Lately I have been trying to use social media not only for fun, but to help with trip planning. This September I am going to Oregon to cover some events and wanted to try out new techniques and the results are interesting. Here are some of my finds that may work for you too.
Some of these may be totally obvious, but for some of the older readers like me, or those new to social media, they may be helpful. I selected one of the places I am stopping, a ranch I will be staying at on my trip and used their site for my social media expedition.
1) Look up where you plan to go using Google. I did this and came to a Facebook page, Flicker photos, and information about the activities offered to those staying at the ranch. Google usually offers unlimited possibilities and can offer an array of different links to look at.
2) I have found while writing for an antique paper recently that a lot of businesses are choosing to use Facebook rather than maintain a website. Facebook can offer photos, addresses and phone numbers as well as email information if there is no website or if the website in hard to maneuver. For the particular ranch I am visiting there was an amazing video about relocating Big Horn sheep, a topic I never even thought about. Now I want to take a drive and check them out during my visit!
3) Twitter is something I have mainly thought of as a way to interact with others during Twitter chats (a whole new way to connect) but while I did not find much about the ranch I plan to stay at during my trip on Twitter, but another place I plan to visit, a gold dredge that has become a historic site brought up several tweets showing people enjoying the place and confirming that this is something I want to do. Through some of the tweets I learned that the site won an Oregon tourism award and that items from the dredge are now considered collectibles. Through their website and Twitter I learned a bit about the Oregon Gold Rush, another fact I didn’t know.
4) While I have found Pintrest to be great for recipes etc. I had never used it for looking up travel destinations. Searching for the ranch I learned they also have cabin rentals and that trout is big. When looking for the dredge there was tons of information about this historical site.
5) Instagram offered up amazing pictures of the dredge, but nothing about the ranch. The pictures provide me with an idea of what I will see when I arrive.
The search was a fun foray. My daughter who is a social media guru also added to search hashtags of the names of the places you want to go in Twitter and Instagram, as well as checking out travel sites like Trip Advisor where you can get reviews from other travelers.