How travel brands are cruising along social media
NB: This is a viewpoint by Ranjani Raghupathi, marketing executive at Unmetric.
Today, planning a holiday has apparently become a cake walk, thanks to the numerous online travel services.
Visiting your local brick and mortar travel agent to organise your trip is no longer the norm, yet the idea of being able to talk to someone with more experience when it comes to any questions or concerns one might have is evolving.
That person-to-person communication is happening in social media, of course, especially Facebook.
By becoming open and “likeable”, some brands have made themselves almost as approachable as an actual agent. Or at least that’s the idea.
In a new report, Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company from New York, takes a look at how some of the top travel brands are performing on social media.
Facebook has evolved to be the most important social media platform. Beyond its marketing capabilities, most importantly it helps brands have two-way conversations with its fans.
Unmetric score is a social media benchmark score that blends qualitative and quantitative metrics to rank a brand against its competitors.
The key factor to success on Facebook is engagement. It’s interesting to note that simply posting more updates doesn’t automatically convert into engagement; it’s the content of the post that draws fans to Like, Comment and Share.
The graph below shows how quality always wins over quantity when it comes to fan engagement.
The social quotient of a brand doesn’t increase by only engaging a fan and bringing in new people to increase the target base.
As shown in the graph, Travelzoo grew massively at a rate of 37% while the other brands grew much slower as compared to the sector average of 6.53%.
Travel industry has been posting more of questions to fans but the posts which engaged the best were contests, followed by “like this” or engagement oriented posts.
When compared to Facebook, Twitter is a more personalized medium. On Twitter, conversations become one to one and a message can be tailored depending on the person it’s targeted at.
Having a good growth rate is a sign that the brand’s strategy is working well, particularly on Twitter, where followers can be fickle and unfollow at the drop of a hat.
Kayak has the highest number of followers while Yahoo Travel had the highest followers’ growth rate at 9.13%. Compared to the sector average of 5.56%, most brands have witnessed below average growth rate.
While Kayak leads on Twitter it seemed to lack some luster on Facebook. This indicates that for Kayak, Twitter seems to be a priority.
On a social platform like Twitter, it’s very important to reply to followers in near real time. Twitter is the instant communication platform and people have conversations in real time.
It is also important to note that while Orbitz replied to only twelve queries, Expedia has replied to over 200 queries.
YouTube and Pinterest
The goal of a brand is becoming more and more about having a wholesome social presence. Of the 10 top brands only 5 exist on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Especially for travel industry, YouTube and Pinterest can be great mediums to post interactive and visually appealing content.
NB1: Data Analysis Methodology:
- The Engagement Score calculation is based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and estimated impressions, so a page with a lower fan base can still have a better engagement score than a page with a huge fan base even if they don’t get as many interactions.
- All data has been compiled and analyzed from the Unmetric application, for the period of March 2013- April 2013.
Special Nodes is the byline under which Tnooz publishes articles by guest authors from around the industry.