Live from the Low Country! It’s Travel 2.0!

Ah Charleston, so charming.

Ah Charleston, so charming.

For those of you following our tweets at @travel2dot0, you know that I am (Troy) currently in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina for the SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) Atlantic and Caribbean chapter meeting.  Speaking on the topic of social media (of course) and how travel writers, CVBs and the general travel industry can learn, work with and thrive in social media.

A huge thanks to Ruth Sykes, the VP of Media Relations and Marketing for the Macon (GA) CVB, who invited yours truly to speak at the conference.  Also, Bob Jenkins and Rick Sylvain, for honoring me with the opportunity to speak to such an influential group.

Next, the staff at the Charleston CVB, kudos on hosting a great conference.

Finally, for those of you who have not visited Charleston, you need to.  Not as famous as the other French Quarter, downtown and historic Charleston is a gem.  I thoroughly enjoy my unfortunately short stay in the downtown area.  Charming, historic…a touch of France and colonial America all in one…seriously, this is not an ad, you should visit.

Okay, on to the presentation.  First, a real privilege to speak with / be on a panel with Chris Elliott from  A true pioneer in embracing social / new media in his work as well as making the risky,  but rewarding jump into ‘self-publishing.’  Yes, he is ‘giving’ his writing away.  Ah, open source.

Let’s review some of the highlights from the presentation:


Those of you who know me, know that I dislike PowerPoint and this was the perfect opportunity to test out the anti-PowerPoint service Prezi.  A spectacular leap forward in presentations, easy to create and a visual feast for the audience.  No more bullets, no more flying words and graphics.  Great stuff.

Oy, I am giving away all my secrets…ah well, open source.


One downside of Prezi, for now, is that the presentation cannot be embedded into a blog, for example.  A small price to pay for the service.

You can find the presentation at: Using Social Media to Promote, Communicate & Influence

Oh, and no spell check…dangerous for those who type fast.

3 Things You Must Remember:

If you remember anything else from the speech, remember:

  1. Ask yourself if you want to communicate one-on-one with your peers, constituents, readers, etc.
    If the answer is no, then you can stop right now and step out of the social media box.
  2. There is no such thing as a social media expert or guru.
    Sorry guys and gals, it is the truth.  Unless your business card reads ‘CEO, Twitter’ you can take ‘Social Media Expert’ off of your profile page.  Social media is something that anyone can do, learn and thrive at…and at the current rate of change, I would challenge anyone who claims to be an ‘expert.’
  3. Your social media marketing strategy will be different from your counterparts.
    Twitter is not right for everyone, neither is Facebook.  We all have different goals, different demos and different messages.  Twitter might not work for you.  Don’t be afraid to test and say no to a social media site.  If your friends jumped off a bridge would you follow? Thanks mom.

The 4 Steps:

We went through this section quickly in the presentation, so a recap:

  1. Target
  2. Message
  3. Tactics
  4. MeasurementWe talked a little bit about the social media metrics developed by Peter Kim…here are the details, per Peter:
    • Attention
      The amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time.  Similar to the standard web metrics of site visits and page/video views.
    • Participation
      The extent to which users engage with your content in a channel.  Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.
    • Authority
      Ala Technorati, the inbound links to your content – like trackbacks and inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.
    • Influence
      The size of the user base subscribed to your content.  For blogs, feed or email subscribers; followers on Twitter or Friendfeed; or fans of your Facebook page.

    And we mentioned some sites that could help you track the social conversation about your brand, subject, etc.:


And, some of my favorite, oh-so tweetable quotes:

  • “Just because it is free, does not mean you should do it.”
  • “You have different audiences, why wouldn’t you have different messages.”
  • “Talk first, sell second.”

For the full presentation, although let’s face it, without my fantastic combination of comedy and mind-numbing facts the presentation is just not the same online, visit Using Social Media to Promote, Communicate & Influence

Again, thank you to everyone who allowed me to present to the fantastic group.  And to the audience, easily one of the most receptive groups I have presented to.  Thank you for your time today.

Feel free to email, tweet or message me with any questions that did not get answered during the session.

Au revoir Charleston.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.