Today I have the pleasure to introduce guest post author Arne Bos, who is going to share with us how to take the most out of social media to organize your trip to Barcelona.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP
Nowadays you can’t avoid social media even if you try. Anybody and everybody seems to use it, but did you know that you can also use social media to plan the perfect day in Barcelona? Maximize the time you spend on the internet by using the most popular platforms to enhance your traveling experience, don’t just browse – be strategic! Cleverly use the wealth of information available to design your city trip, the way you want – avoid the crowds at big sights, or jump right into them in public spaces, try out new restaurants, or head to a local favorite. A city trip is normally no longer than a few days, so get the most out of your time by discovering popular sights on Foursquare, tweeting your favorite photos on Twitter or Instagram, and finding up to date information on Facebook pages. We live in the modern world and these mediums have become part of our everyday life. So why not when we travel?
Here are five handy tips to help you out:
You can use Foursquare to get an indication about how often a particular spot is visited. This is achieved by them providing the ‘total check-ins’ for each spot. When this is compared with spots in the vicinity, you get a good idea of its popularity. Also, there are often tips about spots left on Foursquare by people who have been there, this could be a WiFi password for a restaurant, or the best dish on a menu. They also show users’ photos for different spots, a great way to see what other people have been eating, drinking, and doing somewhere, giving you a basis for your own choices and comparable experiences.
Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world. Many people use the tool to quickly post a message or to give an opinion. By using search.twitter.com you can search a number of options such as the name of a spot. As well as providing a large stream of short messages all about that highlight, it will also often find a number of posted photos for that particular sight. One note of caution, be aware that spot names can be more general, particularly with restaurants so ensure that you are reading relevant messages about somewhere in Barcelona and not somewhere else. It can be entertaining and informative to see how others have experienced something, will your experiences be similar or different? Tweet it and let the world know!
Instagram, which has recently been taken over by Facebook, is a gigantic photo sharing platform. More than 150 million users post photos daily to the tool. If you search, for example, the name of a restaurant where you would like to go, you will be linked to photos of food, the interior, and people enjoying their meals. This gives you a good idea of what to expect if you go somewhere, and you can compare your experience with other people. Photos can also be tagged (#) and linked under specific trending words to Twitter. You are probably aware about a wealth of written information about a spot, but take your visualization of your city trip away from google images towards real experiences, and not edited professional shots which may be misleading. .
A lot of people don’t know that as well as people, a lot of companies are active on Facebook. They mostly have a company page where they post exciting news, menu changes, events, special deals, and much more. By keeping an eye on a page you won’t miss one-off upcoming events that could make your trip to Barcelona really special! Also, you can often find accurate opening times on Facebook pages and avoid standing in front of a closed door. As an added bonus, you may observe that visitors to a spot have written positive or negative comments about their experiences. Facebook allows the owner to reply to these post and comment about improvements made or alterations to their services. Keep up to date with your research and don’t base your own trip on inaccurate overly negative comments over incidents that happened years ago, which can be the tendency on other sites.
Suggestme is a new website that allows you to design your own personal map of Barcelona (and many other cities worldwide). The site offers suggestions of sights and spots to visit on the basis of what is being mentioned on social media. There is a social stream where everything posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare is shown. Select and organize these spots through specific filters and design your own to the moment personal city map of all the things you want to do see and do in Barcelona. From online to reality, use your personal city map to easily navigate the busy and confusing streets of Barcelona, without missing anything you really want to see.
Do you use Social Media to plan your trips? Tell us how you do it on a comment below!
Arne Bos is a young entrepreneur from the Netherlands who has two passions in life: traveling and the internet. He combines these two passions by developing innovative internet concepts within the travel industry.