Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter beat out the usually dominant Facebook this week as top travel brands focused on the visual to excite and inspire potential travelers.

For the most part, original video and user-generated content in the form of snaps helped brands push destinations for wanderlusters to appreciate.

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 has either 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 December 13, 2014:

1. Walt Disney World on YouTube

Last week, Disney Parks published thirteen videos, with a few targeted to different markets and at different times. These videos didn’t lead to a jump in subscribers, though. That could be traced to the announcement of the winner of a ESPN Cheer On Your Disney Side Contest — began in September — on Monday, January 12.

Rutgers University’s Scarlet Knight cheerleading team won a $100,000 grant from ESPN and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort for their choreographed routine video to “It’s a Small World.” Disney Park’s YouTube Channel doubled its YouTube account from its 256 Subscriber/Day Average on January 12 and 13.

2. Matador on Twitter and Instagram

A few listicles about the best cities to see street art, things that Spaniards love to hate, and where the bluest waters are, were the most shared tweets from Matador. Its feed last week also included curated images from readers who tagged #travelstoke on all social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. For three consecutive days, Matador doubled its Twitter followers each day to 111 Followers/Day from 55 Followers/Day Average.

On Instagram, the brand posted photos from its readers and sprinkled a few from its staff members. Matador is one of the few brands that upload in between one to ten posts per day on Instagram. Its followers grew by an average of 63% on these two days it grew by 180 new fans above its 138 Follower/Day Average.

3. KLM on Instagram

KLM launched its new user-generated campaign #myviewforyou. It was promoted twice, and shots of its livery still stole the show. There were two new caption approaches. One was about the flower trade: “Did you know that flowers that are auctioned in the morning are for sale in New York the next morning?” The other connected to the anxiety and relief of travelers: “Touchdown on a rainy runway at Schiphol Airport.” For six days straight, KLM gained an average of 391 Followers/Day, 68% more than its 391 Followers/Day Average.

Touchdown on a rainy runway at Schiphol Airport #klm #touchdown #rain #boeing747

A photo posted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (@klm) on


4. Qantas on Twitter

Amidst the typical air travel gripes, like flight delays and baggage claim issues, a few other comments came in about possible fraud, meal preferences, that took more than two replies from Qantas. When airlines reply with ‘DM us’, and the social care team has yet to follow that person, it adds another level of frustration and another step to the process. Besides the more inquiry based tweets from users, Qantas’ new upgrade to Qantas A330 garnered a few excited comments. For one day, its Twitter Status totaled 628 Tweets, which was 52% higher that it’s daily average of 497 Tweets/Day.

5. Condé Nast Traveler on Twitter

On January 12, 13 and 17, the travel magazine’s Twitter account grew by 26% which is an average of 130 new followers on each of those days, on top of its 497 Followers/Day Average. In addition to the top retweeted listcles, Condé Nast Traveler’s Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzmán was named Ad Age’s 2014 Magazine A-List Editor of the Year. Italy’s towns on the coast; British Slang; TripIt’s new partnership with airport security fast-pass company CLEAR; and travel tech gadgets; and UNESCO’s world heritage sites got the got an average of roughly 60 retweets per post.


Learn More on SkiftIQ

Photo Credit: Video still from "Brutus Buckeye | National Champions." Disney Parks / YouTube