When traveling, of course, you’re going to want to share all your fantastic experiences with everyone you know. Luckily, social media has allowed us to share more personal content than ever before. Post your feelings on Twitter, share your amazing photos on Instagram, and find new places you “like” on Facebook. The possibilities are endless! With all this available content, it’s important to know the right way of going about “sharing” your content. Follow these tips for proper social media etiquette!
Hashtags are Key for Social Media
Although Twitter is the motherland of these, big social media players like Instagram and Facebook base, many of their functions on the use of hashtags. In fact, Instagram now has an option that allows you to follow specific hashtags. They’ve become the best way for your content to be found: people look up specific content and many of the platforms’ “explore/discover” pages are tailored to the hashtags people post.
It’s a public service to use hashtags that pertain to the post. If you’re on a mountain, appropriate hashtags are #mountain, #outdoors, #hike. Don’t use #healthyliving or #beach, as it may obscure the purpose of the post. Also, use simple hashtags to reach a broader audience. The more specific the hashtag, the less useful it will be. For example, if you’re trying some sushi in Japan called sake nigiri – or salmon – don’t use #sakenigiri, simply use #sushi.
Don’t overuse or abuse hashtags, though. Be mindful and conservative about this. You can separate your caption from your hashtags by making some space between the two, so they don’t clutter your post.
Tagging Other Social Media Travelers
Being recognized by people with a large following can be a great way to boost your own content. Sometimes they’ll share your posts on their own with a “shoutout,” sometimes they’ll offer a collaboration or other opportunities. Don’t clutter your whole post with too many tags. This can come of as not authentic and (sometimes) desperate. The easy connection through a social media platform connects you to well-known people easily.
Important: use this power appropriately. Don’t over tag an individual or use social media as a way that violates user comfort or preference.
Be Mindful of your Vacation Destination
What you DON’T want to do is trivialize the experience you’re having. A popular social media figure recently got in deep trouble because of the desensitized content they posted. When traveling to new places, go with an open mind. Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t expect everywhere to be how you’re used to. After your trip, check several times to make sure your content is the most appropriate for your audience. I once saw a review of travelers who went to Spain and experienced “too many foreigners” (true story)…
Don’t Send Me Your Location
Think about the most beautiful places you’ve been to. What was it like? Was it a beach with hardly any people? A city with a unique culture? A hike with a beautiful ocean view and green scenery? Social media gives you the option to tag wherever you may go. And of course, you want other people to find and experience such wonders! Google Maps and other GPS-type platforms allow people to find these kinds of places with ease.
However, more human traffic can bring about some changes. More people traveling to a city might provoke large companies to set up shop there, diluting the uniqueness of the area. When it comes to hikes or beaches, more people can bring more trash and more destruction to the surrounding environment.
To keep these places clean, Instead of tagging the specific location, tag the general area of the place. For example, if you happen to find a beautiful coastal site in Oregon, trying tagging “Oregon Coast” instead of the actual place you happen to be. Or if you go on a great hike on Kaua’i, tag “Kaua’i” instead of the hike. If people directly ask you where the place is, then telling them is to your discretion.
Know Your Content and Your Audience
Most importantly, what you post says a lot about your character. Posting a lot of content of food, you’ll be seen as a food enthusiast. Emphasizing exercise, you’ll be seen as a fitness nut. If you post about your friends vomiting after a night out or a typical Las Vegas evening… you know what people are likely to view you as.
Also, be aware of the impact you can have on people. More than ever, you can see how much influence one individual has in 140 (now 280) characters. Social media has become a significant part of our daily lives, and that trend will only continue forward. Make sure you post in a way that affects society, the public, and your audience the way you would like.