This week from the 24th until the 27th of April, the Global Show for General Aviation, AERO, is taking place in Friedrichshafen. With 600 exhibitors from 28 countries, AERO provides an annual meeting place for the general aviation community. While the AERO attracts mainly pilots and engineers, we wanted to know how the big players in the aviation market do on Facebook. We have ranked and analyzed 150 airlines on Facebook to see how well they interact with their fans.
With 3.7 million fans, Southwest is the largest airline on Facebook. It is hugely popular, as they have excellent customer relationship and they see themselves as ‘in the customer service business – [they] just [happen] to fly airplanes.’ However popular they may be in terms of customer relationship, they should probably step it up a notch on Facebook. Although they are the biggest fan base, the size of their page doesn’t necessarily mean that they provide a good service. So no, size doesn’t matter. They ignore 89.2% of fan posts, have quite a low engagement rate with only 0.2% and their post interaction rate is only at 0.1%. Yet they do post engaging pictures such as this one, which receive a lot of likes and comments. The majority of their posts are pictures, which get quite a high engagement. Links and status updates also get a lot of engagement, so they should be used more often. It seems as if the page should be more regularly maintained to keep up their good customer relationship on Facebook.
The average growth rate of an airline on Facebook is 1.1%. Cathay Pacific Airways has the highest with 6.28%, which must have been caused by their sudden increase in fans early January this year. How did they so quickly gain so many more fans? Their engagement rate is an average 0.4% and they’re posting less than the average, so that can’t have anything to do with this change. What do you think caused this growth spurt?
The engagement rate is calculated by the average amount of likes, comments and shares per day, divided by the number of fans. Out of all the airlines listed, the highest engagement rate, is Iran AirLines with 5.2%, while the average is 0.4%. With about 3.8 posts per day, they give their fans a good chance to see a post and engage with it and make up for their lack of responses to the very few fan posts they receive. Nearly all of their posts are pictures, like this one, which receive quite a lot of responses, so they should probably continue posting them to maintain their high engagement rate.
Having a quick response time is an important asset, especially when dealing with urgent flight information, for instance when a flight has been cancelled and has to be re-booked or what to do when a connecting flight is missed. This feature measures the average amount of time it takes the fan page to react to fan posts. Turkish Airlines has the fastest response time with 0.2 hours on average. An example of their speediness can be found here.
The Service Level is the amount of responses of the page to fan posts in terms of likes, comments or removals. The average service level of all airlines listed is 59% and Airzena Georgian Airways, Malmö Aviation and Aircalin are the highest scoring with 100% each. All three of them, however, have less than 3,000 fans, so it shouldn’t be too hard to respond to their fans. Aircalin, for example, has only received one post in the last 30 days. It was interesting to see Austrian Airlines page, which has a 93% service level, 81.3% of which are comments. They even reply to queries posted in other languages, such as Swedish, which can be seen here.
The Dutch airline, KLM, has the second largest fan base on Facebook with 3.2 million. Out of over 2,000 fan posts in the last 30 days, 33.1% of posts were ignored and 2.6% were even deleted by KLM. Most of these included complaints, however some were normal questions like how many bags they can take as hand luggage. Why would KLM want to delete those?
Airlines save an average of 36 thousand Euros over three months by using their Facebook page to reach out to their fans instead of alternative forms of communication. This is known as the advertising value. The ad value is the estimated reach of posts multiplied by an average cost for online advertising. Lufthansa’s Facebook page, for example, saves over 153 thousand Euros, which means that in order to reach the same amount of people without a Facebook fan page they would have had to spend that much money on marketing elsewhere. So fan pages are extremely beneficial and cost minimizing and those airlines without one, should reconsider the advantages.
For more details on any Facebook Page head over to www.fanpagekarma.com.
Here you can analyse all airlines and reveal their secret Facebook marketing strategies.
An overview of all Airlines can be found in this ranking: