With all the excitement that travelling and blogging bring along with them, many completely forget to dedicate some of their precious time reflecting on how effective the various social media they’re using, to reach their target audience, actually are. However, what these people may not realise is that basically without their Facebook page, their Instagram account or whatever other social network they’re using, they would certainly not be where they are today. We all know that just opening an account on a blogging website, such as on WordPress.com, would not really take you places, unless you would make sure to connect this with your various social networks.
On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind as well that social media may not be all pretty and perfect either since it also has its disadvantages. Thus, this explains why I’m here today; I have compiled a list of what I consider are the benefits and the drawbacks of social media in relation to travel bloggers.
#1 It’s free– What I believe to be the most basic yet the greatest advantage of social media to travel bloggers is that basically all the main social networks are free to use, ranging from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Twitter. Thus, you do not have to worry about more expenses other than your travel expenses. Sharing your experiences abroad with others only requires your time and dedication and nothing else. (Unless, of course, you’re using Facebook ads!)
#2 Effective in reaching your target audience– As already briefly discussed in the introduction, in the digital age we are living in, without your various social networks, there is no other practical way through which you can reach your intended target audience. You would probably not even manage to get your message across your closest friends without social media, let alone your international followers.
The beauty of social media lies in the way every social medium reaches a different kind of audience. For instance, in my opinion, Facebook is especially effective when it comes to reaching a local audience whereas Instagram and Twitter, with their powerful hash-tagging techniques, would enable you to reach all corners of the world.
However, Facebook has another dimension to it that many tend to undermine: the power of its groups. By joining a Facebook group which has thousands of members in it, you will get the opportunity to share your work with others who actually care about what you’re doing since they would be probably doing similar things to you. For instance, an effective Facebook group in the travel bloggers’ community would be Travel Bloggers Around the World (https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelbloggersaroundtheworld/) which is perfect for anyone who is new to the blogging world and who is looking to increase their following.
To make it easier for anyone willing to be discovered online, all social networks nowadays run on algorithms. In, basic terms, these algorithms are the reason why certain posts show up on your feed and why others don’t. Yep, that’s right social networks use information gained about you to analyse which content would be relevant to you and which content wouldn’t, based on, for example, how much you have interacted with a certain type of post. For instance, my Instagram search feed is always jam-packed with other travel bloggers’ posts since these are the photos I heart most often and the tags I use on a daily basis.
#3 Enables you to build brand identity – Even though being a travel blogger is different from managing a real business, building a reputable brand identity is also of high importance to you. Your audience would increase only if people feel that you are a person to look out for and this would only be possible if you maintain a positive image throughout all your networks. In fact, it so often happens that you see a post on your feed and you immediately associate it with a particular blogger because you have gotten used to their unique style, which you find nowhere else.
#4 Get noticed by major sponsors– Many wonder how travel bloggers manage to make money out of blogging. Whilst there are various ways how this is possible, one of the most common possible ways is sponsorship. Basically, an established brand approaches you to advertise one of their products and in return for that, they offer a financial reward. It can also be the case that you are asked to be part of a paid marketing campaign, for instance, one in which a tourism agency asks you to promote a particular destination. Considering the fact that all the big businesses and institutions, nowadays, are operating via social media as well, your chance of getting noticed by a sponsor has certainly increased.
Want to learn more about how to make money out of travel blogging? Here’s a link I believe to be very useful: http://www.ytravelblog.com/how-to-make-money-travel-blogging/
#1 Information overload- However, even though social media has increased your chances of getting noticed, at the same time, it has also increased the possibility that your work will get lost easily due to the so-called noise out there. With the rise of the digital age, anyone with the right tools can basically upload their work online and share it via the various social media. This leads to what we call information overload, which I believe is the greatest problem which new travel bloggers are facing.
#2 Negative feedback and anonymity– As many argue, with the advent of social media came the rise of the freedom of expression. Anyone online can basically express his/ her opinion no matter how harmful to others it may be. To make it even worse, some platforms even allow you to write comments anonymously. Quite naturally, negative feedback can easily affect any blogger out there, especially those who are just starting off. On the contrary, this possibility of writing comments on posts can also work in one’s favour since if feedback is positive, it can lead to motivating one to work even harder and achieve brighter goals.
#3 Becoming too addicted to technology– When taking travel blogging seriously, especially if it is your bread and butter, you will, most naturally, want to keep your social media following as updated as possible. Consequently, whenever you’re travelling, without even realising, you might end up becoming too obsessed with taking that perfect photo, which you will later upload on social media, so much so that you might not appreciate the beauty of the country you’re visiting to the max.
All in all, despite the fact that there are two opposing sides to this argument regarding the effectiveness of social media, I think it is quite clear that the benefits overshadow the drawbacks by far considering social media, nowadays, is the driving force behind all successful travel bloggers.
Speaking of social media…are you following me on my social media platforms yet?
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/girlontheplane/?fref=ts
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thegirlontheplaneblog/