Thank you to Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase for sponsoring this series of articles for the business traveler. Savvy business travelers are masters at balancing the “professional” with the “personal” when they travel. They work effectively to carve out time to sightsee. They experience local culture. They seek out hidden gems to entertain clients. They accumulate rewards to leverage for more adventures in new cities. In this series, we’ll provide tips and resources for business travelers to not only work “smart,” but also play “smart” to get more out of their business travel and enjoy the journey. 

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Are you active socially when at home, but pull back when you’re traveling abroad? Balancing your work and personal life can be an adventure when you’re at home; throw in jet lag, presenting to a room of strangers and a jumbled up schedule, and social sharing can feel burdensome.  After a long flight, that hotel pillow may be all you want to Instagram. With your face.

So, how do you find your social muse while on a business trip?  Or, how do you find the time (and your voice) when you’re a stranger in a strange land?

Change your social venue when abroad

Rather than trying to fit your social sharing schedule (and tools) into your travels, why not see if you can turn the tables a bit? Consider talking to your management, and negotiating space on the company site for your very own corporate-style travel blog.  Sit down with your executive team and define the parameters of your sharing, as well as the blog’s overall mission. Especially if you are a frequent traveler, demonstrating how blogging and sharing appropriate information will support and enhance the company’s media mission is another way to leverage your travel experiences. Your experiences, stories and what you learn make your company relatable and add value to the business.

On your journeys abroad, use the platform to showcase the importance of the trip (without divulging any company secrets, of course).  Highlight your posts with impactful images of the people you meet, interesting architecture you come across, and the variety in cultures you’ve come to respect when negotiating.

In other words, let your journey be your muse

Your words and images can lend some additional credibility to the company site, as you remind all clients of the hard work done behind the scenes being done on their behalf. Sharing a slice of your life (as well as that wild bowl of coconut noodle soup you had at Mog, Mexico City’s finest Japanese fusion restaurant) provides a human face to your company site.  Your readers will even enjoy your wonder and contemplation at discovering the City of the Dead for the first time in Cairo.  So just be you.

Worried that mixing your personal “brand” in the digital ocean of a corporate site will water down your message?  Don’t.  Finding a part of your social “voice” in the place you spend a full one third of your life is a good thing, and will make your work more meaningful.  You are telling the world (and your employers) that you are fully engaged, in the here and now of your company’s workings.  Blogging in partnership with your company can also be viewed as polishing that corporate résumé, one shared creative post at a time.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

When you arrive back home, safe and sound, feel free to return to your personal means of sharing online.  Tweet as you please about your favorite café, and Facebook your family photos with friends.  Save that corporate blog as a special channel of communication, when you are out of town.  As each new journey approaches, post about the itinerary beforehand. And don’t forget to look once in awhile and reply to any comments you receive.

You might discover that your blog posts are enjoyed long after the trip, by those you met with, interested in how the experience affected you.And if you get really good at this, you just might find yourself wanting to do this each and every time you hit the road for business.

Combined image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Flickr.

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Thank you to Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase and Technorati Media for being sponsors of this article. All opinions expressed here are my own.