re also part of Carnival Cruise Lines new lineup of “mommy blogger” ambassadors. Carnival isn’t the only company seemingly moving away from the travel industry – Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas hosted a trip last winter called JetAdventure, where mom and dad bloggers from all over the US were flown in with their families to experience the resort. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and doesn’t even touch on the other sites adding travel to their mix (ahem, HuffPo).
These companies either have brilliant marketing firms or someone is pulling the wool over their eyes. No matter how this all turns out, I also think this is a very scary time for those of us on the editorial side of the travel industry. It’s been hard enough just trying to get out of print mode and into online thinking!
Got any suggestions on how we can cope? I’ve met almost every single one of the people mentioned in this post, and they are very smart people when it comes to marketing and promotion. Some of these bloggers even have their own publicist.
It’s time for many of us (me included) to step up our games if we want to do more than just tread water in the travel industry. Do you have media kit ready for download? Do you know what your ad rates are? What would you do if a brand came to you and asked you to be their ambassador? And here’s the big question – Why do you blog about travel?