Checking into Foursquare, posting a status update on Facebook or sharing in a 140 characters on Twitter seems to be the norm today when an individual travels. Why is it the norm? In a Sun Sentinel article, Jennifer Palaro from Albany, NY states why this is true by saying, “I want to be connected with my hometown. I need to know what is going on. I have friends on cruises who are doing the same thing. You can’t break away.”

The article continues on to to give reason why vacationers use social media by saying, “Many visitors find it hard to disconnect during travel because they feel social (media) pressure to let their friends and followers know what they’re doing and where they’re doing it.”

I agree with the above statement but their are many other reasons why. In addition to visitors feeling social (media) pressure, the use of social media during travel is a way to grow their travel brand and blog, being loyal to their audience and fulfilling an obligation.

Travel Brand, Blog – Sharing content while on vacation is a way to gain feedback from the audience so you know what to share on your travel website or blog resulting in exposure and growth.

Being loyal – Months before traveling, an individual shares they are traveling to a certain place. When this is conveyed, their audience expresses interest. Social Media is all about what your audience wants to see or hear about. We must remain loyal and deliver as this is a way to gain trust and influence.

Obligation – Often many times, a certain hotel, resort, etc will invite a traveler to visit free of charge in exchange for promotion in real time which means sharing pictures and other content on social media as you experience it. To keep our character and credibility intact, we must abide and fulfill our end of the deal.

Social Media use during travel goes beyond checking in to see what’s going on back home and feeling pressure from social media friends and followers. In fact, it’s a job to 1000′s in the travel industry and a way to live their passion resulting in social media use during travel. Not only is it a job to many but it’s advertising for the place they travel to, a chance to showcase creativity, be authentic and build relationship’s with travel brands.

So, is social media use during travel the norm for you? If so, why?