Skift Take

The most engaging topics revolved around travel tips, listicles, and curated photos from crowdsourced images.

Activity on social media by travel media brands slowed down in November, but a few brands used that as an opportunity to move ahead.

The list below contains publications that are part of mass media companies, online based media, and platforms that rely on expert and user reviews. They’re grouped together based on how travel readers and enthusiasts experience and interact with them on social media rather than traditional categories that could see them listed separately.

The top ten are calculated using our Skift Score, which takes into account social media performance on an absolute basis, as well as relative to within a company’s specific industry. It compares metrics across platforms and provides an intelligent measure of competitive edge.

Travel Media November 2014 Skift Score Facebook Likes Twitter Follows Instagram Followers Youtube Video Views
Condé Nast Traveler 840 374,032 560,057 179,780 3,086,517
Matador Network 822 234,352 58,504 28,675 543,228
Lonely Planet 766 1,275,276 1,935,652 207,067 9,819,391
Travel Channel 757 1,291,540 1,020,828 138,360 62,803,624
TripAdvisor 696 1,502,353 1,746,181 37,715 701,461
National Geographic Travel 666 3,615,813 1,180,899 1,428,891 n.a.
Zagat 664 74,265 999,836 19,494 7,444,064
Fathom 649 9,968 9,434 9,602 22,884
Travel + Leisure 637 702,117 1,002,753 312,972 31,290
AFAR 613 45,571 26,896 11,943 18,577

Source: SkiftIQ

For the most part, the top five were unchanged. Rick Steves didn’t make the list because Fathom leap-frogged ahead of both Travel + Leisure and AFAR.


National Geographic Traveler dominates by total followers and average Followers/Day on this platform. Last month they focused on celebrating the brand’s 30th birthday and introduced its top photographers to its social community. TripAdvisor further engages its fans on Facebook with its weekly photo album that encouraged people to vote for the best image and submit their own via comments. Providing your audience the opportunity to shine by tying in their travel experience was also part of Matador Network’s interactive content launch. They hosted a map that travelers can personalize with their journey.


Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, and TripAdvisor gained roughly 65,000 Followers on their respective accounts. Every month, Lonely Planet hosts a live chat on Twitter, which helps rally existing Followers, boost activity, and create new content. In addition to featuring crowdsourced images, they also promoted discounts off their media products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. TripAdvisor tweeted superimposed user quotes on photos to drive both retweets and favorites.


Travel tips for business travelers differentiated Travel + Leisure’s content in November as well as posting festive desserts inspired by Thanksgiving. Interesting to note that one of the best business travel tips was sponsored by Marriott. Meanwhile, Conde Nast Traveler focused on things people bring back from their trips, asking users to share photos with the hashtag #justbackfrom for a chance to be featured.


Despite not publishing any videos for two months, Fathom partnered with Gotta Kid to Feed to produce two videos of real actors reading TripAdvisor reviews. It did not get many views, but it was unique in comparison with its peers. As usual, the Travel Channel is the most prolific and consistent in publishing videos on YouTube. But in terms of views, not one single brand moved the needle on this platform in November.

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Tags: conde nast traveler, facebook, instagram, social media, travel + leisure, twitter

Photo Credit: National Geographic Traveler celebrates its 30th year with 12 dedicated photographers. Michael Melford / Facebook

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