Airlines dip their toes in the Instagram pool [INFOGRAPHIC]
It’s all about multimedia, right? And, in particular, images. At least that is what many an expert would have digital marketers believe.
Since then it has inspired a number of similar initiatives from existing travel-focused social networks, but sceptics about its relevance for travel brands have simply pointed to how Pinterest appears to many as just a decent place to find recipes and ideas for flower arranging.
Nevertheless, given that travel search is (or at least should be) such a natural place for images, others have suggested that its most powerful role in travel and tourism will be for destinations.
This hasn’t stopped many a travel brand giving it a go anyway, with many dedicating resources to sharing, uploading and bookmarking images.
But then mobile-based photo sharing service Instagram was snapped up by Facebook for a jaw-dropping $1 billion in April this year, signifying how important images are even to a company that seemingly sweeps away every other social network placed in front of it.
Analysis of 20 airlines by The Rabbit Agency and SimpliFlying has found some carriers are reaping the benefits of dabbling in Instagram, at least in terms of having thousands of “fans” or followers in another social network.
Out in front of the 20 airlines, by the number of images put on the service, is UK-based carrier BMIBaby, hardly a stranger to the growing interest in using images as a driver for brand awareness after its success with the live Instagrammer communities around Europe.
Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be a direct correlation between the number of followers and the volume of pictures on the service – AirAsia, for example, has almost 15,000 followers on Instagram but has only uploaded 135 images.
This could be simply because it has integrated its Instagram feed into its Facebook page, where it has a massive 1.5 million fans.
Despite its efforts to upload dozens of pictures and get to the top of the list, BMIBaby has just close to 1,800 followers on Instagram.
Here is the obligatory infographic with plenty of data for the other airlines included in the stud [click image for larger version]:
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has 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, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.