SOURCE: Engagement Labs

Engagement Labs

September 10, 2015 08:30 ET

American Airlines, BookIt.com and Hotels.com Continue to Lead the Travel Fleet on Social Media

Engagement Labs Releases Six Month Rankings Analysis on U.S. Airlines and Online Travel Agents; Findings Indicate That Brands Are Putting Focus on Responding to Followers

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Sep 10, 2015) - Technology and data company Engagement Labs (TSX VENTURE: EL), creator of eValue Analytics™ and the eValue™ score, today released a six month analysis on the eValue rankings for the top U.S. Airlines and Online Travel Agents on social media.

Top Ten Airlines - Six Month Comparison on Facebook
Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 American Airlines American Airlines
2 Island Air Alaska Airlines
3 Delta Air Lines Hawaiian Airlines
4 Frontier Airlines JetBlue Airways Corporation
5 Hawaiian Airlines Delta Air Lines
6 Sun Country Airlines Southwest Airlines
7 Southwest Airlines Frontier Airlines
8 Alaska Airlines Sun Country Airlines
9 JetBlue Airways Corporation Virgin America
10 Allegiant Travel Island Air
     
Top Ten Airlines - Six Month Comparison on Twitter
Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 American Airlines American Airlines
2 United Airlines Alaska Airlines
3 Alaska Airlines United Airlines
4 Sun Country Airlines JetBlue Airways Corporation
5 Allegiant Travel Sun Country Airlines
6 Delta Air Lines Southwest Airlines
7 JetBlue Airways Corporation Virgin America
8 Southwest Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
9 Frontier Airlines Delta Air Lines
10 Virgin America Frontier Airlines
     

"As a whole, the travel industry focuses on both brand and transactional experiences. They want to be a trusted provider of travel for consumers and ensure that they are continuing to use their product or services when it's time to book a trip. As social media is a two-way communication tool, it allows these brands to interact with their consumers on a daily basis and in real time," said Bryan Segal, CEO at Engagement Labs. "Based on the data in our six month analysis, we found that brands in both industries have amped up their Responsiveness to fans and followers, but Engagement continues to remain low. There is major opportunity for these brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors by refreshing their content to focus on Engagement, as well as ensuring their social media strategy continues to places an emphasis on responsiveness."

Engagement Labs found that the airline industry is leveraging their social media channels as a way to heighten customer service by responding to passengers' questions and complaints, while providing helpful information, such as links to their customer service channels. While airlines have made improvements to be more Responsive, on average, they only scored 41.0, out of the possible 100, with JetBlue Airways achieving the highest Responsiveness subscore of 85.94 on Twitter, with an average response time of six minutes. There is still plenty of room for airlines to take their customer service a step further via social media.

"We found that the airlines have a huge opportunity to engage their followers by creating content that will encourage them to communicate with their brand. When looking at Engagement subscores for the airline industry, they are on average low, with the average subscore on Facebook at 49.47 and 37.95 on Twitter, out of a possible 100. American Airlines had the highest Engagement subscore on Twitter of 67.78, along with the highest number of replies per 1000 fans. The brand may not have the most followers of the group, however, they are leaders in creating and posting content that resonates with their followers. For example, the airline leverages user-generated content and images, which encourages followers to engage with them," continued Segal.

When looking at Twitter, three airlines have remained at the top, with American Airlines holding the number one spot with an eValue score of 88.17. In the second and third spot Alaska Airlines, which moved up one spot since March, and United Airlines, which moved down a spot since March. Similar to trends identified on Facebook, all three of these brands improved their Responsiveness subscores by more than 10 points.

Top Ten Online Travel Agents - Six Month Comparison on Facebook
Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 BookIt.com BookIt.com
2 Orbitz Worldwide Airbnb
3 Travelocity Hotwire
4 CheapOair Travelzoo
5 Expedia Expedia
6 CheapTickets Orbitz
7 OneTravel Travelocity
8 Hotels.com Booking.com
9 Fare Buzz CheapOair
10 Priceline.com Priceline.com
     
Top Ten Online Travel Agents- Six Month Comparison on Twitter
Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 Hotels.com Hotels.com
2 OneTravel Booking.com
3 CheapOair Airbnb
4 Expedia Expedia
5 Airbnb CheapOair
6 Travelzoo OneTravel
7 Priceline.com Orbitz
8 CheapAir Priceline.com
9 Travelocity Hotwire
10 BookIt.com TripAdvisor
     

Online Travel Agents are using their social media to stay top of mind and encourage future bookings with their consumers.

"As we saw with the six month follow-up, BookIt.com has not only remained the top OTA on Facebook, but has increased their eValue score from 56.92 to 81.34, which is almost 40 points higher than their closest competitor. The brand encourages their fans to interact with their page by posing questions, such as asking about their travel style or the destination they want to travel to next, then thanking them for their responses. By focusing on Responsiveness, the brand has also increased Engagement and Impact among followers," noted Segal.

On Twitter, Hotels.com remained the top ranked OTA with the highest Engagement subscore and number of retweets per 1000 followers. Expedia jumped from the fourth to second spot due to a major increase in their Responsiveness subscore, while CheapOair remained in the third spot.

"One trend we are seeing across this industry is the type of content being used to engage fans. Similar to airlines, Engagement subscores are low, on average, and many of the brands are leveraging similar content that is not quite resonating with audiences enough to push Engagement numbers. BookIt.com's Facebook page stands out, as they create teaser campaigns to engage followers in upcoming contests and giveaways that are gaining massive traction with fans," said Segal.

*Note: Airbnb, Bookings.com and Hotwire were newly added OTA brands on Facebook's September 2015 rankings.

About Engagement Labs
Engagement Labs' eValue™ Score is the global benchmark for social media scoring. eValue Analytics Pro, an enterprise-grade social media analytics platform, scores brands between 0-100. The eValue suite measures brands' social media and digital marketing efforts. It's composed of a series of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), including Engagement, Responsiveness and Impact, which is benchmarked against 100,000+ hand picked and verified brands.

The eValue score is composed of Engagement, Impact and Responsiveness metrics. Engagement is the level of interaction content receives on a specific social network, Impact is the unique reach content receives on a specific social network, and Responsiveness measures how much, how fast and how well a brand responds to actual conversations amongst its users.

Engagement Labs (TSX VENTURE: EL) offers intelligent social data, analytics and insights for organizations that are actively engaging on social networks. Offered as a SaaS or through an API, the eValue Analytics platform allows brands to measure and maximize the effectiveness of their social media marketing campaigns, as well as measure that of their competitors across major social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Additionally, through the Keller Fay Group division of Engagement Labs, brands can also measure the marketing performance of offline word of mouth conversations. Engagement Labs maintains offices in Toronto and New Brunswick, New Jersey. www.engagementlabs.com / www.evaluesuite.com

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