Travel social media benchmark wave 1

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Travel Social Media Benchmark Study:
KLM top first travel social media benchmark outperforming rest of travel industry.
On average, the airline industry is engaged with more social media users than any other travel sector.
Like retailers, travel brands are failing to update their social media accounts over important weekend periods.

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Travel social media benchmark wave 1

  1. 1. Social Media Benchmark Travel Issue 1 January 2014 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document
  2. 2. Contents eDigitalResearch Introduction Methodology Key Findings Results Facebook Followers Engagement Levels Best Practice Twitter Followers Engagement Levels Best Practice Google+ Followers Best Practice Pinterest Followers Best practice Conclusions Key areas for Consideration Social Media and Customer Service Social Media solutions About eDigitalResearch Contacts Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 2
  3. 3. eDigitalResearch Introduction 2013 saw huge leaps in social media technology and the uptake by consumers. The continued growth of social media platforms and concepts, such as Pinterest and Instagram, have fundamentally changed the ways that brands are now using and investing in social media channels. Over the past four years, eDigitalResearch have tracked, monitored and benchmarked the fundamental rise of the eCommerce industry here in the UK, and internationally, with our invaluable eTravelBenchmark reports. The industry has evolved from basic transactional travel sites, through to today’s innovative, engaging and user friendly travel websites. Since then we’ve introduced our study across international markets, as well as emerging customer touchpoints, including mCommerce, as multichannel and global expansion become more instrumental to retailers. eDigitalResearch have now taken our years of experience and expertise benchmarking sites across sectors and are now adapting this toward social media use, examining for the first time how travel brands are using the platform to benefit both the business and the consumer. The following report contains the key findings from our first wave, including highlighting those travel brands that are getting it right, the current social media trends as innovations, as well as our thoughts on how to run a successful social media campaign and what the future may hold. Our influential benchmarking reports Sign up for the benchmarking area here Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 3
  4. 4. eDigitalResearch Methodology Between the 9th December and the 15th December 2013, our specialist travel researchers and dedicated social media team studied over 80 top travel brands, covering multiple sectors including airlines, hotels, travel agencies. We looked at travel brands’ presence (or lack of) on the most influential and popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest and monitored the number of followers and fans. Alongside this, our team also looked at the quality of output and productivity in an attempt to measure the levels of innovative customer engagement by brands, studying messages by subject and topic. Using HUB, our powerful insight and analysis tool, we were then able to drill down our findings to highlight successful brands across each social platform, as well as drawing attention to those brands that integrate consumer conversation throughout all social media sites. In order to establish which travel sectors are using social media to the best of their advantage, we compared the top performing brands from travel agencies, airlines, hotels, cruises, in an attempt to understand social media best practice. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 4
  5. 5. eDigitalResearch Key Findings From our previous research in to retailers’ social media activity in our Retail Social Media benchmark, we found that the top performing travel brands had a similar amount of followers on their social media sites. KLM were most consistent brand across the board coming first, second, third and fourth on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest respectively and the only travel company to feature in each top 10. On Facebook KLM are ahead by 1.7 million (1,740,138) likes over second placed AirFrance. British Airways top the Google+ table with over half a million (501,485) more followers than second placed Expedia. Google+ continues to attract a high number of new followers and is starting to make a real impact on social media campaigns. For example, KLM have more than three times the number of Twitter followers engaged with their Google+ account. Hotel brands performed particularly well on Pinterest with Four Seasons taking the top spot followed by Mr and Mrs Smith and Hotels.com. The study also highlights that travel brands are posting a lot less across social media platforms during weekend periods compared to weekdays. On average, most travel brands are posting less than half on Saturdays and Sundays than they are during the week. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 5
  6. 6. RESULTS Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 6
  7. 7. Facebook Followers: Top 20 eDigitalResearch Position Travel brand No. of Followers (Issue 1)* 1 KLM 4,593,518 2 Air France 2,853,380 3 Emirates 2,304,623 4 Hotels.com 2,027,388 5 Expedia 1,897,334 6 Trivago 1,476,397 7 Royal Caribbean 1,470,718 8 Lufthansa 1,425,636 9 Booking.com 1,337,532 10 Princess Cruises 1,237,759 11 American Airlines 1,169,864 12 Hilton 1,162,854 13 Delta 1,136,973 14 British Airways 1,083,784 15 Best Western 838,670 16 Holiday Inn Express 654,448 17 Cathay Pacific 645,848 18 Etihad 563,448 19 Low Cost Holidays 544,291 20 Singapore Airlines Dutch airline KLM have taken the first travel social media top spot, having reached just over an impressive 4.5 million likes. Airlines have performed particularly well in the very first travel Facebook league table with KLM, Air France and Emirates completing the top 3. However, their success is most probably due to their large international customer base. KLM have also converted a higher number of Facebook users into followers, similar to the top retailers in our Retail Social Media Benchmark (using figures from our previous Retail 531,449 Social Media Benchmark from the week commencing 17th June 2013) *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 7
  8. 8. eDigitalResearch Engagement Levels eDigitalResearch monitored the engagement levels of top travel brands across key social networks to understand more about how key performing brands are currently managing their social media campaign. eDigitalResearch also measured the ‘Talking about’ numbers for the top performing travel brands, comparing the data to follower numbers. Most brands have similar ‘Talking about’ and ‘follower’ numbers, showing how a well maintained and integrated Facebook page can have a positive impact on social media user activity. The average number of apps integrated into pages varies greatly and stands at just over 5 different apps per brand (5.3). These figures, however, do not match with the amount of fans a page has, although four of the top five have six or more. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 8
  9. 9. Engagement Levels eDigitalResearch Average number of posts per day Cathay Pacific Hilton Singapore Airlines Lufthansa Trivago Princess Cruises Hotels.com Air France KLM Royal Caribbean Emirates British Airways Holiday Inn Express Delta Booking.com Best Western American Airlines Low Cost Holidays Expedia Etihad Etihad have the highest number of average posts even though they are 18th in the overall Facebook league table with 563,448 likes. They are actively engaging with users by asking them questions about themselves and for feedback as well as quizzes using their #AVGEEK hashtag. They also post the vast majority of posts with engaging photos. Top 3 Travel Social Media Facebook Benchmark league table 0 0.5 1 1.5 *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 9 2 2.5 3 3.5
  10. 10. eDigitalResearch Engagement levels Average number of posts per day across the week As with the retail counterpart, the Travel Social Media benchmark has found that travel brands are failing to keep an active and up to date Facebook page at weekend periods, posting far less on average on Saturday and Sunday to weekdays. 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 10 Friday Saturday Sunday
  11. 11. Engagement Levels eDigitalResearch Number of page apps (excluding notes, photos and events) Singapore Airlines Etihad Princess Cruises Booking.com Trivago Hotels.com Cathay Pacific American Airlines Lufthansa Delta Holiday Inn Express Air France KLM Low Cost Holidays Emirates Hilton Expedia Best Western British Airways Royal Caribbean All of the top performers have at least 2 page apps in an effort to engage with users. Top 3 Travel Social Media Facebook Benchmark league table 0 1 2 3 4 *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 11 5 6 7 8 9 10
  12. 12. Engagement Levels: ‘Talking about’ numbers eDigitalResearch Best Western Low Cost Holidays ‘Talking about’ measures the number of people on Facebook talking about certain brands, taking into account wall posts, comments and page shares. As expected, top of the table Emirates, KLM and Air France have a higher ‘Talking about’ number than their rivals. Although they are lower in the table Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises are higher ranked in this showing that they actively engage their customers. Expedia Trivago British Airways Cathay Pacific Hilton Hotels.com Singapore Airlines Etihad American Airlines Holiday Inn Express Top 3 Travel Social Media Facebook Benchmark league table Booking.com Lufthansa Delta Princess Cruises Royal Caribbean Air France KLM Emirates 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 12 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 180,000 200,000
  13. 13. eDigitalResearch Best Practice: Etihad Airways Although ranked 18th in the overall Facebook league table, Etihad Airways’ Facebook page has the highest average number of posts. Etihad Airways actively engages their customers in quizzes, sales, and pointing them towards their website, driving traffic and sales. By posting images with their posts they have created an engaging and aesthetically pleasing Facebook page which encourages to get involved. The design of the page also stands out from others. The display and cover images blend together showing that they have a clear Facebook strategy. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 13
  14. 14. eDigitalResearch Best Practice: KLM With over 1.7million more likes than 2nd placed Air France, KLM have set the bar for all others. With great design and fantastic customer engagement shown by replying to questions in a polite and quick manner in whatever language the customer needs. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 14 KLM have a well thought out range of Page Apps allowing customers to engage with ease. An outstanding example is their Flight Status app which allows users to track flights in real time.
  15. 15. Twitter Followers: The Top 20 eDigitalResearch Position Retailer No. of Followers (Issue 1)* 1 American Airlines 2 KLM 669,012 3 Delta 558,433 4 British Airways 363,152 5 Virgin Atlantic 207,995 6 Expedia 179,221 7 Qantas 146,260 8 EasyJet 145,847 9 Hilton 113,385 10 Travelocity 101,500 11 Four Seasons 95,347 12 Royal Caribbean 79,880 13 STA Travel 70,022 14 Thomson 68,216 15 Singapore Airlines 62,369 16 Thomas Cook 58,608 17 Best western 57,347 18 Princess Cruises 52,803 19 Monarch 51,438 20 Air France Airlines once again top the overall Twitter league table with all of the top 5 spots. KLM doing well across Facebook and Twitter and are the only company to appear in the top three of both tables. American Airlines have a similar number of Twitter followers in comparison to retailers in our Retail Benchmark (using figures from 684,694 47,495 our previous Retail Social Media Benchmark from the week commencing 17th June 2013). However, like retailers, travel brands have a far less number of followers on Twitter than on other social media platforms. This perhaps suggests a consumer behavioural trend emerging where customers would rather keep up to date with their favourite brands via more visually engaging platforms (such as Facebook and Google+) and use more text based sites (such as Twitter) as a means of contact. *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 15
  16. 16. Engagement levels eDigitalResearch Average number of posts per day Air France EasyJet Singapore Airlines Qantas Hilton Virgin Atlantic Royal Caribbean Best Western American Airlines Princess Cruises British Airways Delta KLM Thomas Cook Travelocity Thomson Monarch STA Travel Expedia Four Seasons Four Seasons have the highest number of average posts, with a huge average of over 27 per day. Four Seasons seem more active on their Twitter account than others by retweeting and replying a lot within a post rather than opting for the conversation option that other brands use. Top 3 Travel Social Media Twitter Benchmark league table 0 5 10 15 *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 16 20 25 30
  17. 17. eDigitalResearch Engagement Levels Average number of posts per day across the week 9 Similar to their Facebook pages, travel brands are failing to interact with Twitter users at the weekend and outside traditional office hours. 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 17 Friday Saturday Sunday
  18. 18. eDigitalResearch Best Practice: KLM KLM are the only company to feature in both the Facebook and Twitter league tables KLM are actively using their Twitter account for customer service, updating their page regularly with expected reply times. This helps to better manage customer expectations. Offering replies in ten languages, KLM are easily accessible to all international followers. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 18
  19. 19. eDigitalResearch Position Google+ Followers: The Top 20 Retailer No. of Followers (Issue 10)* 1 British Airways 2,421,797 2 Expedia 1,920,312 3 KLM 1,901,717 4 Delta 1,839,434 5 Travel Republic 1,692,698 6 American Airlines 1,684,815 7 Travelocity 1,661,517 8 Booking.com 1,516,877 9 Emirates 1,443,344 10 Destinology 834,395 11 Hilton 796,739 12 laterooms.com 745,475 13 Mr and Mrs Smith 612,952 14 Hotels.com 486,909 15 Thomson 195,443 16 Thomas Cook 186,795 17 First Choice 156,460 18 Low Cost Holidays 134,231 19 Etihad 118,253 20 Royal Caribbean Google+ allows people to “+1” as well as “follow” pages. For this study we have used the number of followers each page has as a reflection of those that are actually interacting with the page. British Airways top the Google+ Overall table with just shy of 2.5 million followers. KLM is once again in the top five. The popularity of Google+ is starting to show with travel brands increasingly attracting a high number of new followers on the site. 14 of the top 20 Facebook pages have over 1 million likes and 9 of the top 20 Google+ pages have over 1 million likes. There is a large gap of 600,000+ followers between ninth and tenth position, proving that some brands still have a lot to do to move further up the table. 84,556 *During the week commencing 9th December 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 19
  20. 20. eDigitalResearch Google+ Best Practice: British Airways British Airways top the Google+ overall table. They have the most followers with over 2.4 million and have over 2.6 million plus ones. Keeping your social media pages up to date is the key to keeping consumers engaged and British Airways are a prime example of this practice posting at least once a day on average. . British Airways keep their Google+ page interesting with current and engaging content including inspiring photographs and videos. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 20
  21. 21. Pinterest Followers: Top 20 eDigitalResearch Position Retailer No. of Followers (Issue 1)* 1 Four Seasons 2 Mr and Mrs Smith 13,212 3 Hotels.com 6,559 4 KLM 5,739 5 Royal Caribbean 5,644 6 Travelocity 3,595 7 Princess Cruises 2,673 8 Hilton 2,523 9 American Airlines 2,272 10 Booking.com 2,127 11 Destinology 2,081 12 Directline Holidays 2,040 13 Delta 1,787 14 Kuoni 1,779 15 BA 1,742 16 Best western 1,700 17 Holiday Inn 1,547 First Choice 1,461 19 STA Travel 1,383 20 Super Break 1,072 Four Seasons are top of the Pinterest table with over 31,000 followers – over 18,000 more than anyone else in the benchmark. Unlike other social media platforms where airlines dominate the top of the table, hotel brands are doing surprisingly well on Pinterest. KLM are once again in the top 5 – the only company to be in the top 5 of the 4 social media websites we have looked at. In comparison to our Retail Social Media benchmark, retail brands have a lot more followers than travel brands (Topman has 103,208) (using figures from our previous Retail Social Media 31,383 18 Benchmark from the week commencing 17th June 2013). *During the week commencing 9th Dec 2013 Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 21
  22. 22. eDigitalResearch Best Practice: FourSeasons Four Seasons dominate the table with 18,000 more followers than any of their competitors. They have 51 boards with over 3,400 pins tapping in to key areas of interest on Pinterest including food and drink. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 22
  23. 23. eDigitalResearch Key Areas for consideration Stay active. Content should be updated on a regular basis with at least several posts a day and in line with other marketing channels. This in turn will help to encourage followers to get involved and help create a sense of community around your brand Encourage engagement with a variety of page features. The more there is to do, the more likely a user is to spend time on your page, interacting with the brand and avid brand advocates Involve followers. Ask your followers to get involved with games, forms, polls or competitions and use the data gleaned to improve strategic development Integrate channels. Support your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest following by encouraging online and in-store customers to engage and ‘like’ your page, chances are they’re already actively using the channel Make the experience worthwhile. The modern consumer is demanding, make sure you give them what they want and a little bit extra Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 23
  24. 24. eDigitalResearch Social Media and Customer Services Over the various social media benchmarking studies, we’ve noticed more and more customers reaching out to brands on their Social Media pages with brands also reaching back and using this medium as a method of customer service. In October 2013 we conducted a study into how consumers contact brands. 0.7% of people would use Social Media to contact travel brands but it seems brands are ready for this to increase by inviting consumers to contact them, some even giving wait times Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 24
  25. 25. eDigitalResearch Social Media Solutions Use social media platforms to survey your followers and involve your followers in your business. Integrate social media links into your existing insight programme to help increase awareness and turn brand advocates into social followers. Understand and gauge the success of your social media presence to help better engage with your customers. Learn how far your social media influence reaches and turn your followers into active brand advocates, or vice versa. Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 25
  26. 26. eDigitalResearch Who we are and what we do We are one of the leading providers of digital market research • • • • established in 1999 by current directors/owners self funded, financially secure, clear ethics own system with outstanding technical support team of research professionals We have migrated traditional market research to digital methodologies • reducing costs – fixed pricing model • faster results – real time results • improving accuracy – no response or panel limits We are developing and introducing innovative research solutions • • • • • • real time feedback maximising respondent engagement industry norms/benchmarking mCommerce/mResearch social networking (digital communities) Fully integrated customisable Customer Experience Management Company Partners Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 26
  27. 27. eDigitalResearch Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2013 Product overview 27
  28. 28. Vanbrugh House, Grange Drive Hedge End Hampshire SO30 2AF Tel: 01489 772920 www.edigitalresearch.com @eDRtweet For a bespoke insight programme designed specifically to gain insight and understanding into your social media audience, please contact Lynda Baker, Business Development Manager, lynda.baker@edigitalresearch.com. Similarly, if you would like more information on the results then please contact eDigitalResearch by emailing info@edigitalresearch.com eDigitalResearch Key Contacts: Lisa Bonczyk – Associate Director, Sales and Marketing – lisa.bonczyk@edigitalresearch.com Liana Vickery – Marketing Manager - liana.vickery@edigitalresearch.com Private & Confidential © eDigitalResearch 2014 This document is for information purposes only eDigitalResearch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document 28
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