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Twitter has become a lifeline, or at least a complaint line, for flyers today.

Airlines have responded by investing in their social media teams and giving them the power to make quick changes for flyers on the ground.

Flyers post fewer time-sensitive requests on Facebook making it a place where airlines can engage and stay connected with customers by announcing new routes, posting photos of destinations, or running contests.

As a nod to Facebook’s 10-year anniversary yesterday, we looked into the top most popular Facebook airline pages using Skift’s competitive intelligence dashboard SkiftIQ.

Turkish Airlines Dominates the List

Turkish Airlines owns five of the ten most popular airline pages on Facebook with a combined 17.6 million “Likes.”

The airline’s global Facebook page as well as country-specific pages for the USA, Turkey, Canada, and Germany fall into the top ten.

Outside of Turkish Airlines, KLM has the most “Likes” per individual page. Southwest Airlines has the second highest number of “Likes” and is the only U.S. airline to make the top ten list.

The ten most popular international airline pages on Facebook are as follows:

  1. KLM (5,035,134 “Likes”)
  2. Southwest Airlines (4,159,554 “Likes”)
  3. Turkish Airlines USA (3,534,189 “Likes”)
  4. Turkish Airlines Turkiye (3,534,151 “Likes”)
  5. Turkish Airlines Global (3,534,146 “Likes”)
  6. Turkish Airlines Deutschland (3,534,144 “Likes”)
  7. Turkish Airlines Canada (3,533,979 “Likes”)
  8. Qatar Airways (3,506,561 “Likes”)
  9. Air France (3,151,963 “Likes”)
  10. Azul (2,876,940 “Likes”)

What and How Often Airlines Post

Airlines post on their Facebook pages an average of two times per week.

KLM is the most active airline on the social network updating its page 8 times a day. The majority, or 84.4 percent, of its posts are status updates and 15 percent are photos.

KLM is the only airline on the top ten list to post more status updates than photos.

In the past 30 days, Turkish Airlines posted twice a day on its Turkey, USA, and global pages and once a day on its Germany and Canada-specific Facebook pages.

The majority of the posts, an average of 63 percent, were photos. Status updates are the second most popular kind of update.

AirlinesSkiftScoreFacebook LikesWall Post Type (Photo)Wall Post Type (Status)Wall Posts Per Day, Past 30 days
Southwest Airlines8294,159,55433.5%55.9%2
Turkish Airlines USA3083,534,18959.4%22.4%2
Turkish Airlines Turkiye3573,534,15154%37.9%2
Turkish AIrlines Global6533,534,14646.3%44.1%2
Turkish Airlines Deutschland1653,534,14480.5%13.5%1
Turkish Airlines Canada1823,533,97978.9%11.9%1
Qatar Airways6343,506,56168.4%17.1%2
Air France (French Page)8023,151,96334.9%60.8%2

Source: SkiftIQ

Turkish Airlines’ Social Strategy

Turkish Airlines’ social media team is made up of U.S.-based individuals and a Turkish interactive marketing group.

“Both groups collaborate on a daily basis to ensure consistency of brand voice,” says a Turkish Airlines spokesperson. “On any given day we have 3 to 5 team members actively contributing to Turkish Airlines’ social media success.”

Each month the team plans social media content around a new topic including news, travel tips, upcoming events, or cultural occasions. The calendar is then reviewed weekly to ensure that the content is still relevant.

Several of Turkish Airlines’ country-specific pages have an almost identical number of “Likes,” but a TA spokesperson confirms that personalized content is posted to each page.

“We design local pages in order to speak the local language and catch the local trends. Content may differ time to time but we always keep an eye on the brand general strategy and brand guideline.”

Learn More About SkiftIQ

Photo Credit: The Turkish Airlines' global Facebook page as seen on a tablet. PlaceIt.Net