Future Implications

Do you remember when the internet first became the easiest way to do that middle school research project? Or when talking to your friends moved from being on the phone to aim and adding people’s screen names to your friend list?  Or maybe that one time when not having a MySpace was the place to be when it came to reading other people’s profiles?  Was it me, or did all that happen with a blink of an eye? One minute we are all juggling X number of chat windows on aim, the next we are upgrading from MySpace to Facebook, and then we are sending out a tweet to remind everyone to check out our new blog post.

It is no secret, social media has made an impact on the way we socialize.  Why call someone when you can send them a Facebook message? Better yet, do you have some good news to share? Update your Facebook status.  Are you wearing an outfit that you consider to be one of your finest? Share it with the world on Instagram.  The best part of all this is that thanks to the techs at Apple, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and Motorola, all this can be done now be done with your cell phone you most likely have glued to your hand.  Basically, the cell phone may as well be called the social media storage unit because most smart phones are social media app capable.  The point with this is that social media is here to stay and businesses as well as consumers have to adapt to it.  Going one step further, both businesses and consumers will have to adapt to this constantly changing force.

            While social media has already changed communication it will continue to do so.  One of the things that companies will have to put more emphasis on is content.  If you are an avid tv viewer, perhaps you noticed that some companies are no longer producing as many television aired commercials opting instead for the promoting capabilities offered by social media.  This makes sense from a business stand point.  Social media requires sharing is caringconstant work, a small staff to manage and thanks to the power of Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning and Instagraming it is free marketing (Solis, 2011).  However, in order for the magic the social media world offers to happen companies need to create good content that people want to share and have seen by others.  If what is being posted is not memorable, interesting, thought provoking, inspiring, allows viewers to emotionally connect with it, or even conversation mention worthy then there is really no point to creating it.  Poor content can actually have the opposite effect of what good content can do for a brand (Kim, 2014).

            Another change that could bring a change to social media is the dominance of the mobile app.  Let’s face it.  As humans we have a few essentials on us at all times: wallet, keys and cell phone.  Wallets carry money and other important information.  Keys start the car and lets us into our homes and cell phones give us the opportunity to run our mini-worlds at arm’s length.  Yep, the world.  It is then no wonder that stores are taking the initiative to take time to develop a mobile map that turns their websites into an app.  For the future, these apps will be studied and analyzed for data that can be used by marketers and companiMacy's stares not only to determine ROI but also to determine how these apps should be developed, what content they should have and how best to format the app for easy consumer use [1].  Taking this mobile technology one step further and it is very possible that these mobile apps will be a presence across these mobile devices.  This data will come in handy for marketers that are focused on engaging with consumers and willing to use the mobile app as an alternate option to the website and the outlet for coupons and sales information as well [1].   Want an example?  Check out the Macy’s app.

While these are just a few changes among the several that have the potential to happen in the future it will be necessary for marketers to adapt their social media strategies for the companies they work for.  Otherwise, the trends will pass them by and so will consumers and their smartphones.

So here it is – a maybe sort of glimpse into the social media future.  What is next is the big question? Honestly, it is a mystery but hopefully social media keeps on being social.  But for those of you who are curious and cannot wait to see what the future holds, here is a brain storm exercise.  Think about something you would love to see in a social media app.  Then pay Google a visit and see if there is already an app like that out there.  If there is then give that app a try.  If there is not, well, maybe you can create the next big trending social media platform.

 

 

Viral Marketing Initiatives

At one point or another we have all seen them.  The video that everyone is talking about gets posted on Facebook, someone sends out a tweet about it and soon a group of people are gathered around a cell phone watching it.  Even though a video can be the most popular form of viral marketing it is not the only one.  Due to the creative possibilities that can be achieved through the use of video it has become extremely popular.   For instance, how many times have you watched a video that was trending and everyone was talking about it?  Probably many more times than with a photo.

Content that has gone viral does not simply happen.  There is a reason for it being so popular with viewers.  The content needs to have a variety of qualities that not only brings viewers to notice it but also to remember it.  These qualities can be emotional, surprising, engaging, interesting and even fun to look at.  They should be if anything, attention grabbing (Chappaz, 2013).  Some of the characteristics that help to make a marketing initiative go viral are:

1. Goal for creating this type of marketing campaign is clear (Posocco, 2014)

Before creating and posting any content online it is extremely important for the company to have their goals for this initiative mapped out.  This is also because any content that is posted represents the company and is associated with the company.  Therefore, the content created needs direction.  The questions of why the content is being created for this campaign, what value the campaign will add to the brand and if it will create new and build upon existing relationships should be asked and answered.

2.  Interesting content (Reiss, 2010)

In order for a video to even begin to get enough views so that it can go viral it has to have content strong enough to create a following.  A good way to do this could be by creating a storyline that is played out through a series of posts made by the company.  This way people can get involved with the story line and gain enough interest to follow it through.  In this case, the main focus is on the story with the actual product being only a minimal presence.  Besides the story line marketers can also use techniques that grab the viewers attention during the beginning of the video.  An example of this is seen in Turkish Airlines’ Kobe vs. Messi: Legends on Board.  This video was the 2012 most viewed online viral video.

3. Create a strong persona that reflects the brand (Reiss, 2010)

 A major element that comes with having good content is also creating a strong persona that can be a thing or a person.  One of the best examples for this is seen with the Old Spice Man from the Old Spice commercials.  The Old Spice Man became a symbol of manliness that was able to catch the eye of women.  In order to get its message across to women the Old Spice Man said jokes that would appeal to men’s sense of humor.  In other words, while aesthetically the commercials appealed to women the dialogue capture the attention of women.

Strong manly characters are not the only characters that can be used by marketers to represent a brand.  Anyone remember the Geico Gecko? Flo?

4.  Make it relatable (Reiss, 2010)  

During the 2014 Super Bowl Chevy began their “Purple Your Profile” campaign that honored cancer survivors.  The commercial was 60 seconds long and it was intended to raise awareness about celebrating cancer survivors.  By having the American Cancer Society team up with Chevy they were able to encourage Facebook users to “purple” their profiles.  Every person that did so Chevy would pledge $1 to the American Cancer Society.  This movement gained so much popularity that other popular brands also raising money for cancer charities (Ranney, 2014).  As an illness that affects different family members cancer survivors and family members have the ability to connect and be together.

5.  The content is shared in the right places (Posocco, 2014) 

When it comes time to finally publish, post and begin commenting about the created content for your marketing campaign it is extremely important to have the content posted in the right places.  Making sure that your content is positioned on the right social media platforms where current consumers are and where the content could have the potential to be seen is extremely important.  Since viral marketing does its own marketing, the more people that see the content the more people that can share it (Posocco, 2014).

Recommended sites to visit:

Sites with other successful viral marketing campaigns:

http://socialmediastrategiessummit.com/blog/top-10-companies-with-successful-social-media-marketing-campaigns-on-facebook/

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32763/The-10-Greatest-Marketing-Campaigns-of-All-Time.aspx

Works Cited:

2014 Chevy Super Bowl commercial: “Life” – #PurpleYourProfile: Chevrolet. (2014, February 2). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vhMpXMPvdU

Burwell, J. (n.d.). 15 of the best viral marketing campaigns. Retrieved from http://www.prospectmx.com/15-of-the-best-viral-marketing-campaigns/

DiSilvestro, A. (2013, October 10). Seven of the best small business viral marketing campaigns. Retrieved from http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/10/best-viral-marketing-campaigns.html

GEICO Gecko commercial 2014 journey on the Brooklyn Bridge. (2014, August 5). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOvhUJoMyJw

Old Spice: The man your man could smell like. (2010, February 4). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE

Posocco, B. (2014, March 14). Viral marketing: What makes a post go viral? Retrieved from http://socialfornonprofits.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/viral-marketing-what-makes-a-post-go-viral/

Ranney, M. (2014, October 31). 5 top social media campaigns of 2014. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/10/31/best-social-media-campaigns-2014/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=rss

Reiss, C. (2010, July 18). Now look here, now learn from this…Businesses can learn from the Old Spice Man viral marketing campaign. NBCnews.com. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/38282026/ns/business-small_business/t/now-look-here-now-learn/

T. (2012, December 6). Kobe vs Messi: Legends on Board – Turkish Airlines. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruav0KvQOOg

Photos:

Old Spice Man

Differentiation: Adidas vs. Nike

While previously we discussed the joy of tourism, it would be a good idea to look at the two top brands supplying the footwear for many of the tourists walking around with their cameras.

As with most products, sports gear has multiple companies trying to be the “It” brand for athletes.  This availability for variety means that these companies need to get creative in order to be able to grab, keep and maintain consumer’s attention.  Two companies that are battling for consumers on the social media battleground are Nike and Adidas.  These two companies specialize in sports gear and are no stranger to each other’s competition.  Even though these two companies are in the same industry they differ in how they use social media to get their products to consumers.

In order to understand these two companies and how they use social media to reach consumers it is important to understand each of them.  Nike’s mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”  To give further detail into their mission statement, Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman said “If you have a body, you are an athlete[1].”  Their mission statement enforces the company’s goal to be not just a company that sells sports gear but a company that helps to encourage the athlete in every person.  While the stereotype of what an athlete is may lead to someone that is physically fit like the professional athletes we see in the NBA and NFL Nike has done something with their marketing that is more in tune with their mission statement. Nike Just do it.

While they could continue to use the athletes that they sponsor, Nike has chosen to use people that do not fit into the athlete stereotype.  {Insert video} In doing so, they have opened their brand to people of different shapes and sizes.  Creating this connection with their consumers proves that they not only have a mission statement they live it [2].

In addition to featuring videos of ordinary people being athletes Nike also has participation on many social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  When it comes to these pages Nike is unique in that they have a main company page as well as individual pages for each of their sports industries.  For instance, Nike’s main Twitter page has 700k followers and counting as well as 360k Nike basketball followers, 400k Nike soccer followers and for Facebook, Nike has over 14 million likes [3].

On the other hand Adidas has their own approach to social media.  Adidas’ mission statement is “to be the leading sports brand in the world.”  Adidas, like Nike also breaks their mission statement down into two market segments adidasthat are Sport Performance and Sport Style.  Adidas is a brand that received a lot of mention during the 2012 Olympics.  Their logo was everywhere.  It was found on athletic uniforms and advertisements.  If you had watched the World Cup this summer and you looked closely enough, the soccer balls used during the soccer games were Adidas [4].

Adidas pays close attention to its brand’s social media.  The company has a daily routine: they post 1-3 posts on Facebook daily and 7-10 tweets per day on Twitter.  These posts have a breakdown also which is that 10% of the posts are about product offerings and the other 90% of the posts are about industry and interaction with consumers.  Derek Rose Visits Adidas HeadquartersWhile Nike also uses their impressive line of sponsors to help promote their brand, Adidas uses their sponsors to help the brand communicate with consumers. To satisfy curiosity, some of the better known athletes sponsored by Adidas are Derrick Rose, David Beckham and Reggie Bush [5].

Nike and Adidas both have their own trademark on the sports gear industry.  While one uses its influence to encourage the athlete in every person the other promotes athleticism while at the same time establishing a level of fashion promoted by its sponsors.  Both of these brands offer different personalities to their consumers and whichever one fits a consumer’s own personality best will be the one they ultimately purchase.  Better yet, they will become the shoes that the wearers makes memories with while on their adventures travelling.

 

Works Cited:

[1] Nike mission statement. (2014). Retrieved from http://help-en-us.nike.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/113/p/3897

[2] Cashman, J. (2013, October 9). How Nike is killing it in social media marketing. Retrieved from https://digitalfireflymarketing.com/how-nike-killing-it-social-media-marketing

[3] Clevenger, S. (2012, October 1). Nike in social media. Retrieved from http://spencerclevenger.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/nike-in-social-media/

[4] Our mission and values. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://careers.adidas-group.com/adidas/mission-and-values.aspx

[5] Lehnerer, J. (2012, April 16). Adidas changing social media. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/jeffreylehnerer/adidas-changing-social-media

Video:

Best Nike find your greatness commercial – the jogger. (2012, August 1). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JnYcuRW_qo

Pictures:

Nike Logo

Adidas Logo

Derrick Rose

Just tell it one story at a time…

Having a good day, cooking and eating a delicious meal, going on an adventure with friends or alone and even finding something cool in a thrift shop or a tag sale are hard things not to share with others.  It is even harder to do this when all of these things happen in a foreign country enjoying a vacation.  One way to tell others about the good things that happen, and sometimes the bad, is through blogging and tweeting.

Within the travel industry, there are many people that have blogs that cover a wide arrange of topics that travelers may have questions about.  For instance, there are blogs about how to manage work and travel, suggestions for what to do in different locations and even advice from seasoned travelers to new travelers [1].  The benefits of being able to use these travel blogs and twitter posts is that they are constantly being updated with commentary and flowing with information.  This information comes from people that have used the information that is on them, people adding information and people commenting on the information provided.  The exchange of ideas among travelers helps to give travelers the desire and willingness to want to be able to travel and/or experience things that they would not be able to at home [2].

Being able to have something to discuss while blogging is only half the battle.  The other half is being able to use, adopt and excel in good blogging and tweeting in order to be able to bring the material that has been created to the social media world.  While not everyone will see immediate success the key is to not quit AND choose a topic to blog and tweet about that makes a blogger and a tweeter want to tweet and blog.  Choosing a topic that does not inspire creativity makes the blogging and tweeting process difficult.

For blogging it is important to listen to what people are talking about on and off of social media.  This will help to keep tabs on what is being said about a topic of interest and will help to inspire other blogs about the same topic.  This could even help to develop a new perspective that is not already being discussed [3].  Next, before beginning to write the blog it is a good idea to develop a plan for the blog itself.  This includes choosing a topic, developing a plan about what is going to be discussed in the blogs, how the blog may and could develop and how often to post.  While some of these steps may not be as well defined as others it is good to have at least an idea of what to do and how to go about doing it [3].

When it comes to tweeting, as with blogging, it is a good idea to have a plan in terms of where to take the tweeting and what goals to accomplish.  While this plan may not be set in stone it can serve as a guide so that the tweets stay focused.  People using Twitter need to tweet regularly and in the moment during peak times of the day to ensure that the greatest number of people will see the tweets.  This can help a Twitter newcomer succeed on Twitter [2].

In order to be able to gain readers and followers it is important that Tweets, and blogs be honest.  If followers find out that they are being deceived then there is a good chance that those followers will no longer be followers.  This can lead to a Twitter page and a blog to lose popularity and maybe even fade away [2].  After all the effort that it takes to start the a blog and build a Twitter account this is something that needs to be avoided.

 

P.S. Imagine how many tweets and blog posts are being written about the tourist in the video.

 

 

 

(Picture above – me in Colonia, Urugay: I found a garden growing in a car and I just could not resist the  photo opp.)

Works Cited:

[1] T. (2014). Fathom 2014 best travel blogs and websites. Retrieved from http://fathomaway.com/slideshow/fathom-2014-best-travel-blogs-and-websites/1/

[2] Schaefer, M. W. (2013). Born to blog [Electronic]. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

[3] Schaefer, M. W. (2012). The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and Business 140 characters at a time. New York: McGraw-Hill.

[4]

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Did you see that? I think I’ll post it…

For those of us that have come to embrace social media and participate in the various social media platforms, hearing about the success stories that people and businesses have had through its utilization has become a common thing.  However, hearing about companies’ mistakes and the way social media has had negative effects on them is also something that has become common.  In other words, while social media can bring out the positive out of all the situations it can also bring out all of the negative from these situations.  On top of that, social media has made it incredibly easy for the negatives of the travel industry to travel like wildfire.

As was mentioned in a previous post, social media can take away the unfamiliarity from travelling and give travelers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with locations to which they are travelling. Better put, interacting with others on various social media platforms makes the unknown known [1].  While getting to know a place you have never been to before you actually arrive there is an extremely helpful benefit, consider the opposite effect.  In other words, consider the very good probability that social media can also tell users about the life in a country beyond tourism.  This would include the state of the economy, political issues that could put citizens and foreigners in danger within the country, any violence targeted at a specific group of people and so on.  For the most part, the ugly truth can be exposed and it could alter a traveler’s perception of a destination and alter their desires to want to travel to them.  If a country that is in question relies on tourism to help boost and keep their economy running, then this is problematic [2].

Another challenge and risk that the travel industry has acquired after bringing the industry to social media is that they are under constant surveillance by consumers.  Take for instance a story told by a musician named Dave Carroll.  While sitting on a United Airlines plane he was able to look out of his window Airline-complaints-2012pieand see the luggage being loaded onto the plane.  The problem was that he saw his $3,500 Taylor guitar in its case being tossed onto the loading belt as if its contents were not valuable.  To make the situation worse, when he picked up his guitar at the baggage claim and checked his guitar he found that it was broken.  When the airlines refused to discuss and solve the problem he took his complaints to social media.  After a YouTube video and 8 million views United Airlines finally paid attention [3].

Another example on a higher level can be seen with JetBlue airlines.  In February 2007 after a snow storm caused for flight delays, cancellations, chaos throughout their system and many unhappy customers, their CEO David Neeleman took the initiative to JetBlue airplane address the public.  While this was seen as a necessary action for the well-being of the company it is the way in which he did this that makes this memorable.  Neeleman spoke to the public through YouTube and addressed the concerns that consumers had been expressing as a result of the storm.  In order to reestablish faith and regain confidence in the company, Neeleman made it a point to say that the company will create plans of actions for the future that can be used should this happen again [3].

While social media has been able to bring many benefits to the travel industry, those benefits can also be used against the industry.  The various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can be used to voice complaints, mistakes and shortcomings of a company involved with travel – such as airlines and hotels.  In other words, social media can make all the shortcomings that were unnoticed noticeable.  Once these shortcomings are brought to light the real challenge for the industry is how it will be able to pick itself back up, do damage control and take control of the situation.  After all, once everything is said and done, is it really worth not bettering the company image considering the power social media has given consumers?

 

Works Cited:

[1] Dubois, L. (2011, June 6). How social media has changed business                           travel.Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/business-travel-2011/how-social-        media-has-changed-business-travel.html

[2] McNally, K. (2014, February 26). How social media is changing the travel               industry. Retrieved from http://www.brandwatch.com/2014/02/how-social-        media-is-changing-the-travel-industry/

[3] NIIT technologies. (n.d.). Social Media for Airline Industry (Rep.). Retrieved            http://www.niit-                                                                                                tech.com/sites/default/files/Social%20Media%20in%20Airline%20Industry(ISG)_0.pdf

 

Photos:

Summary of Complaints 2012

JetBlue airplane 

 

I forgot my “I <3 Chicago" t-shirt at home…

When I was a sophomore in college I took an Introduction to International Relations class and I was listening to one of my favorite professors tell us about his honeymoon.  His wife was from Egypt so they spent some time there before moving on to Europe.  He then went on to tell us how he stood out not because he was American, but because he looked like a tourist.  Side note – I should point out that this professor was my favorite professor because he broke/encouraged some stereotypes and did not hold back.  As he described to us, he was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, a hat, had sunscreen on his nose, wore sneakers and had his camera out to make sure he recorded the trip properly.  When someone in my class questioned him on whether or not he was afraid that someone would see him as an easy person to steal from, his response was: “I would think they would be impressed that I admired their country so much I wanted to take a part of it back home with me.”  Five years later, I would have to agree with him.

Innocent Tourist Mistake

When I studied abroad in Buenos Aires my biggest fear was not that I would be seen as a tourist but that I would to take a picture of something important in the city.  Pictures were important to me because they captured the memories of the place that I had grown to love.  They made my memories into something tangible that I could have for the rest of my life.  I also realized that my taking pictures while travelling the city with my friends made a perfect icebreaker for talking to Argentines.  They would ask us where we were from, what neighborhood we lived in and what we thought of the city.  This led to conversations about the city and their suggesting things for us to do that would make our trip more authentic.  This is how I learned about Bomba del Tiempo, La Feria de los Mataderos, and some of the bars and restaurants I came to love.

Fast forward five years and instead of Buenos Aires I spent 5 days in Chicago doing what I love best: being a tourist [1].  I would have made my professor proud with my cross shoulder bag filled with everything I needed or thought I needed, my brand new sunglasses, my digital camera that I nicknamed Camera-on (get it?) and my comfy sneakers.  My first attempt at taking a selfie

Much to my dismay, I forgot my “I ❤ Chicago t-shirt.”  I was devastated because I had planned the perfect photo – wearing it while standing in front of the Bean.  I made do with wearing my cool new sunglasses and trying to take a selfie at Navy Pier.  This taught me I need more practice with taking selfies. While we did do a lot in the city, when I came back home I could not help but wonder if what we did, could have done and would have done would have been a lot different if my friends and I had taken the time to browse Groupon.  In the past few months I have heard my friends talk about the deals, vacations and activities they got to plan and do by using Groupon.  One planned a trip to a ski resort this past winter and the other got to get a whole group of people together for paintball.   Groupon is a website that is also an app that specializes in flash deals provided by businesses.  The lure of them is that they offer deals for 50% off of whatever the coupon is for [2].  For someone that has been waiting a long time to do something but could not afford the full price, this is perfect.  Maybe the next time I go to Chicago I can find one for the architectural boat tour.

However, even though the customer gets a good deal the question is, do businesses really benefit from it?  Well, if a consumer cashes in a coupon, the business is already at a 50% loss.  If a business prints 600 of those coupons and the regular price for that service is $100, but Groupon gets $25 of that $50, then the business has already gone negative in terms of profits.  Factor in the possibility that customers that do cash in those coupons buy extra items, become life-long customers, give excellent reviews to friends and businesses have to ask themselves and that not everyone do the positives outweigh the negatives in using Groupon? While it does benefit my wallet to use Groupon in the future, it will take time and close financial monitoring for business to discover whether or not Groupon is the way to go [3].

Works Cited:

[1] – Stem, S. (2012, June 25). 4 signs you’re a stereotypical tourist. Retrieved from http://college.usatoday.com/2012/06/25/4-signs-youre-a-stereotypical-tourist/

[2] – Brown, C. M. (2011, April 25). 10 pros and cons of using groupon. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/guides/201104/10-pros-cons-for-using-groupon.html

[3] – Decker, S. (2010, October 16). Analyzing Groupon profitability (7 factors for Group buying success). Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/guides/201104/10-pros-cons-for-using-groupon.html

 

(The above image was taken while I was walking along Navy Pier in Chicago.  This is the skyline.)

It is time to see the world one page at a time…

Almost four years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in Buenos Aires.  It was my first grand adventure in a foreign country where I was not with my family.  It was just going to be me, my suitcases, my camera and my laptop.  I was part of a study abroad program that had about 15 other people in it.

This study abroad program presented me with a problem that I had been dreading for a while – meeting people that I had only read their names off on a list.  Meeting people is not my forte so this was somewhat stressful.  However, one day I looked through my Facebook page and I found friend requests from the other students in my program and an invitation to join a Facebook Page for the semester’s program.  On the page we were able to introduce ourselves and become friends before we even met each other.  If I had not been part of this group the awkward getting to know them phase would have been difficult considering we were also in a foreign country.

While social media helped me to become acquainted with a new group of people in a foreign country it also expands to tourists that are travelling in general.  Social media gives a traveler the ability to know the location and its people before physically arriving to their destination.  Having this advantage enables a traveler to be able to get a better understanding of what their experience will be like because they have the opportunity to communicate with travelers that are already at these locations.  Advice on what to do while in a new place, getting firsthand knowledge from people who have experienced different situations and how to handle them, travelling advice and the ability to be able to make friendships that can turn into actual friendships are benefits that a traveler can now have access to and take advantage of with social media (Lips, 2008).

Four years later, I am using the same social media skills that helped me make Buenos Aires a more familiar place to help me become more acquainted with the places I travel to now.  Since I live 2-3 hours away from both New York and Boston making the drive for a day trip is actually easy and a fun way to spend a day.  While I was planning for one of my visits to New York City I did some searching for pages on Facebook and I came across an interesting page.  It is called Humans of New York.  This page is an Arts/Humanities Page that has photos of people that live in New York just being in New York.  Instead of having the celebrity photos in the city the website features regular people that live in the city walking around the city.  The day before I went to New York I came across a few photos of people that were walking in Central Park, on 5th Avenue and in Times Square enjoying food, a lawyer walking his dog and people dressed up going to a costume party.  While I never got to meet any of these people I certainly had a lot to look forward to seeing while in the city.

Based on the little that I have experienced social media has changed travelling and made it more familiar and communal with people willing to share their experiences.  While I have yet to fully immerse myself in these pages, blogs and Twitter conversations hopefully someday I can be the person supplying information to future travelers and posting pictures about my experiences.  I certainly would have loved to be able to post a picture of myself in Chicago wearing my “I Love Chicago t-shirt” but I forgot it at home.  Next time.

 

 

Lips, K. (2008, February 21). Social media and tourism. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.slideshare.net/katielips/social-media-and-tourism-274877

 

(The image with my pointing is me in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina – AKA the bottom of the world)