Social Media - TripAdvisor: Why You Should Subscribe to the Owl

Social Media - TripAdvisor: Why You Should Subscribe to the Owl

By Vanessa KnipperSep 1 /2009

TripAdvisorMy friends and co-workers laugh about it (insert exaggerated eye roll) because I am such a die-hard fan of the social media travel website TripAdvisor.  I {heart} TA.  And here’s why…

A friend told me about TripAdvisor when I was planning my honeymoon to Italy. So, I went on the site and read hotel reviews, watched videos, and looked for the best regions to visit that would meet our interests and level of adventure that we desired for our trip.  There are plenty of other travel sites with forums, but the TA Forums are much more populated with literally thousands of threads for just about any destination you could imagine visiting on the planet.  In addition to the forums, there are tons of other resources on TA such as Top 10 destination lists, trip ideas, and travel guides.

Social Media - TripAdvisor, photo of Machu Picchu, PeruIf you are traveling to an unfamiliar culture and need to find out what in the world to pack or what body part exposure is forbidden (I’m talking knees, upper arms, etc.), TA is your MO.  If you are sitting in the airport wondering if the protest you just read about in the newspaper will affect your itinerary, someone on the forum is surely at your final destination at the time of your post and will readily respond. The speed at which the forum members respond, the solid and detailed advice that they share, and the lengths they will go to help a fellow traveler is unparalleled.  And that is why I hold TA in such high regard.

So, here is what you can do to garner effective results in planning your trip of a lifetime on TA:

1.    Share as much detail as possible in your profile, so that fellow posters can understand more about you, and, therefore, help you with advice that is tailored to your interests. 

2.    Use the search box in the forums to check other threads before posting a question that may have been answered a thousand times already.

3.    Be specific.  “Where should I stay in London?” will give you “zero” responses or maybe a frustrated one from a regular.  Try, “Which of these 3 hotels near Hyde Park (X hotel, Y hotel, Z hotel) do you recommend for an active family with two teenagers that want to be within walking distance to dining/shopping?”

4.    Always, always, always respond to and thank anyone that offers helpful information.  Mention the user names of those that sent you personal recommendations, detailed information, and reassurance that your “FINAL itinerary!” is, in fact, well-planned.

5.    Post a detailed (but interesting) Trip Report upon your return, to satisfy the curiosity of the members that helped you with your planning.  Trust me, they will be very happy that you did!  E.g. - “I am so thrilled to hear that my fellow Buckeye had such a great trip. I am grinning from ear to ear after reading your report! Thanks so much for sharing it!”

6.    Always include in your trip report, the answers to the questions that you, yourself, had asked prior to your trip.  Here is your chance to critique the advice that you were given.

7.    Pay it forward.  If you just got back from a trip, take the time to jump on the forum and answer some questions for other inquisitive travelers, like you.  Keep on posting!

The Author

Vanessa Knipper

Vanessa helps Kuno clients achieve their business and marketing goals with her many years of experience in both traditional and inbound marketing strategies. Her success stories span industries from medical device clinical research to photofinishing and camera brands, and one of the largest orchid growers in the U.S., assisting them in winning business against national competitors.