Conversations Technology and data company Engagement Labs, creator of the eValueTM score, released its data rankings on the top airlines serving the UK, on both social media and through offline word of mouth (WOM) conversations.
“For airlines, social media acts as an important extension of a brand’s customer service, providing an avenue for consumers to ask questions and communicate directly with the airline, at an often stressful time” said Steve Thomson, UK Managing Director at Keller Fay and Engagement Labs.
“Therefore social media becomes a critical tool for airlines to connect with their consumers, answer questions, help mitigate challenges and respond to issues, all in real time. Gone are the days of sending an email to customer service departments and waiting for a response. Social media provides consumers the opportunity to interact immediately and for brands to react accordingly, demonstrating dedication to their customers and to finding solutions.”
On Facebook KLM ranked first for eValue and Impact score. The brand also had an impressive Responsiveness score which is clearly evident when looking at the brand’s channel and their continuous comments and responses to consumer posts. Budget airline Ryanair ranked second for overall eValue score. Emirates came in a close third with the highest Engagement score.
Although the brand posted 79 times – in comparison to Ryanair’s 509 posts – Emirates saw more engagement from fans, demonstrating that the brand has a great understanding of its audience and the content which encourages interaction. Emirates also enjoy positive offline word of mouth (WOM).
On Twitter Ryanair took the top spot for eValue score with the second highest Engagement score. As seen on Facebook, the brand continued to post very frequently, almost six times more than the second and third ranked brands, British Airways and easyJet, respectively. British Airways secured the highest Responsiveness score and admin replies, indicating their commitment to communicating with followers, while easyJet had the highest Engagement score.
KLM again led the fleet on Instagram with the highest Impact and Responsiveness scores. Ryanair took second place with the highest Engagement score. The brand’s Instagram channel comprised of a mix of professional and user-generated images. Especially on Instagram, user-generated content is an excellent method for brands to create follower engagement and build trust among audiences.
“For the airline industry, social media is the perfect avenue to integrate marketing and brand messaging with customer service. However, social media is only part of the equation. For companies to have an all-round view of their brand they must also understand how people are talking about them through word of mouth conversations and the sentiment behind the conversations,” added Thomson.
Although KLM secured top spots on social media, the brand ranked sixth for WOM, with 58% of the conversations being positive. This highlights that although KLM’s social strategy is encouraging engagement online, the company should examine how they can translate online conversation into positive offline conversation.
Finally, Virgin Atlantic arguably faces the opposite problem: a base of positive sentiment in WOM is not reflected in the brand’s engagement via social media – a missed opportunity given the brand’s high profile.