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Ann Tran

Recently Ann Tran, Forbes Top Social Influencer for 2013, asked several of her colleagues to answer the question:  What will be the Game Changers for Social Media for 2014?”   My focus is social media in travel for brands, suppliers and travelers.   My small excerpt from her excellent article is below. You can find the full article here .

Here are my thoughts on what 2014 might hold for social media in travel.

“Predicting the game changers for almost any field, and most especially social media, assumes a prescience that I would not presume to possess. What I can do is summarize two trends I am seeing in social media use for the travel industry and venture to guess how these might change how we all might further utilize this behemoth that we now call social media in 2014.

1. Social media in travel will be a tool for everyone, not a skill for a few.

Social media teams, until now usually the purview of a talented group of 20 somethings, will be obsolete, except for customer service issues.  The ability to use and understand the impact of social media is a skill that everyone involved in travel will use to further their unique goals.  Can you type, what are your computer skills are questions that are no longer asked, but assumed in job interviews—the same is happening for what are your social media preferred platforms and how do you use them. Klout scores, in some form, will show how you can influence your business niche.  Every CEO in travel will need to insure they have a voice, loud and clear on social media. This doesn’t mean they are posting hourly, or even daily, but they need to be present—when needed, for good and bad days.  Everyone involved in travel will use social media as a tool in their daily routine.

2.  The speed of change in all online travel and social media (and media) will continue to be supersonic.

Some early leaders in the  travel field will adjust and morph to remain leaders, but others have and will be replaced by newcomers overnight.  After all, isn’t all social media crowd sourcing in some form?  And just as TripAdvisor and Yelp help one hotel rise to the top of the ratings race,  so will social media crowd source to determine who the leaders are in compiling these reviews.  All travel media, printed and online are racing to find their place in this new landscape and I would argue that none yet have the formula, if in fact there is one.

We must all stay nimble, the landscape can and will change in a heartbeat.  Is it challenging to keep up?  Yes, but the good news is that everyone of us utilizing this wonderful medium(s) will be part of defining who the winners, losers and game changers.  Hold tight and safe travels.”

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