Social media like the internet provides a strong list of pros and equally strong cons. For example, it’s never a good idea to post your location while you’re still there. When celebrities do it, it’s a completely different situation.
Business professionals can leverage online channels in their favor. But it requires some tact.
We provide seven ways on how to use social media to your advantage during a business trip.
Social media doubles as a research tool. If you have a meeting to close a deal with an important executive in your field, research them beforehand.
Take a look at their professional profiles. Then, take a look at their messaging profiles such as Instagram and Twitter. Your goal is to gain an insight into their personality and business that gives you leverage in a negotiation.
Plus, you can check out the latest industry news that may impact your business deal.
If you’re unfamiliar with your destination, research it on social media too.
You can also research hotels, restaurants, and transportation options. Moreover, you can read what others say about them.
2. Promote Your Brand
A fine line exists between using social media for professional and personal purposes. It has almost reached the point where professionals should stay away from posting on a personal level.
An estimated 70% of employers admitted to screening candidates on social media in 2018.
All companies benefit from advertising and promoting their brands on these online channels. It’s cost-effective and free in several cases. Once you build a following, you can find your group of loyal supporters that help spread your brand’s awareness.
Plus, others can research your brand the same way that you research others.
3. Connect with Local Professionals
If you have no other way to connect with professionals at your destination, connect with them online. At the least, you can find their preferred contact method outlined on their accounts.
Then, without being intrusive, contact them.
The business world requires a degree of risk-taking. You can send them a message letting them know you’ll be in town on specific dates. If they don’t reply, you can follow up with them once according to etiquette.
Networking with colleagues on the road is an opportunity to find out how others do things. For example, find out how they handle per diem taxes.
4. Check out the Local Trends
Several online communication platforms allow users to filter trends according to location. Therefore, you can find out what’s going on at your destination before arriving.
It’s one thing to listen to the weather forecast on TV and see it on an app. It’s another to experience it. You can find out if a snowstorm or heatwave is as bad as it sounds. Then, pack accordingly.
Sometimes special events are happening concurrently. It could pose an opportunity to network with colleagues in a neutral environment.
5. Access Customer Service
A big pro that social media offers the business traveler is access to customer service. Since these online channels remain very public, companies tend to answer customer concerns, questions, and complaints more quickly.
No company wants bad PR. Anyone who actively uses an account knows that a simple complaint can easily go viral and cause a PR firestorm that turns into a nightmare.
If you get stuck, experience a delay, or need help urgently, use social media to your advantage. Chances are high that you’ll receive a resolution quicker if you can’t get through by making a portfolio.
6. Promote Your Portfolio
Small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs travel for business too. Thus, promote your portfolio through various online channels.
If you’re attending a convention, seminar, or event, add the appropriate hashtags to reach a wider audience.
7. Post-Trip Wrap Up
When you return home, that’s a great time to post some details about your trip on social media.
Tag those that you met with during your travels. Also, thank them for hosting you or providing tips. The strategy is the digital version of the thank you note, which is great business etiquette.
Sometimes social media turns into a double-edged sword quickly. Therefore, use it judiciously and keep it professional. Then, you can leverage its benefits to your favor during an upcoming business trip.