A new age in socialising and networking for hoteliers

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Without question, there's a surplus of hospitality blogs and trade publications littered throughout the print and digital landscape. There is an abundance of experts, an overflow of information; a jungle of tweets and a race for 'likes' and 'pins'.

Today, the problem is not finding information. It's organising information, accessing information on the go, and contributing to information already out there. But you can help yourself by getting involved in the flow of information in today's unchartered landscape.

Get active
It all starts with trying. Trying to be involved, to ask questions, to seek answers, and to find people that can help you. There is no 'hotel genie' that will magically appear to appease your difficulties.

Get selective
Anyone can become an expert on the Web so be careful who you choose to follow and rely on for information. Being selective also helps you manage your time better as you know you'll only be spending time reading quality, relevant content instead of spending hours poring over 'dead air'.

Let your voice be heard
Believe it or not, you have the same platform as the experts do; you can tweet, you can blog, you can email, and you can post on Facebook. Since I know you have an opinion on hotbed issues in the industry, just choose a platform or two, and start sharing! You may make some enemies, but you'll make a lot more friends and you'll be much more equipped to find solutions in the future.

Ask questions
Perhaps the most significant benefit of today's social landscape is how accessible it makes people, even the experts. If you have a question, just ask.

Follow up
If you reach out to someone and they don't reply, wait a while, and reach out again. Maybe they just forgot or maybe they were traveling. More often than not, people don't like to ignore you. If you did receive a reply, always be sure to send a quick Thanks.

Think outside the box
All the blogs, magazines, and tweets you consume are also available to your competitors. How you position yourself differently in the eyes of guests still boils down to thinking outside the box, trying new things, receiving feedback, and trying some more.

Those are just a few of the things I encourage you to do in order to get a better return on your online social time. Join a community like TalkHotels.com and start asking. If you don't have any questions, just browse the conversations taking place and I guarantee you'll pick up a thing or two.

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Anand Patel is founder and president of TalkHotels, a community for hospitality professionals. His background includes mobile and web development, digital marketing, branding, and social media strategies. He resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife.

www.talkhotels.com Twitter:@talkhotels

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