Skift Take

With image and community-based platforms like Snapchat, Meerkat, and Periscope on the scene, brands need to be cautious about spreading themselves too thin and must reevaluate their presence.

Any travel brand that expects to do well on social media has a strong presence on at least half of the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube platforms.

But how do they connect with travelers on the more tricky social networks?

Skift took a quick look at the brands that drive the highest social activity activity within the most active social sectors (as measured on SkiftIQ), and compared this to what they’re doing on image-dependent platforms like Pinterest, Vine, and Tumblr. Of the top five airline, booking sites, destinations, hotels and media brands we found that 75 percent are on Pinterest; 70 percent are on Vine; and 30 percent are on Tumblr.

Pinterest: On this platform, media brands had the strongest visibility, mainly by curating original and community content for travel inspiration. Lonely Planet, Travel Channel, and Condé Nast Traveler came out on top with the most followers. It is important to note that some of their boards get just as great or much greater traction than the main account themselves.

For example, Lonely Planet has 702,587 followers on Pinterest but its first board, “Travel Quotes,” has more than 500,000 followers. Travel Channels’ “Daily Escapes” board has 180,000 followers while its account has just 142,117 followers.

Vine: We’re still not sold on Twitter’s short video service. But Vine’s video looping community has 40 million users — with active users unknown — which is most likely less that 10 percent of Instagram’s monthly average users (MAUs) and less than 25 percent of Pinterest’s MAUs.

Walt Disney World Resorts, Lonely Planet, Travel Channel, KLM ,and TripAdvisor have the most Vine followers, but Disney and Lonely Planet are the only brands that are exerting any real effort. The other three have sporadically uploaded seemingly random loops.

Then There’s Tumblr: Out of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vine, Tumblr is the only social media platform where follower count is not visible to the public. It claims 420 million monthly active users (MAUs).

Despite Tumblr’s large user base, it has the least amount of brands that have official accounts. Within that grouping it also has the least consistent cadence. Condé Nast Traveler, Matador Network, and Travel Channel publish the most eye candy on this platform but the users are not biting, at least not in any readily meaningful way.

What’s Next? Now that Snapchat carved out a niche with Millennials and got the buy-in from top publishers like National Geographic, Vice, and CNN, to name a few; and Twitter’s acquisition of Periscope is beating Meerkat into the ground, brands need to take a step back and reallocate their content efforts when it comes to time-based video apps. Time will tell, of course, which one is worth it in the end.

Travel Brands’ Followers on Social Media Platforms by Sector

Top Travel Media Brands Pinterest Vine Tumblr
Lonely Planet 702,587 34,400 *
Travel Channel 142,117 21,900 *
Condé Nast Traveler 130,781 3,084 *
TripAdvisor 91,679 21,400 not active
Matador Network 5,091 not active *
Top Destinations Pinterest Vine Tumblr
Walt Disney World Resorts 119,752 115,900 not active
Tourism Australia 6,178 6,015 not active
Visit Philly 8,563 1,654 not active
U.S. Department of the Interior not active 5,475 not active
Tourism and Events Queensland 4,831 not active not active
Top Airlines Pinterest Vine Tumblr
KLM 8,491 27,400 not active
British Airways 419 5,281 not active
Qantas Airways not active 4,937 not active
American Airlines 2,267 not active not active
TAM Airlines not active not active not active
Top Booking Sites Pinterest Vine Tumblr
Airbnb 13,454 7,808 *
Expedia 4,593 3,535 *
Thomson Holidays 2,042 2,318 not active
Skyscanner 1,369 509 not active
momondo 112 26 not active
Top Hotel Brands Pinterest Vine Tumblr
Atlantis Bahamas 2,027 not active not active
Hyatt Hotels 1,907 not active not active
Kimpton Hotels 1,493 3 not active
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts 768 342 not active
Loews Hotels not active not active *

Source: Skift, March 31, 2015
Note: Official accounts are marked with an asterisk (*), since Tumblr doesn’t publicize follower count.

Correction: Lonely Planet’s and Travel Channel’s Pinterest followers updated.

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Tags: periscope, pinterest, snapchat, social media, tumblr, vine

Photo credit: Lonely Planet's Pinterest board that uploads content from its website and repins others' pins of stylized travel quotes. Lonely Planet / Pinterest

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