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1703 days ago
 

Tnooz List: 50 travel companies and the Twitter follow-follower ratio debate

crowd2UK ecommerce and marketing service EConsultancy joined the likes of tech uberblogger Robert Scoble recently by unfollowing enmasse around 19,000 followers of its Twitter account.

The company says the move is primarily to clean up its Twitter feed (how can it realistically follow 19,000 people, it says), avoid the overwhelming number of spam DMs and a whole host of other reasons, listed here.

Its existing strategy to reciprocate those that followed its tweets with a follow back has been an experiment worth making but one it has chosen to end, editor-in-chief Chris Lake says.

Depending on which social media guru you listen to, Twitter is a great mouthpiece, an interaction tool with customers, a brilliant listening post or a combination of all three.

The methodology behind EConsultancy’s decision to stop its followship (fellowship?) is interesting, not least because they could have potentially risked losing followers of their own.

This goes to the heart of any company’s Twitter strategy – are they using it just build follower numbers (helpful, perhaps, with marketing distribution) or are they happy to communicate with a active set of people?

Using the First Tweet from 50 Travel Companies list we created in November 2009, Tnooz looked at the follow-follower ratio of each to see if there is a common thread amongst travel-related Twitter profiles.

We have include the Brand Name, Twitter Profile and Following-to-Follower ratio.

American Airlines@AAirwaves – 1 to 13

Air France@air_france – discontinued

Air New Zealand@flyairnz – 1 to 1

Air Asia@airasiadotcom – 1 to 330

British Airways@britishairways – 1 to 11

Best Western@thebestwestern – 1 to 7

Carnival Cruise Lines@carnivalcruise – 1 to 103

Cathay Pacific@cathaypacificUS – 1 to 1.2

Cheapflights UK@cheapflights_uk – 1 to 1.6

Choice Hotels@choicehotels – 0 to 1

DealBase@dealbase – 1 to 1.2

Delta Airlines@deltaairlines – 1 to 70

Expedia@expedia – 1 to 0.9

Fareologist (Bing Travel)@fareologist – 1 to 4

The Gnome (Travelocity)@roaminggnome – 1 to 3

Google Travel@googletravel – 1 to 11

Hertz@connectbyhertz – 1 to 1

HomeAway@homeaway – 1 to 1.8

Hotwire@hotwire – 1 to 1

HouseTrip@housetrip – 1 to 1

JetBlue@jetblue – 1 to 14

Kayak@kayak – 1 to 7

Lastminute.com@lastminute_com – 1 to 12

Lonely Planet@lonelyplanet – 1 to 1

Marriott Hotels@marriottintl – 1 to 1.5

MetroTwin@metrotwin – 1 to 1.5

MSC Cruises@mscruisesusa – 1 to 1.3

The Negotiator (Priceline)@thenegotiator – 1 to 1.5

OffBeatGuides@offbeatguides – 1 to 1.3

OnTheBeach@onthebeachuk – 1.45 to 1

Qantas Airways@qftravelinsider – 1 to 1.6

Rough Guides@roughguides – 1 to 1.1

SouthWest Airlines@southwestair – 1 to 112

Starwood Hotels@starwoodbuzz – 1 to 3

Thomas Cook@thomascookuk – 1 to 1

Thomson Holidays@thomsonholidays – 1 to 3.5

TourAbout@tourabout – 1 to 1.7

Tourism Queensland@queensland – 1 to 1.2

TravellersPoint@travellerspoint – 1 to 305

Travelzoo@travelzoo – 1 to 1.3

TripAdvisor@tripadvisor – 1 to 7

TripIt@tripit – 1 to 1.2

US Airways@usairways – 1 to 212

Viator@viatortravel – 1 to 7

Virgin Atlantic@virginatlantic – 1 to 3

Virgin Cruises@virgincruises – 1 to 3

VisitBritain@visitbritain – 1 to 2

WestJet@westjet – 1 to 13

Wotif@wotif – 1 to 3

Zuji@zujiaustralia – 1 to 2.5

  • Eleven are following almost exactly the same number that follow them.
  • Only one (Choice Hotels) has chosen to not follow anybody.
  • The highest ratio belongs to AirAsia.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Ian McKee

    I used to have quite a few more follows than followers, as when I first joined Twitter I think (like a lot of people) I was just trying to build popularity. Nowadays I couldn’t really care less how many followers I have personally, I’ve got quite a few I can have meaningful and helpful discussions with and that’s the point of the site for me.

    That said, as an agency we help run a few client ones, which are obviously geared to being more promotional than conversational (though I think that’s got to be a part of Twitter for everyone), and I’m not sure what the winning formula is yet. We never follow anyone irrelevant, which is a good rule, but some accounts seem to accrue followers with very little effort, others take real work.

    I set up @SurfJersey for Jersey Tourism then we never used it (it was duplicating activity) but it’s got nearly 700 followers. 700 followers, no Tweets… Why are all those people following? Makes you think what the point of bulk following is – there’s no engaging going on there…

     
  2. soultravelers3

    There are so many different ways to use Twitter and I think Guy Kawasaki is one of the smartest. He keyed me into the importance of RT’s and DM’s.

    I have a lot of followers, most are interested in travel and I follow most back. I LOVE being able to DM and a LOT of my important conversations on Twitter take place in DM’s.

    Personally, I prefer great links & RT’s in a stream to lots of personal chit chat. For me. most chit chat belongs in DM. (I do agree about the #TT & #FF lists of name tweets, wish it didn’t happen as it clogs my incoming stream, but just seems to be part of Twitter life).

    It was a Twitter DM that I received from Matt Gross (non solicited and out of the blue) that got us a much coveted featured interview in New York Times Travel.

    “Q&A With Jeanne Dee, the Nomadic Family Traveler”

    (Which also led to us being swamped by literary agents and offers)

    It was a Twitter DM that I received from Benji Lanyado that got us in UK Guardian’s “The Travel gurus’ guide to 2010″!

    I could go on and on. I almost never follow any one if they don’t follow back. If I want to track their tweets, I just add them to a list.

    The lists are a great way to make following thousands of followers much easier as listening is one of the great values of Twitter. I like to have a sense of what is going on, not only in travel, but in many areas as I like to be ahead of trends if possible.

    Thanks Kevin! Always interesting to see how others use & perceive Twitter.

    @soultravelers3

     
  3. Travelfusion

    Well, looks like we’ve got about a 1:1 ratio, though the lists are different. I tend to not follow people back automatically but only if I’ve looked over their tweets and website and they seem to be interesting or people who may offer useful information to our followers.

    Twitter has been a really interesting (and FUN) experiment for us and we’ve added a few low-fare accounts for specific cities for those just interested in travel deals. All in all, it’s been working well and has been a great way to connect to the greater community.

    Thanks for the interesting post Kevin!

    Kathryn @Travelfusion

     
  4. Graham Robertson

    My ratio is about 1 to 2. I really dont feel the need to follow someone thats not a “real person” or just a company searching out keywords, I cant see the benefit for me. Sure, they may retweet a few of my blog posts, but they’ll clog up my twitter stream with useless tweets.

    Everyone I follow, I follow quite closely and usually take the time to read their links and comment. Couldn’t imagine twitter becoming an impersonal marketing experience, I just wouldn’t bother.

     
  5. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by kevinlukemay: Tnooz list: 50 travel companies and the Twitter follow-follower ratio debate http://is.gd/6k5CC

     
  6. Joe Buhler

    Granted, it’s very hard and time consuming to vet and then follow even 1000+ followers on a regular basis but anyone who has a ratio of let’s say 1 to 10 or more whether individual or organization, doesn’t really consider twitter a tool to participate in the conversation which in my definition should consist of both listening and talking, but as a one-way broadcast tool. Might be one reason why the user growth rate has slowed!

     
  7. Nancy D. Brown

    Right or wrong, I can’t keep up with 3,500+ twitter followers.

    I vet everyone who is following me and message back folks who are of interest to me with my personal e-mail address rather than returning the follow. In this way, they can contact me if they need to reach me directly.

    @nancydbrown
    @Ridinghorseback

     
  8. The Week in Travel Tech - January 10 to January 16 2010 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz List: 50 travel companies and the Twitter follow-follower ratio debate [...]

     
  9. Tweets that mention Tnooz List: 50 travel companies and the Twitter follow-follower ratio debate | Tnooz -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dennis Schaal, Darren Cronian, Four Travel Deals, Kayt Sukel, Adrian Johnson and others. Adrian Johnson said: RT @kevinlukemay: Tnooz list: 50 travel companies and the Twitter follow-follower ratio debate http://is.gd/6k5CC [...]

     
  10. Sam Daams

    Dang, second! ;)

    Our ‘corporate’ (automated) twitter account is probably not a good example of the connecting we do through our personal accounts on behalf of Travellerspoint, so I certainly would not recommend this kind of ratio.

    I’m in the Guillaume category myself. I follow people I find interesting and unfollow people readily. I also like to try and follow newer users with low follower numbers as they can be a lot more interesting, and are definitely more about connecting and less about RT’ing, FF and TT (sorry, the last two especially just make me want to leave Twitter off on Tuesdays and Fridays, no matter how much I appreciate being included in people’s lists). Last but not least, I like to follow a broader mix of industries/interests than just travel, and also follow a bunch of Norwegians/Dutch to keep up with more locally oriented tweets.

     
  11. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    Guillaume:

    I am not sure there is a strong conclusion.

    Perhaps only that the closer the ratio, especially when both respective numbers are so high it would make it difficult to track conversations unless someone is dedicated to it as a signifcant part of their responsibility.

    Alternatively you might say that having a high number of people to follow is problematic.

     
  12. Guillaume

    Thanks for sharing this list of travel companies using Twitter.

    So was is the conclusion of this ratio analysis?

    So what kind of ratio should we aim at in our Twitter account or does it really matter in the end?

    From day 1 using Twitter, I have never really cared too much about the ratio.

    If I don’t find my followers tweets or their profile interesting, I don’t follow them. Period.

    Guillaume
    @hotelblogs ==> ratio 1:11

     
  13. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    Paul:

    we only included the 50 from the original list. . .

    But as you asked so nicely:

    @easyjetcare – 1 to 7

    @easyjet – 1 to 12

     
  14. Paul

    What about @easyjet and @easyjetcare?

     
 
 

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