Reaching current and future customers on Twitter is of primary concern to most travel brands, but there’s no one set formula for success.

Yesterday we rolled out an update to SkiftIQ that added a number of new features. We also gave it a bit of facelift to bring it in line with our redesign we began rolling out in mid-January.

One of the features we added is the ability to see what tools travel brands are using when they post content to Twitter. Twitter clients, like Hootsuite or TweetDeck, allow brands to schedule tweets in advance, set up rules that allow for sharing information across groups, and monitor trending topics.

In addition to these more advanced tools, brands also post to Twitter though updates from other social sites like Pinterest or Facebook, apps on iPhones and Android devices, and Twitter.com, too.

We thought it would be interesting to see who’s using what clients, so we did a dive into SkiftIQ to sort through the last 1,000 tweets of every travel brand.

Some highlights:

  • When you add up all the activity in each of our eleven sectors, Hootsuite is the most-used client by volume in nine of those.
  • Only in Airlines and Influencers is Hootsuite relegated to second place, behind the Twitter website and TweetDeck, respectively.

Twitter for iPhone shows up in the top five in eight out of the eleven sectors. This speaks more to the ubiquity of the iPhone than well-thought out strategy, as it offers no means to manage activity within an group. In most cases, brands are using it to respond to an issue on-the-fly within a smaller or even one-person social media team.

Interestingly, when you look at the best performing travel brands on social media as measured by Skift Score, none of the top 20 use Hootsuite for the majority of their activity. Rather, each brand (with the exception of AirAsia and Four Seasons Hotels), uses a proprietary or enterprise-level paid client.

Learn More About SkiftIQ

Twitter Clients of Top 20 Travel Brands on Social Media

BrandSectorSkift ScoreMost-Used Client
KLMAirlines872Salesforce CRM
AmtrakGround Transport850Radian6
TAM AirlinesAirlines837Scup
AirAsiaAirlines824Web
American AirlinesAirlines819SNAP100
UnitedAirlines819Radian6
AzulAirlines815SAP Social OnDemand
Virgin AmericaAirlines813@VirginAmerica
Air France FRAirlines810Salesforce CRM
Carnival Cruise LinesCruise Lines799Radian6
Hyatt HotelsHotel Brands799Spredfast app
British AirwaysAirlines796Spredfast app
Qantas AirwaysAirlines786Radian6
LufthansaAirlines785Image Tweet Bot
Southwest AirlinesAirlines784SocialEngage
Air CanadaAirlines782Sprinklr
Walt Disney World ResortsDestinations777SocialEngage
Matador NetworkMedia774Sprout Social
Four Seasons HotelsHotel Brands769Web
Heathrow AirportAirports768Radian6

Source: SkiftIQ

SNAP is American Airlines’ proprietary social media tool, and AA’s team uses it for 100% of its Twitter activity. In an effort to up its weak social game, post-merger US Airways recently began tweeting with it too, and it now represents 99.7% of the sister airline’s activity.

American Air’s social media team declined to answer questions about SNAP, but we know a few things about it from looking at other activity on SkiftIQ. American’s response rate to customer issues is faster than any other airline — 12 minutes. The Airline’s activity is also 100% devoted to replying to customers. Whatever SNAP specs are, it’s focus is on conversation and customer support.

Below we look at each of our eleven sectors and which clients are most used in each one. The Tweet Count is measured by adding up the last 1,000 tweets of each brand in that sector, and then counting up how many tweets were sent by each client.

Top Twitter Clients by Sector

Airlines

ClientTweet Count
Web39053
HootSuite17714
TweetDeck6340
Facebook5747
TwitSpark5696

» See detailed Airlines data

Tunisair tweets exclusively via Facebook, while Go! Airlines (87%) and RAK Airways (66%) use it for the majority of their activity on Twitter. Many of the other brands that use Facebook to tweet only do so about 10% of the time, typically when they’ve shared something to their wall.

Airports

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite5550
Twitter for iPhone2599
TweetDeck2503
Facebook1772
Web1219

» See detailed Airports data

Cruise Lines

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite1195
Web704
TweetDeck692
Facebook637
Twitter for iPhone472

» See detailed Cruise Lines data

Destinations

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite22201
TweetDeck7457
Twitter for iPhone4229
Facebook3647
Web3503

» See detailed Destinations data

Hotel Brands

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite6371
Web2558
Sprinklr2075
TweetDeck1287
Sprout Social1109

» See detailed Hotel Brands data

Booking Sites and Tools

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite5407
Social Observer TF921
Web487
Spredfast477
TweetDeck445

» See detailed Bookings & Tools data

Media

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite5579
TweetDeck3805
Twitter for iPhone1496
Twitterfeed1285
Web1056

» See detailed Media data

Travel and Tour Providers

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite983
Facebook302
TweetDeck165
Paper.li106
Twitter for iPhone90

» See detailed Travel and Tour Providers data

Ground Transportation

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite3666
TweetDeck3007
TwitSpark.com2301
Web1557
Twitter for iPhone1301

» See detailed Ground Transportation data

Hotel Properties

ClientTweet Count
HootSuite9958
Facebook7546
Twitter for iPhone5439
TweetDeck2683
Social Media Alerts1364

» See detailed Hotel Properties data

Influencers

ClientTweet Count
TweetDeck6361
HootSuite6271
Twitter for iPhone4739
Tweet Button2944
Web2627

» See detailed Influencers data

Learn More About SkiftIQ

Photo Credit: Chart showing detail about American Airlines' social media accounts. SkiftIQ