I am not a professional travel blogger. But I used to be a blogger and to write on several serious blogs about social media and web marketing, so I think I have what it takes to talk about it. And I want to tell travel bloggers
Your strategy on Twitter is completely wrong!
I am a travel enthusiast and I like reading and writing about travels and people stories. Recently, when I finally began to use Twitter consistently again, I followed a good number of travel bloggers who had impressed me with their stories and their blogs.
The result is that my Twitter home page is invaded by some content of poor quality and not interesting at all.
How could it be that a good travel blogger is so bad when he or she comes to use social media to promote their contents? It requires a very deep analysis, and I still don’t have it. But as I worked a lot in the past with social media and content promotion, I want to give you some advice to improve your social media strategy (provided that it isn’t a definitive guide).
Who are these tips for?
These tips are mainly for travel bloggers to improve their strategy on Twitter — and other social media — and promote their content in a right way. But it’s also helpful for readers interested in travel, to choose who to follow on Twitter and not be invaded by spam content.
Yes, spam content. I consider spam content all the content published without a serious social media strategy — or a valid purpose. If you share your content just to create another link on social media, you’re on the wrong way. There’s no reason I should click on your link.
The anatomy of a Twitter post
In less than 140 characters you have to persuade me to click on your link or to do something else in response to your call to action — which is retweet or leave a comment.
In those 140 characters there’s place for:
- Your message, which can eventually be the headline of your article, some news, your call to action, or better a thought you want to share with your audience. It has to be effective. And it is seriously difficult to write an effective headline. Fortunately, there’s plenty of other things in your post.
- Link to some content. It is good to share a link if you think it may be profitable for your audience to click on it (not just for you). One basic idea: most (repeat, most) of your link must point to content which is not yours!
- Hashtags which help people to navigate through similar content and find new ideas. It will be useful to find your post among plenty of posts. They’re extremely powerful — if used wisely. They must highlight the main ideas and the topic of your message.
- Mentions. You can (must) mention people not just to start a discussion beween you two. You can start discussions with your audience just asking people which are influencers in those fields. But mentions can be used to wide networks and to let people know who write such a good content you share. Not be selfish!
- Images. Okay, Twitter isn’t the best social medium for visual content, but has made lot of progress. You can (must) use visual content to enhance the performance of your posts.
One of the disadvantages of tweeting about travel
Most of the tweets in my homepage are like “Top 10 things to do in Los Angeles”, “Is Halong Bay a tourist trap you should skip?” or “Ten reason to visit Australia” (very good content, but badly promoted).
Well, then what if I’m not in Los Angeles, don’t even know where is Halong Bay — which is actually a wonderful place! — and am not planning to go to Australia? Why should I want to know what to do in those places?
You cannot fill my homepage with tweets linking to guides to every single place in the world. It doesn’t work.
There are too many different travelers out there and much more places to visit. In the best case you will find a very little percentage of readers interested in tips about visiting Los Angeles. This is too specific content and you are addressing it to a wide and general audience.
I don’t know how many clicks these users receive on their links. But if you have more than some ten thousands followers and you averagely get less than some ten interactions (retweet or favourite) on a post, there is something wrong.
A rule of content marketing
Specific content to targeted audience, general content to wide audience
This should be the rule. If you manage to build a very targeted audience (maybe travelers interested in a particular region of the world or in a specific activiy) then you’re legitimate to think they will appreciate such a specific content. If you don’t have such a targeted audience of readers, you should prefer to share content which is interesting at any latitude, in every season and to any traveler.
I understand it is not simple, I just entered this world to study it before I can contribute to it. You want to share your experience, and you have visited a limited number of places and you have limited experience. You don’t have a specific article for everyone.
That’s why — on social media — you have to use a different strategy.
Some ideas for a better strategy on social media
First, you have to understand the potential of the social medium you are using. Because each of them has its own features. Social media don’t work all in the same way. You can’t think to use the same strategy both on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Youtube…
You have to differentiate your content, in order to reach the right audience in the right way.
Twitter is best used to provide a general public the most valuable content or news about your experience. Try not to be so specific. Share evergreen content: guides about how to overcome the fear of traveling or how to find money to travel, link to photoessays or stories by great journalists, or just about your amazing personal experience. But make it profitable for everyone.
Facebook has a more personal approach. You can use a friend-like approach. You can share photos about your personal experience, you can use other visual content and it is easier to start discussions because there is more space for that. Try to engage your audience in activities. Make it easy and fun!
Instagram is the best place to share your photos. Users like to follow you in your trips around the world. They want to discover your daily life. Give them a sight on who you are.
Youtube is great to share the videos of your trips. But you can also use video to talk to people directly, talking about your stories or giving advice. I think that in many cases is much more effective than a blog post.
The key is storytelling
We finally get the key of blogging and social media strategies: storytelling. Which means: you don’t have to provide information to your audience, you ought to make it a story. You have to share experience with your reader, they must be inspired from you.
Don’t give information, make it a story
Don’t give them a list of things to do or to read. Give them personal opinion about things you saw and lived, tell them your amazing story!
A story can be a very specific content, but can be extracted from space and time, and may turn to something which can be read in any moment, for any purpose — just for fun or to discover something new about a place or a culture, even if I don’t plan to actually go there.
I hope this article can be helpful, and if you have something to say, I’m happy to improve it with your ideas.