Skift Take

Brands, don't be shy. Share what and who you love. Be clever and they will follow.

There weren’t many trending topics that travel brands took advantage of this week, but they still weren’t silent.

Social media posts that stayed on top culturally relevant events, showed appreciation for maternal figures, listed favorites, asked people to share their photos, or offered intercity bus rides for $1.00 bubbled to the top of our chart.

Each Friday we call out travel brands that have seen stronger than usual activity on social media. Using SkiftIQ, we’re able to track current performance versus past, as well as notice spikes in activity that demonstrate a brand has either a viral hit on its hands, or a public relations mess to clean up.

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The latest social activity on SkiftIQ for the week ending May 9, 2014:

1. Southwest Airlines on Instagram
George Lucas is a genius and so is Southwest Airlines. An airport operations specialists with lightsabers directing a plane on the tarmac? Brilliant! This well composed branded image is clever, funny and pays homage to the cult classic sci-fi saga, Star Wars. Letting their brand’s inner geek show attracted a plethora of new fellow geeks. Their Instagram account gained 400 followers on the day it was posted and 380 the day after, a 550% increase over their followers/day average.

2. Metropolitan Touring on Twitter
Timing and placement is everything. Metropolitan Touring organized an integrated #AllYouNeedIsGalapagos Twitter contest. Incentivizing your audience with a call-to-action and giving them a visible brand website presence induces competition. They consistently tweeted how much time is left to enter, who is in the lead and announced the winner. Over the course of a week, a healthy momentum of followers grew by 200% a day to 1,600% on the day the winner was announced.


3. Megabus on Facebook
What can you get for a $1.00 in America these days? Maybe a cup of coffee depending on the neighborhood, something less than $0.99 cents from the dollar store or a piece of hard candy in a convenience store. How about a ride from Miami to Tampa, or Orlando to New Orleans? Megabus’ unbelievable 7-day promotion was posted on their Facebook account and it has been steadily growing their page likes 200% more per day.

4. Travel + Leisure on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Listing curated lists and crowdsourcing is a great way to find out more about the individuals that make up your audience. This past week, their highest performing posts included photo galleries and tips on the Beautiful Beaches Around the World, Amazing Restaurants with a View, and San Francisco as New York’s culinary rival. Travel + Leisure also asked their audience to take a mental break, “picture” a place they would like to be, and share it with #TLTransportMe on Twitter and Instagram via Facebook (complete with a link to a terms of use). Select images will be featured on their website, for example, Best of Instagram Photos 2013. This post was a great example of cross-promoting content that is optimized on a different social media platform and developing free content. Overall, they are growing at pace of 3,000 likes/day, a 200% steady increase from their historical post likes/day.

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5. Four Seasons on Twitter
All week long, this brand showed how much they love to love Mother’s Day. They published daily photos that showed different aspects of how to pamper moms with #MotherDay. Fancy brunches, spa treatments are great experiential gifts to appreciation for maternal nurturing. Some of their tweets were specific to various locations like Chicago, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, and San Francisco. They are growing at a healthy pace doubling their Twitter followers this week.

Get More on SkiftIQ

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Tags: skiftiq, social media

Photo credit: The hotel brand targeted Mother's Day for its Twitter efforts this week. Four Seasons

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