The Travel Industry Invented Best Practices…

I was at a conference for work this week talking with some clients and coworkers about my upcoming trip in late June. I was telling them the different places we would be heading to and about my new camera. A client mentioned that I should blog about my vacation and post photos while I was vacationing. I started to laugh and told the group that interestingly enough, I had to start a blog for a graduate course I was taking in social media. And isn’t it funny that the blog has turned out to be all about travel even though I’m not in the travel industry. We all laughed and someone said that it was my subconscious telling me that I should be working in the travel industry. That got me thinking about this blog post and all the travel blogs and Twitter accounts I follow (it’s a lot, maybe I should consider working in the travel industry).

Before I share what’s happening in the travel world, I did some digging to see what I could find out best practices for blogging and tweeting. I read a lot of articles about best practices for blogging and I liked what Echo Ditto had to say best.

Best Blogging Practices:

  1. Blog at least once a week
  2. Engage with other bloggers
  3. Respond actively to comments on your blog
  4. Content needs to be relevant and good
  5. Keep people coming back
  6. Don’t be afraid to promote your blog

And when it came to best practices for Tweeting, I found a great article on Forbes that I’ve simplified below.

Best Tweeting Practices:

  1. Figure out why you’re using Twitter
  2. Define your brand
  3. What’s your strategy – lay it out
  4. Understand how to use Twitter
  5. Beef up your profile with a good photo and proper keywords
  6. Build your network by following people relevant to you and follow others who follow you
  7. Create original content and start tweeting with good hashtags
  8. Continue to tweet and retweet good content

Now on to the good stuff…great travel blogs and Twitter handles. Do they follow the advice above? If you’re never heard of Fathom, you need to check out their site. I love their missions, which I’ve added my comments to: to help you indulge your love of travel (HECK YEAH!), to narrow down endless options to those that are special (THANK YOU!) and to find the best travel stories (BECAUSE WHO WANTS TO READ BAD TRAVEL STORIES?!). One of the greatest parts of the site, in my opinion, is their Cheat Sheet. It provides great information about a specific city that can help you in so many ways.

Fathom released the 24 top travel blogs and websites list. I reviewed all of them and have read articles posted on many of them before. Do they follow the best practices listed above? They do but it’s more than just following best practices. You know when you’re reading one of the articles that it was written by someone who LOVES what they do. And that’s something I think is forgotten about – PASSION. Do we really care if a particular blog doesn’t have a new post every week? I don’t. I want to read a blog article maybe once a month if it’s full of great photos, recommendations, and is enjoyable and entertaining to read.

The travel industry is no stranger to Twitter. Mashable released a 15 Travel Twitter Accounts to Follow in 2012. That list brought me some of my favorite tweets to read. What I loved and still love about the list is that it brings such a variety from a flight attendant to a travel editor to a travel agency. I love reading the quirky tweets on what happens in the air from a flight attendants perspective (don’t be the one that she tweets about…).

Travel tweets come frequently and provide a lot of information. And in 2014, you know there has to be a hashtag list that comes with it…of course! Some hashtags I’ve stumbled across recently: #travel, #travelthursday, #rtw (round the world), #cruisechat, and #smtravel (social media travel). The last one should be a big eye opener. Social media travel! If that’s not a clear indication that travel tweeters are doing it and doing it well, I don’t know what it is.

Simply put, is the travel industry practicing best practices for blogging and tweeting? Please…they invented it.