3 Insights for Travel Brands on Twitter


February 4, 2015

I like to think of Twitter as the best “other” social media around. I mean, whenever a discussion comes up about the best network for business purposes, professionals and/or a B2B setting, most people will agree that Linkedin is the go-to platform. Then perhaps Twitter.

Many people like to get their news via Google alerts or perhaps through Facebook’s trending feature. Then perhaps Twitter.

Facebook and YouTube are fighting it off for video consumption supremacy, while Instagram and Vine are competing for shorter, 6-15 seconds-long videos. As Vine belongs to Twitter, well, perhaps we don’t talk about it just as much.

Yet whenever a big event comes around, i.e. Super Bowl, Oscars, breaking news, it’s through Twitter chatter that we sift. So why aren’t there more travel brands making the most of Twitter yet?

Where travelers engage

A recent study by Twitter and Millward Brown found that Twitter was indeed a much-used tool by travelers, specially in North America. In fact, here are three insights that can help travel brands understand the potential that lies within Twitter.

1. Tweets happen before, during and after a trip

Sure, we tend to tweet mostly during the travel experience, from the airline to hotels to attractions and restaurants. In fact, 39% of travelers use Twitter while on a trip. So travel brands ought to listen, as some travelers now tend to voice their concern or discontent directly via Twitter rather than at the front desk.

Interestingly enough, travelers also tend to tweet prior to their trip (21%) as well as after their trip (28%), meaning travel brands have the opportunity to engage prior to arrival and continue the conversation long after the trip ended, turning satisfied travelers into potential brand advocates.

2. Twitter boosts brand favorability

Back in 2013, a study had found that 70% of comments left on brand accounts on social networks (Facebook and Twitter, mostly) where left unanswered. In other words, only about 30% of brands answered comments and questions left on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed. Surprising? Yes and no. It aligns with other stats that tell us that about only 32% of travel brands listed on TripAdvisor actively manage reviews, which means responding to guest comments among other things.

Dutch airline KLM understands the importance of customer response on Twitter, highlighting waiting time to manage expectations.

According to Millward Brown, we learn that while 40% of travelers have engaged with a travel brand on Twitter, only 28% of those received a response. Which isn’t so bad, right? 28% out of 40% actually represents a 70% response rate. But here’s the kicker: of those travelers that were answered to, 73% felt more positively about the brand afterwards. Thus, there is true opportunity here to make a difference and get better perception for our brand by actively engaging and responding to customer tweets.

3. Twitter content influences travelers

Since Twitter has its own jargon and user base, it tends to attract different folks than those found on other social networks. Perhaps this explains why travelers are 44% more likely to learn about a new travel brand on Twitter when compared to Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Tumblr.

So if you are churning quality content on your corporate blog and newsletter, why not amplify it through social networks such as Twitter where there are many travelers seeking this kind of content? In fact here are the tweet content travelers most want to see:

  1. Exclusive discounts (46%)
  2. Last-minute deals (41%)
  3. Contest and promotions (30%)
  4. Funny content (30%)
  5. Travel ideas and stories (27%)

Check out the complete infographic below for more details on this recent study.

Source: Twitter

Read also: Social Media Best Practices in Travel: Twitter

Or Twitter Case Studies in Travel

Frederic Gonzalo
Frederic Gonzalo

Senior marketing and communications expert & speaker with more than 20 years of expertise in the travel and hospitality industry. Consulting since early 2012, I provide strategic planning, social media & mobile development counseling to small and medium businesses alike. Reach me at frederic@gonzomarketing.biz

Let me e-mail you the next article.