What are the Best Social Media Sites and Tools to Use to Market My Tourism Business?

The best way to figure out which social media tools or platforms are the best for you is to try them out. All you usually need to do is go to each site and sign up for a free account i.e. on Facebook or Blogger.com.

No one has time to surf all the social networking sites. You can’t do everything at once. Try focusing on a few networks and sites at a time to determine which will help you best connect with your customers or generate the most traffic. Once you’ve built a reputation, you can move on to the next on your list.

It’s fine if you don’t jump on the bandwagon of every new site. Take some time to read reviews and watch before deciding to make a move.

Getting involved in a site is the only way to really understand how it operates. Even then, you need to be prepared for things not to work. There are no guarantees of success although with experience, you’ll learn what’s likely to click with your users.

social media website for tourismIt will take some time to set up the network you want. While you’re building your reputation, don’t forget the real world. Attending travel and marketing conferences, consumer trade shows, events, workshops (either virtual or real), will accelerate growing relationships and you can use those contacts to add to your network.

The first step to trying out social media sites is to check out what’s available. Here’s a list of the most popular sites in different categories for you to take a look at.

Bookmarking
Blinklist www.blinklist.com
Delicious www.delicious.com
StumbleUpon www.stumbleupon.com
Stumpedia www.stumpedia.com
Google Reader www.google.com/reader
CiteULike www.citeulike.org
Simpy www.simpy.com

Blogs
BlogCatalog www.blogcatalog.com
Blogged.com www.blogged.com
Blogger www.blogger.com
Bloglines www.bloglines.com
CoComment www.cocomment.com
LiveJournal www.livejournal.com
MyBlogLog www.mybloglog.com
Tangler www.tangler.com
TypePad www.typepad.com
WordPress www.wordpress.org
Vox www.vox.com

Discussion Groups
Google Groups www.groups.google.com/
Yahoo! Groups www.groups.yahoo.com
Windows Live Groups www.groups.live.com

Events
Upcoming www.upcoming.yahoo.com
Eventful www.eventful.com
Meetup.com www.meetup.com

Forums
Vbulletin www.vbulletin.com
PhpBB www.phpbb.com

Micro-Blogging
Twitter www.twitter.com
Plurk www.plurk.com
SixApart www.sixapart.com
Jaiku www.jaiku.com

Networking
CrowdVine www.crowdvine.com
Facebook www.facebook.com
Hi5 www.hi5.com
MySpace www.myspace.com
Ning www.ning.com
Orkut www.orkut.com
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com
Plaxo www.plaxo.com
Skyrock www.skyrock.com

Network Aggregation
FriendFeed www.friendfeed.com
Ping.fm www.ping.fm
Google Buzz www.google.com/buzz

News
Digg www.digg.com
Hubdub www.hubdub.com
Mixx www.mixx.com
Propeller www.propeller.com
Reddit www.reddit.com
Yahoo Buzz www.buzz.yahoo.com

Product Reviews
TripAdvisor www.TripAdvisor.com
VirtualTourist www.VirtualTourist.com
Yelp www.yelp.com
MouthShut.com www.mouthshut.com

Photo Sharing
Flickr www.flickr.com
Photobucket www.photobucket.com
SmugMug www.smugmug.com
Zooomr www.zooomr.com
Picasa www.picasa.google.com

Video Sharing
Revver www.revver.com
Vimeo www.vimeo.com
YouTube www.youtube.com
Triporia www.Triporia.com
TravelTube www.TravelTube.com
AboutAnyWhere www.AboutAnyWhere.com

Wikis
Wikipedia www.wikipedia.org
Pbwiki www.pbworks.com
Wetpaint www.wetpaint.com

Dashboards
iGoolge www.igoogle.com
Netvibes www.netvibes.com

This article was originally posted by Angela Best as part of a series on Social Media for Tourism Marketing on MarketingTourGuide.com