Monday, July 12, 2010

Social Media Outside the Cubicle

When I first got involved in Social Media I asked myself how much time I would really have to dedicate to this idea of being social on the web. My day to day job involves rafting down rivers in the rainforest, hiking through the jungle, and rappeling waterfalls. I do this as a job of taking family vacation groups and student groups through Costa Rica.

I told myself that I probably would not have that much time to sit in the office and tweet, post, and stay connected. Well I was wrong. After some research and an amzing 3G service of cellphones in Costa Rica I was able to put together a Social Media Jungle kit. With a little Gateway netbook and a blackberry I can get connected hanging off the side of a waterfall if needed.

When you are taking 20 kids rafting down class IV rapids you can imagine the emails I get from parents back home wanting to know how their kids are. This is how Social Media has turned our travel company into some of the most personalized service possible. I really dont care right now if I get a bunch of more sales from Social Media. What I am getting is satisfied customers. We keep a blog for each student group so the parents can follow day to day activities with pictures of their kids posted minutes after each activity. The parents all follow and post back in minutes. It gets everyone involved in blogging and is from what the parents have told me an amazing service as a part of our company.

A Social Media kit that takes you to places that have a bit different conditions than your average cubicle should include:

1.) A Pelican Case - These are the cases that are waterproof and pretty much everything else proof if needed.

2.) Kodak waterproof cam. I was going to go with the flip but this was cheaper and took alright pictures also. Short videos for the blog are huge when parents can see their kids.

3.) Digital Camera - get those pictures going and make them easy to upload on the web because time is precious when you are on the road.

4.) Blackberry or anything with a 3G service. For me in Costa Rica I hook my phone up to my netbook and Im posting blogs for parents to see atleast 3 times a day in some of the most remote places of the rainforest.

5.) Carabiners - this is a type of hook used in adventure sports that you will want to hook your pelican up to. These are extremely durable and you will never lose anything hooked up to this.

6.) Headphones - if you are like me and have time on your hands (we often have long drives to get from A to B) then download some Social Media books on and stay updated on tips and ideas for soical media.

So for now I am happy with the idea that it is not so much what social media can do for my future sales but how it can improve on sales I've already made and help my company offer some of the best travel service around. What do you guys think about this can you come up with any ideas of how we could keep parents and family members involved in their childs trip through Social Media?

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