The world’s largest online travel company Expedia has jumped ahead in the latest Travel Social Media Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch, topping the Google+ league table and gaining almost 2.5million new followers on Facebook in just six months.

Now with over 4million likes on Facebook, Expedia have moved three places up the league table to second – with just Dutch airline KLM sitting firmly above them in first. Expedia run a global Facebook page with content targeted depending on a follower’s country or region. It allows Expedia to engage with audiences on a local level and seamlessly integrate their regional marketing messages, whilst maintaining a global brand presence – and is also perhaps a key factor behind their latest social media success.

Ryanair make their first appearance in the benchmark, after moving nineteen places up the Twitter league table thanks to a gain of almost 65,000 followers. Ryanair launched their revamped marketing campaign – including a new customer service strategy, website and social media presence – at the end of last year and have since then seen a rise in both social media followers and profits. Recent company statements suggest that an increase in revenues can be attributed to the company’s new approach to its customer experience. Their Twitter account encourages people to engage with the brand – for perhaps the first time ever – posting pictures of their Ryanair experience, as well as using the account as a means of contacting customer services.

Top performing social media airline KLM has become the first travel brand to break the 1million mark on Twitter, thanks to a social media strategy with a clear focus on customer service. Airlines once again dominate league tables across the benchmark, with American Airlines, Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic completing the Twitter top five – although, this is likely due to their global customer reach.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “Social media platforms are the perfect way to reach out to a global audience and engage with your customers. As Expedia have shown, using targeted, local accounts within a wider, global social media strategy means that you’ll able to speak to customers on their terms and in their language whilst retaining your global brand presence.

“The customer experience really is key these days, and that includes social media platforms. People increasingly see social media channels as a means of getting in touch with companies and engaging with their favourites brands. Therefore brands, especially travel brands, need to have a clear and robust social media strategy that allows them to listen to their followers and connect with them”.

To download the full Travel Social Media Benchmark results, please complete the following short registration survey:

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