One of the things that we’ve loved about this trip is being able to test some ideas and concepts for getting the word out about the website. As some of you know, I’ve become very interested in social media marketing and the future opportunities that exist in that realm…both for businesses and consumers.
Despite only two months from coming up with the idea of the trip to our departure, we pushed hard to also create presences in various realms of social media. While we’re not necessarily looking at road trip blogging to be our primary source of income, we did feel that the entire process, lessons, and adventures might be compelling and interesting enough to entrepreneurs, marketers, travelers, and other mobile lifestylers that we wanted people to be able to find this information if they were looking for it.
We also wanted to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what we didn’t know would work and did.
So, here’s our marketing/social/internet geekery that we have setup.
Social Networks: MySpace and FaceBook. Since we’re quite familiar with each site and already knew several people on there, it has been relatively easy to get started on those networks. In the coming weeks, we will also be utilizing each of the services’ groups functions in order to find other “Friends” who may be interested in what we are doing as well.
Photo Sharing: Flickr. We actually debated between using Flickr or using Google’s Picasa. I personally use Picasa because I love their photo management software. But, when it came down to it, Flickr just has more features and more ways to bend and break and shape their data and access. It was ultimately a combination of extensibility and network size that won us over.
With Flickr, we’re tagging each image with the city and state that it was taken, what the photo is of, and any other local landmarks. Despite being only 6 days into the trip, we’ve already had a couple of people find our images through this tagging, mark photos as favorites and comment on them as well.
Video Sharing: YouTube. This decision was pretty easy and straightforward. Yes, we have the option of going to Metacafe, MySpace Video, etc. (And still can distribute our videos there.) With limited internet connections and upload speeds, we decided to go solely with YouTube because of the size of their network. Surprisingly, the same day we posted our first video, we received a message from Passport America, offering us a sponsorship with a free membership offering a 50% discount to their network of RV parks.
Blogging: WordPress. The ability to utilize the largest network of plugins, along with a high-featured and high-supported platform put them square in the lead in our decision. For anyone looking to start a blog, I would absolutely recommend them. Alexi is relatively new to blogging and has often been amazed at the ability to quickly implement features and launch our blog.
So, those are the highlights of our social media marketing efforts. As they expand, we’ll keep everyone posted. Since we’re also just getting a lot of it off the ground, we’ll also let you know of how things grow and any tips and advice we may have for your campaign.
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