Although major travel brands, including American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, are embracing social media’s real-time customer service capabilities, not all of these efforts are translating to increased engagement or bookings due to lackluster content, according to a report from Engagement Labs.

Technology and data company Engagement Labs undertook a six-month analysis of the engagement and responsiveness rates that airline brands have in relation to social media users’ questions and complaints. While American Airlines and Alaska Airlines nabbed the top spots, other marketers in the travel space should ensure they offer interactive content to drive engagement and positive experiences among followers.

“For the travel industry especially, social media is another avenue companies can use as customer service and provide their consumers with the information they need, in real-time,” said Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs, Quebec, Canada. “Travel can be a stressful occasion for many because there is potential for a lot to go wrong.

“From cancelled flights to mishandled luggage, many travelers leverage social channels to get information, and the number of consumers leveraging social media channels as an avenue for customer service is increasing year over year. By having a strong social media response strategy, travel brands are able to provide consumers with the information they are looking for and/or a simple acknowledgement of the issue the consumer is experiencing, which can positively impact brand affinity.”

Bolstering brand experiences
The two-way communication that social media provides is an excellent tool for marketers to continue enhancing transactional and brand experiences with consumers. The study found that the airline industry has been tapping its social channels to offer better customer service by personally responding to users’ questions, concerns and complaints.

Airlines also often take to Twitter or Facebook to post relevant information about topics such as inclement weather and major delays, which many frazzled customers find extremely helpful.

However, the report discovered that while marketers in travel industries scored high in responsiveness to fans and followers, they fell more flat in engagement rates. Therefore, brands have a major opportunity to differentiate themselves by having their content focus more on fostering engagement and conversation alongside a top responsiveness strategy.

For example, United Airlines recently posted a quick travel tip for social media users, and then asked followers to respond with their own best techniques, culminating in a conversation of useful tidbits.

Read full article at:  Mobile Marketer