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How Travelers Use Social Media

Using the social web before, during and after travel

Many travelers turn to social sites when planning a trip, to find destinations, deals and advice and reviews from other travelers on where to stay and what to do. And social media venues are critical to sharing photos and stories about trips after the fact. But as the sites become more important to travelers’ lives in general they are increasingly taking social media with them while they’re away as well.

A survey conducted by StudyLogic for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts examined attitudes toward social media for business and travel use and found that 72.7% of US social network users accessed the sites at least daily while they were traveling. Young adults ages 25 to 34 checked social sites most often, with nearly a third using them multiple times an hour.

And in a reversal of conventional wisdom, men were more frequent checkers of social networks than women, who were twice as likely to check the sites just once a day. Men were also more likely to report that they “couldn’t live without” social media if they were unable to access it for several days.

Nearly 60% of respondents said social media made it easier to meet people while traveling, with men and young adults again in the lead.

According to a September 2010 survey of women conducted by Vision Critical for Wyndham Worldwide’s Women on Their Way, Facebook is the top social site for travelers, and it’s most often used to share photos and video (57%) and post status updates or commentary about trips (38%), followed distantly by checking in (13%).

The survey of female travelers found that just under half used social media during their trip, compared with 55% using the sites before a trip and 82% after.

Women under 35 were more likely to do so, at 53% vs. 36%, and the top method for accessing social media while on a trip was via laptop. More than three-quarters of US females connected to social sites on a laptop while traveling, compared with 47% who used a smartphone. Just 12% used a netbook and 8% a tablet PC.

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Check out today’s other article, “Word-of-Mouth Has Greatest Effect on Moms.”

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