Skift Take

User generated content is popping up as highly engaged posts and attracting new followers along the way.

The summer season came to a close and activity on social media slowed down.

Surprisingly, the majority of the activity wasn’t fueled by passengers expressing frustrations about flight delays on Twitter. Instead, Airlines gained more followers on two platforms, Instagram and Twitter.

Each Friday, we call out travel brands that have stronger than usual activity on social media. Using SkiftIQ, we’re able to track current performance versus past (60-day averages, unless otherwise noted) as well as notice spikes in activity that demonstrate a brand either has 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 September 5, 2014:

1. Qantas on Instagram

Australian pop singer Samantha Jade performed at Qantas Airways’ business lounge in Los Angeles Airport (LAX). The airline reposted radio station Nova 96.9’s snap of the star at the entrance of the plane. The event turned up its Instagram followers by 77% by 166 new Followers from its 72 Followers/Day Average.

2. Virgin America on Twitter

Mentions from a few partners, a special announcement, a user-generated content contest, and deal promotions attracted new followers on Twitter for Virgin America. Since last Friday, they increased their follower base by 76% at an average of 590 Followers each day. The most engaging tweet was a photo of its uniformed crew decked out with cowboy hats announcing its service shift from Dallas Fort Worth to Dallas Love Field.

3. British Airways on Twitter

Every morning over the last week, this airline says hello and tweets about the weather with a timestamp. Although good weather graced them in London and nearby cities, there were delays in other cities. The social customer service team acknowledged the inquires, followed up, and requested for passengers to remove case numbers. Also, there was a noticeable amount of travelers, who were enjoying their experience that they thanked. Its Twitter status was up by 139 tweets, 45% more than its daily average.

4. Royal Caribbean on Instagram

Cruise passengers are big fans of cocktails. Royal Caribbean’s posted a photo from a fan that was part of its crowd-sourced content, and @mentioned her and tagged #royalwow. This post inspired 182 comments that contained considerable amount of @mentions of other Instagram users. Its account grew by 174 new Followers, a 40% increase.

5. KLM on Instagram

Although KLM does not post everyday on Instagram, it gained enough Followers that it was a few clips higher than its average of 172 Followers/Day — up by 21%. The content showed flat screens for its business class passengers and behind the scenes crew photos at the airport.

Learn More on SkiftIQ

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Tags: british airways, klm, qantas, royal caribbean, skiftiq, social media, virgin america

Photo credit: Samantha Jade performs for the airline. Qantas Airways / Instagram

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