Skift Take

While photos and hashtags are still worthy forms of social media currency, customer service is proving to gain more value for airlines.

Although the Thai military coup made world news on May 22, it wasn’t a notable event on social. Nonetheless, we took a peek and found that there were only a handful of brands that acknowledged to this sociopolitical event in addition to our weekly social media winners.

Martial law was instituted with a 10pm-5am curfew but it didn’t restrict travelers who were leaving or arriving by air. With that said, it was surprising that Suvarnabhumi Airport didn’t inform their audience on social. Amazing Thailand, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, The Four Seasons and The Peninsula expressed their concern for their staff and guests in Bangkok.

Walt Disney World Resorts social activity outperformed the four airlines that were quite active in customer service, announcement and promotions.

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 23, 2014:

1. Walt Disney World Resorts on Twitter
Over two days (5/22 and 5/23), this brand gained nearly 7,800 followers. They already lead the industry with the highest Twitter follower growth at 799/day and knocked it out of the park last week with a 500% spike in followers. Their coverage of the 24-hour party opening ceremony encouraged its audience to follow the account and #DisneySide.

2. Southwest Airlines on Twitter
The customer service team for Southwest was busier than usual, but no inquiries or conversations were out of the ordinary. Normally, they reply just as much as they tweet, but this past week, they were were replying more. We saw three sets of replies that were personalized with notations ^SS, ^RH and ^AR. The jump in total tweets and replies increased by 250% from 27 tweets/day to 69 tweets on May 20th. Here’s a sample of how varied their questions they addressed.

3. Air New Zealand on Facebook Last week, there were a few posts that targeted America and local markets with contests and nostalgia. The most engaging post included their #AWOLNZ campaign that is in partnership with G Adventures & New Zealand 100% Pure. An appointed “Wander-in-Residence” will leave photo clues for the audience to guess the exact location to win a trip for two (including flights) on their New Zealand—North Island Encompassed small group tour. Their Facebook likes increased by 200% from a 723 follower/day average to 1,523.

4. Air Canada on Instagram
Reveals are a big deal for airlines. Air Canada Dreamliner’s inaugural flight definitely caught the attention of new followers. In addition, they sustained the likes with a “throwback Thursday” post of a diptych with their first jumbo jet in 1971 and the newest plane. Their 60-day average daily follower growth is at 35.6, last week they averaged 65 followers a day, roughly a 180% increase.

Get More on SkiftIQ

5. Air France on Twitter
The multi-lingual customer conversations were consistently “boeufed-up” from Monday to Thursday last week. Predominantly, the replies were in English, but Portugese, Chinese and Korean customers were greeted and addressed in their native language. Currently, Air France’s reply to tweets ratio is 9:1 and its total tweets increased by 50%, from 72 tweets/day to average of 111 tweets/day.

Learn More on SkiftIQ

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Tags: air canada, air france, disney parks, skiftiq, social media, southwest airlines

Photo credit: Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Party Begins Photo Gallery / Walt Disney World Resort

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