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Although the notable social activity was not as strong as the week before, the gains were gradual and happened over longer periods.

Each week, 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 October 26, 2014:

1. Virgin America on Instagram

On October 21, the airline was crowned Best U.S. Airline by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. Virgin America announced this win with a fun group portrait of its animated crew on Instagram. Concurrently, Virgin America announced it on Facebook with a different photo and a flash sale. Both posts were a hit and follower growth appeared on Instagram four days later. Its account grew by 158% above its 84.3 Followers/Day Average.

2. British Airways on Instagram

A little aviation trivia to get the geeks excited is a good way to create buzz and potentially attract new followers on Instagram. British Airways posted a vintage black and white photo of a plane and asked its audience to participate with their best guesses about the aircraft type. British Airways got a total of 37 comments and 64% new fans, a total of 226 additional followers on October 19 and 20.

It’s time to really test your knowledge of British Airways and our history. Can you guess what plane this is? A photo posted by British Airways (@british_airways) on

3. Lonely Planet on Facebook

Wanderlusters on Lonely Planet’s Facebook page were greeted with the Top 10 places to visit by city, country, and region for 2015. The travel media company shared a link to its microsite and the post spurred attention, leading to a 58% increase in new followers. For four days, October 23-26, it got an average of 1,100 Followers/Day, roughly 400 more followers each day over its daily average. 

4. Air Canada on Instagram

Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner still has mileage with its Instagram followers. Although the airline only posted twice last week, it steadily acquired new followers for five consecutive days from October 21 to 25. That highlighted a continuation of strong and consistent increases in English- and French-speaking Instagram followers. Although it wasn’t as strong as the previous week’s rise to 80%, 43% is quite notable in that its historical activity of gaining 62 Followers/Day from the previous week and rose to a new level at 72 Followers/Day.

5. Matador Network on Instagram

Contrary to best practices, Matador posted 10 images of #travelstoke user generated content on one day. The awe-inspiring images were taken in India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and United States. Its Instagram account was up by 41% with 66 new followers in comparison to its 43 Followers/Day acquisition rate.

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Photo Credit: Virgin America's beautiful and cheeky flight attendant crew. Virgin America / Instagram