Category Archives: Social Media & Networks

Spring Cleaning with Google+

Google+ Profile Image

The Early Days of Google+

In light of Google+’s well received arrival on the social networking scene, I am not about to jump on the ‘Facebook bashing’ bandwagon, but I have to admit that Google+ has kickstarted my waining interest in Social Networking again.

This dampening in my enthusiasm might have been down in part to the feeling that my social network of choice ‘Facebook’ was turning into an untended, overgrown, weed-ridden garden with far too many random and less than blossoming connections choking my News Stream. Indeed, I seemed to be spending an unacceptable amount of time Killing weeds from my news stream in the vague hope that they wouldn’t reappear.

To be fair to Facebook, they did put in some landscaping features to help maintain this ever increasing tangled mess of connections, but the news stream ‘filters’ and counter intuitive ‘ friend list’ functionality meant that I had little or no interest in spring cleaning my account and only had a vague notion of what content I was planting in which flower bed of connections.

Then Google throws it’s hat into the social networking ring (or circle) and  in a fanfare of tantalising ‘invite only’ Google+ accounts it seems like someone has finally taken the initiative and developed a means of sharing & receiving content within designated circles of connections. Early indications are that it will empower users to take control and cultivate their social networking gardens watching them  grow again in a more landscaped and orderly fashion.

Google+ has raised the bar in social networking and it is exciting times for us, the end user, as we wait to see how Facebook and others hit back.

Will you be using Google+ to Spring Clean your Social Networks or taking a different approach?

Roger Gibson
Marketing & Communications Manager
Thavorn Hotels & Resorts (THR) Phuket, Thailand
Roger Gibson

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Roger Gibson Google+ Profile  Find me on Google+


Tip #4: Discover Phuket in 140 Characters or less.

So far, you have called upon the services of Tripadvisor, Hotel Booking Sites and Facebook to assist on your quest for that dream holiday in Phuket, but why not use Twitter and some of the indispensable Twitter dashboards that can help you discover the real insider knowledge of Phuket?

Tip #4: Discover Phuket in 140 Characters or less.

Twitter is the key to uncovering the hidden secrets of Phuket, so set up an account, even if you never actually make a Tweet, as a virtual Goldmine of Phuketian information awaits.

Get acquainted with a social media dashboard like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck as you begin your voyage of discovery into the online, realtime, character-challenged world of Twitter.

With Hootsuite (and Tweetdeck) you can organise your Phuket related “Tweets”, in columns side by side and watch it update before your eyes as relevant real-time info comes in.

Discovering Phuket with Hootesuite

Discovering Phuket with Hootesuite

Very quickly and efficiently I see that I get a 20% Discount off room rates through Friends of Thavorn (I used the Twitter search for Phuket Travel Deals).  I searched for ‘Phuket Massage’ and am now inspired to go have a massage on the beach when I arrive for under $4. I entered the keywords ‘Phuket Bar’ and ‘Phuket Restaurant’ and have uncovered a great Phuket Restaurant Map and also have discovered (through my list of people Tweeting about Phuket) that The Impossible with Ewan Mcgregor and Naomi Watts was recently filmed in Phuket. If the film is a box office smash, it is a safe bet people will flock to the filming locations the same way they did with Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi, the fictional setting in the film The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio.

Find Insider Knowledge on Phuket through Tweetdeck

Find Insider Knowledge on Phuket through Tweetdeck

To really get to the insider knowledge of Phuket, add a search column in your preferred Twitter dashboard, above I am using Tweetdeck, and enter the search term “Phuket Blog”. The results show people with a real passion for blogging about Phuket and who have some of the best insider tips and previously hidden secrets. Most will be delighted if you ‘follow’ and ‘Tweet’ them requesting a Phuket travel trip, as everyone likes to feel like their opinion is valued.  To do this add @username to your tweet, then enter your question, for example, to ‘tweet me’ you begin the tweet @rogergibsonUK then follow this up with your question.

Try it, I guarentee I will personally respond 🙂

In the days before the internet there was only guidebooks (namely the Lonely Planet) and in the days before Lonely Planet there was only word of mouth which meant you were left to your own devices with a mysterious and exciting world to discover for yourselves. Maybe we have lost some of that wonderment now that the world is reduced and documented extensively in the digital form, but since we now live in this world, why not participate and take every opportunity to discover what we can about our chosen holiday destination. Your findings could make all the difference to your dream holiday in Phuket.

Hit me up for Phuket Travel info at any time at @rogergibsonUK



Use Social Media for your Travel Research

Hi Welcome to my travel/social media blog. I’d like to kick off with a travel tip for you all. You’ve decided that Phuket is the holiday destination for you, so when researching where to stay, why not check out social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as most of the hotels and resorts on your short list will have a presence there.

Most people when researching their chosen holiday destination on line will visit travel review sites such as Tripadvisor, but many have not even considered seeing what other people are saying about a particular hotel or resort on Facebook or Twitter?

Often, you will have a hotel or resort in your mind and although the review sites have helped narrow down your search, it can be really useful to start a conversation with someone who has already stayed at the hotel to seek out their opinion on any questions you may have.

Whilst Tripadvisor does have a forum for answering such questions, a resort’s Facebook page can be the place to quickly obtain exactly the information you require. Often, if you post a message on the wall of the Facebook page, in next to no time, a fellow guest is only to happy to assist, as illustrated in my example below.

Thavorn Beach Village and Spa (TBV), Phuket, Thailand

Please click image to read guest comments

I think this instantaneous level of engagement is fantastic and helps personalise the whole process of travel research where often the reviews which help form the basis of your decisions are from anonymous sources with an axe to grand.


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