Social media a vital tool for grounded airlines

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ne...rounded-airlines/story-e6freuy9-1226079506551

    AIRLINES have learnt their lesson from last week's ash cloud debacle, embarking on a social media blitz to update passengers and limit chaotic scenes at airports.

    But, despite using Twitter, Facebook and text messages in a bid to avoid masses of unhappy travellers, phone lines went into meltdown as they struggled to keep up with passengers seeking information on the possible resumption of flights.

    Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways were inundated with phone calls and questions on Twitter and Facebook.
    Passengers were being referred to airline websites for updates. Many vented anger about being on hold for up to three hours.

    Sydneysider David Miles tweeted: "Dear @JetstarNews @JetstarAirways - thank you for disconnecting me again. Have now wasted more than two hrs with you just to change a flight."
    Jetstar apologised on Twitter: "We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls due to the volcanic ash cloud - please be patient."

    Stephanie Rice and members of the Australian swimming team tweeted their return flight from the US was also delayed.
    "I'm in the worst mood ... flights been delayed 12hrs (just want to be home)," she tweeted. Qantas received some praise, with Lyndal Parker-Newlyn of Wollongong tweeting: "@QantasAirways have been careful and conservative and communicating on media and REALLY helpful on twitter. Gold star!"
    Virgin Australia customers made little complaint as the airline privately messaged them on Twitter.
    Tiger was the only airline not to use social media.
    Justin Browne summed up each airline's social media usage.

    "SM strategy of the airlines. @tigerairwaysaus 0 tweets @QantasMedia 4 tweets @VirginAustralia clear winners with a real person and lots of info."
     
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  2. thewinchester
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    thewinchester Silver Member

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    Sorry, but The Tele got this article completely and utterly wrong. I'd even go as far as calling it self-serving BS that fits the News Corp anti-Qantas agenda.

    As a super-regular twitter user, I have been monitoring the activities of the Australian domestic carriers over the last week.

    To put it in summary: Qantas was the most active airline, seeking to respond directly to as many tweets from customers as possible, answering questions and providing them with relevant and useful information wherever possible. No other airline, not even Virgin Australia engaged with consumers via twitter as much as Qantas, and it became clear three days ago that Virgin had given up entirely responding to customers.

    Put Virgin's response in the context of Qantas, and the differences are like chalk and cheese. Qantas' level of consumer response, question answering and engagement extended beyond their normal 9-5 hours, with staff tweeting and responding as late as 0000hrs AEST.

    But, the intensity of their commitment to the medium was highlighted on no less than two occasions yesterday where the @QantasAirways twitter account exceeded the twitter API rate limit preventing them from tweeting for a significant period of time. When they took over the @QantasMedia account to continue their tweeting and response to consumers, they also exceeded the API limit on that account as well.

    The strategy of Qantas also showed that despite their short time engaging with consumers in social media, specially twitter, specially compared to their domestic competitor Virgin Australia, they [QF] are far more adept at effective use of the medium, even to the point of custom short URL's that carried their identity.

    I've also cross-posted this analysis at my own blog because I feel that News Corp's anti-Qantas agenda needs to be called out in as many channels as possible, and that's not withstanding the poor quality and lack of factual research in this article to validate their claims.

    Overall analysis

    Note: Jetstar Airways was excluded from the analysis presented here, simply because the author (me) is a complete numpty and they slipped my mind at the time of writing.

    This is an analysis of just the last 24hrs of twiter traffic from each of the airlines combined from a maximum sample of the last 500 tweets (can't be larger or longer thanks to the twitter API) within the last 24hrs.

    All analysis has been performed using open source twitter analytics tool The Archivist, using search queries that limited results to tweets specifically from the named airline accounts.

    Due to the limits of the twitter API and the tool used, the analysis has only included tweets coming from the named airline twitter accounts. This is due to the sheer volume of tweet traffic, and that the inclusion of this data wouldn't hold statistical validity without being able to weed out mentions of the airline as opposed to actual requests for information/assistance - an ability which is not available with this public tool.

    Percentage of tweets from sample:
    • Qantas airways (combined): 93.8%
    • Virgin Australia: 6.20%
    • Tiger Airways Australia: 0% (as TT didn't make a mention, they'll be excluded from further analysis)
    Most mentioned URL: http://bit.ly/qfdisrupts

    Top words used in tweets within sample:
    • :) (not a word granted, but it's the most popular captured)
    • Flight
    • Sorry
    • Flights
    • Hi
    Drawing on the information from the individual analysis, sentiment in tweets emanating from QF to customers was far more positive and conciliatory than its competitor.

    Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):
    • Tweets: 98.6%
    • Retweets: 1.40%
    Day to day trend:Increasing from day to day

    Qantas analysis

    These are the Qantas stats, combined from @QantasAirways and @QantasMedia, containing the combined last 500 tweets from these accounts:

    % of tweets within sample
    • QantasAirways: 87.8%
    • QantasMedia: 12.2%
    Most mentioned URL: http://bit.ly/qfdisrupts

    Top words used in tweets within sample:
    • :) (again not a word granted, but it's the most popular captured)
    • Flight
    • Sorry
    • Flights
    • Hi
    Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):
    • Tweets: 98.6%
    • Retweets: 1.40%
    Day to day trend:Increasing from day to day

    Virgin Australia analysis

    Sample: 96 tweets (nothing further available from the last 24hrs)

    Top words used in tweets within sample:
    • Website
    • Flights
    • Hi
    • Ashcloud
    • Suspended
    Most mentioned URL: http://ow.ly/5nnk2

    Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):
    • Tweets: 100%
    • Retweets: 0%
    Day to day trend: Low on 20/6, abnormal peak on 21/6, and back to similar low on 22/6
     
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