Thursday, May 29, 2014

4 Ways to Stay Social

Much as I have resisted, with college work now at the wayside, I'm firing up my online presence. I'm covering my bases for social media, creating accounts and profiles on reviewer and sharing sites, and building my brand as a generally well-traveled citizen, considering my age. I make subtle adjustments to my blog format every now and then (and it's probably time for a revamp soon); did you notice all the tabs up top? Here's the platforms I'm involved with: 

I have a professional LinkedIn account for networking in my forthcoming career, a Tumblr for mind flashes and things that I want to post immediately with minimal explanation (Blogger is more suitable for long-form writing), Instagram for frequent and engaging visual updates, and even a widget for Twitter.  

As a traveler, Hostelworld has become cornerstone to finding safe, affordable, and fun lodging (you'll notice that my profile contains few reviews because in the past I've made bookings as a 'guest' user, which was convenient); my newly created Tripadvisor profile and Yelp profile for all sorts of institutions, and strictly for the stomach, my actively used Urbanspoon account.

Instant patron feedback is not only for restaurants; travelers can talk about hotels, hostels, monuments, parks, even shopping malls. There's a lot of trust involved here because users may have a bias or connection with owners, and of course you'll find reviews of singular experiences that drastically counter the dominant opinion. I try to be as honest as possible when it comes to restaurants, but I tend to give every eatery a second chance if the first visit didn't satisfy. Overall, I believe that social media reviews have improved travelling experiences for everyone because as clients, our words hold institutions accountable for their performance and service. It's important to glance through the feedback and make a holistic opinion. If you're a first time reviewer, be honest, lose overwrought emotions, provide suggestions, and be succinct--no one has time or the eyesight to be reading more than 200 words on a smart phone. Explore places near and afar, dive in without too many expectations, be kind to any staff you may meet, and hope for the best! 

If you're on any of these sites or have recommendations for what I should join, let's connect! 
(If you're reading this and we've never met personally, just send me a message because I would still network with you)

Listening: "Heal" by Vessels, while tying up the edits on my honors thesis!

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