A new report has revealed travel's movers and shakers on social media. The report by technology and data company Engagement Labs has ranked the top performing travel firms in the US on social networks.
The firms, which include hotel chains, airlines and online travel aggregators, are scored on engagement, impact and responsiveness metrics using Engagement Labs' eValue marker, which is the global standard for social media scoring.
The top performer on Facebook was The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, whose daily posts about its resorts appear effective in engaging with its audience. These include unique facts about each resort and feature popular landmarks to keep followers interested.
Ritz-Carlton fared almost as well on Twitter, coming second in the rankings - beaten to the top by Hyatt Hotels. The key to Hyatt Hotels' success on Twitter is its use of highly visual holiday-related content. Creative hashtags such as #HyattAllIn also engage customers by encouraging users to share their travel experiences and enter into a dialogue with the brand.
Bryan Segal, Engagement Labs CEO, commented: "As social media is increasingly becoming an all-purpose communication tool, the hotel industry excels by providing real-time information to their customers on their social media channels. Companies like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Hyatt Hotels utilise their social media channels to provide up-to-date resort news and industry information as a one-stop shop for their audiences."
For airlines, the top scorer was American Airlines on both Facebook and Twitter. Its command of Facebook extends beyond simply providing company information to engaging users with worldwide news and events, and relating this back to the airline industry. For example, during Women's History Month the airline asked followers to share stories about female staff members who have shown great customer service.
On Twitter, the firm engages with followers by responding to consumer postings. They also post about topical news and events such as #TheDress and #Selma50, which naturally encourages dialogue.
The highest ranking travel aggregators - such as online travel agents and metasearch sites - are BookIt.com (Facebook) and Hotels.com (Twitter).
BookIt achieves superior engagement with its audience via travel ideas, providing tips on things to do in particular destinations, and contests in which followers can win trips to different destinations. Meanwhile, Hotels.com excels at engagement on Twitter by communicating the latest deals and promotions to its fan base. It also provides travel tips and trivia content to generate higher engagement.
Consumers are increasingly turning to social networks to guide their travel decisions, says Engagement Labs.
"They want convenience, trusted brands and good deals. Social media is a key resource to help consumers navigate the complexity of travel today. We see marketers optimising social channels to enhance user experience, customer satisfaction and develop trust and loyalty with their audiences," Segal concluded.