Traveling for work is hard. Soy sauce on your last clean shirt with three days to go, a hotel room right next to the ice machine, and don’t even get me started on airport security.
But, staying connected to social media while you’re away from your desk? That can be as easy as securing your tray table and putting your seat in the upright position.
We all know that the key to good social media strategies is, well having a consistent strategy. So don’t let the fact that you are away from your office stop you from connecting with your customers through social media. There are lots of easy things you can do that will help keep your social media rolling while you are on the road, mostly from the convenience of your phone.
Before you go, plan out posts for the days you are going to be gone and schedule them. On Facebook, you can schedule your posts right there in the application. Make sure to tag relevant people or businesses and include pictures. And try to stick with simple and informative posts rather than calling out for engagement. You can focus on question-oriented posts when you are at home and have time for quality responses.
For Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook too, you can use a social media scheduling tool. I prefer Hootsuite, and TweetDeck is a favorite for many, but pick one or ask your trusted business colleagues. The point is, you can have it all set out and ready to go. It will do the work while you are away.
While you’re on the road, take the opportunity to share images and ideas with your customer base. Instagram is great if you’re looking at new products. If you are at a tradeshow or other industry focused event, make sure to find out the hashtag and then jump in.
My favorite mobile apps for the “On the go” posts are Twitter and Facebook.
The Twitter app for mobile is slick. Just set up your account(s) on your mobile devices before you head out, and then you can toggle between your accounts from post to post. This means you can tweet your personal messages and work messages with the tap of a button. So easy, even a caffeine-deprived traveling salesman can handle it. Facebook is just as simple: posting from your phone means that you can do it on the fly (with those pictures you just took no less), and you won’t need to hang out in the overcrowded coffee shop where typically nice people are fighting for the seat near an outlet like it is the last bag of peanuts on a five hour flight.
Especially if you are in a business that sells something tactile like food, fashion or even tech gadgets, Instagram is an elegant way to tell your story. Sometimes a simple photo accompanied by a few words is a great way to show what you are up to, and why your customers should care.
And, it’s quick. Again, you can skip the overcrowded charging station in the hotel lobby and make a post over a cocktail at the hotel bar. So much better, right?
Don’t let the social media magic end there. When you return, you can squeeze a few more drops of usefulness out of your trip. Write a blog about your experiences. What new industry trends excite you? What people did you meet that are changing the way you’ll do business? Maybe you could thank them publicly. What nifty things are you bringing back that will solve your customers’ problems? Throw in a few photos and you’re golden. Even better, send an email to your customer base with a link to the blog: good engagement, excitement, and good for SEO. Kind of like getting upgraded to the luxury full size with GPS.
So, carry on brave road warrior. May the security lines be short, the minibars well stocked, and your social media posts be tweeted, liked and regrammed like Jimmy Fallon.
Have any other tips for social media on the road? Share ‘em on our comments area!