Much of the noteworthy social media activity came from the airline sector this week. The brands were not the usual suspects, with the exception to KLM.

Airlines usually gain new followers from publishing deals and providing customer service, but his week proved to be different. The content that resonated the most was about the people behind the brand and the audience who are part of its social community.

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.

Learn More at SkiftIQ

The latest social activity on SkiftIQ for the week ending October 3, 2014:

1. KLM on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

There are less than five days left until it celebrates its 95th anniversary on October 7, 2014. To lead up to the event, KLM created a nine-part video series that introduced various KLM employees. This week, Joost Roeper — a pilot on the fourth video — caught the attention of the audience on three platforms and exposed KLM’s followers to other KLM team members.

On YouTube, its two day subscriber growth got a 300% spike over its 133 Subscriber/Day Average; Facebook Followers increased by 120% above its 10,100 Followers/Day Average; and although Twitter Followers didn’t grow as much, it still rose by 50% on top of its 3,220 Followers/Day Average.

2. TAM Airlines on Instagram

Last time that TAM popped up on the weekly winners was in August for sharing a traditional Brazilian dish with its audience. This time, over the course of four days it introduced new baggage carts that incorporate airline history into their design; a little tidbit about stewardess history; and a grouping of its aircraft tail from taxied planes. It rallied its existing audience and gained an average of 210 Instagram Followers each day from September 27 to 30, an 87% increase.

3. United Airlines on Instagram

United Airlines announced its Newark to Santiago, Dominican Republic route this past February for summer 2014 travel. Its recent sale promotion on Twitter got its audience tweeting and retweeting and it netted 400 new Followers, a 60% rise.

4. Air Canada on Instagram

People love to celebrate milestones. This airline reached 20,000 Followers on Instagram on September 30. It thanked its fans with a branded post called out its fans — English and French-speaking — and captured 50% more aviation geeks on top of its 50 Followers/Day Average.

5. Lonely Planet on Twitter

The live chat for Lonely Planet is massively effective in driving conversations with its collaborators and fans. On August 15 its live chat about New York City or London climbed the noteworthy activity on SkiftIQ, and on October 1 Discover Ireland and food and travel blogger, Niamh Shields joined the chat. The session introduced its audience to Ireland’s seafood and inspired its community to share bizarre food experiences during their travels. On that day, it gained 30% new Twitter Followers from its 2,170 Followers/Day Average.

Learn More on SkiftIQ

Photo Credit: Video still from "KLM 95 years celebration – Our Pilot." KLM / YouTube