Who Ya Gonna Call?

promoting your travel blog with social networks

We’ve all had a computer breakdown.

One day, it might simply not turn on. Or perhaps the cursor may suddenly become hyperactive and unpredictable, or the screen may flash every time you hit “enter.”

Everyone has some story. And presumably, everyone has someone they call at these frustrating moments.

Chances are the “someone” is somebody you pay whether you have a service contract or it’s your go-to-geek you pay by the hour. I have both – two great guys upstate that handle my website issues and the service department of HP in New Delhi with its patient technicians.

Before there were social networks, businesses had to pay for exposure.

I thought about my own little support team a couple of weeks ago when I was having a breakdown of sorts with my Facebook “account.” I discovered I was inexplicably locked out of being the admin for the fan page of my own website and business, FarewellTravels.com. I was getting messages that I was ‘not authorized to manage the account’. I had zero access and felt totally vulnerable. There was absolutely nothing I could do.

If you’ve ever had a problem (or maybe, just a question), you know that Facebook doesn’t come with a service agreement or even a simple number to call. When you need help, you can join the masses in clicking around the Help Center, which—in cases such as this—will not help you at all.

In the middle of my frantic Facebook problem, the cliché — you get what you pay for — popped into my head. I realized that there was nothing I could complain about. It’s free. No one ever told me that it would always work. I signed up for the experiment of Facebook or as Mark Zuckerberg sees it, I walked into the Facebook party on my own, nobody dragged me. Same goes with Twitter, Linked-in….

Before all of these social networks came into being, most businesses had to pay for the exposure we’ve come to expect and take for granted. As writers, we’re dipping into the free marketing tools we have at our fingertips now.

But I’ve learned that because they are free, there’s a limit to how serious a tool any of these social networks can really be for me and, frankly, I’m glad I had the wake-up call.

It’s an excellent reminder for me to use a variety of tools, traditional and digital.

~ Susan

Do you put all your [marketing] eggs in one basket? Share your advice!

About Susan Farewell 27 Articles

Susan Farewell is the editor-in-chief of FarewellTravels.com, a travel information and planning site drawing on the experiences and insights of passionate travelers all over the world. It features animations, videos, photography, artwork and of course, words, to showcase travel destinations, experiences and products.

A former travel editor and staff writer at The Condé Nast Publications in New York City, Susan is a widely known digital, print and broadcast travel journalist. Her work has appeared in numerous publications (and sibling websites) including  Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue, Gourmet, Cooking Light, Travel and Leisure, Outside, Metropolitan Home, McCall’s, Child and Bride’s. She also writes for newspapers such as The New York Times and The New York Post, newsletters (BottomLine Personal) and numerous in-flight and regional magazines as well as various websites.

In addition to writing, Farewell has also developed countless products both in digital and traditional media from travel guides to online magazines.

She is the  author of several books including "How To Make A Living As A Travel Writer", "Hidden New England" and "Quick Escapes from New York City" (the latter two have had multiple editions). She has also co-authored many books.

Susan is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, the New York Travel Writers, the North American Snowsports Journalists and the Eastern Ski Writers Association.

3 Comments

  1. Such a good reminder! I really believe that while social networking can greatly help promote a website or blog, it shouldn’t be the only way that one markets themselves or their site….a lot of traditional/offline methods are still highly effective.

    Great post, Susan!

  2. Wow, did you ever get back in? Truthfully, I don’t know of a lot of other ways off line to promote our site. I am going to have to research this. It is a great fear of ours to be locked out of Twitter or facebook. We work so hard to build a following, and then it is so true, you can loose it all in a heartbeat. And yes, it is a great point, when it’s free, what do you expect?
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Monk Meditation in Myanmar Snapshot Sunday =-.

    • As quickly as my access disappeared, it came back–all inexplicably, which I find completely unsettling.

      It really turned me off of Facebook and Twitter though! I use them, but put more effort into other marketing tools. Basically, it means working like crazy, all the time, as you know.

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