NB: This is a guest article by Jamie Riddell, creator of social media insight company Birdsong.
Twitter is now a key channel for airlines to communicate with their customers.
As a business metric, the number of Twitter followers still matters as it is a base from which to build engagement, promotions and all the key elements that add value to the airline and the followers.
Last year JetBlue's Flash sale on Twitter generated significant business for the airline and wider promotion. Just like an email database, the more customers they have following, the greater the potential audience.
Research also shows that follower counts leap in a crisis as customers flock to Twitter for answers that may not be forthcoming from a website or call centre. Again, the larger the audience, the larger the base from which to communicate.
A new report published by BirdSong shows the most followed global airlines on Twitter. More than 100 different airline accounts were analysed for their number of followers to deliver the rankings (July 2012).
The top 10 Twitter accounts had a combined follower base of 5.6m Twitter users. Only two airlines topped the million follower mark, JetBlue taking top spot with 1.67 million followers. In second spot was Southwest Airlines with 1.36 million followers.
No other airline came close to reaching these two, with Air Asia and American Airlines the next highest accounts, almost one million followers adrift.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 most followed airlines on Twitter:
- Jet Blue (1,677,149) @JetBlue
- SouthWest (1,356,935) @SouthwestAir
- Air Asia (428,320) @AirAsia
- British Airways - Net followers of both accounts (397,641) @BritishAirways; @British_Airways
- American Airlines (390,274) @AmericanAir
- Philipine Airlines (372,374) @flyPAL
- TAM Airlines - (355,562) @TAMAirlines
- Delta (343,243) @Delta
- Virgin America ((334,086) @virginamerica
- KLM (286,128) @klm
' two accounts almost accounted for two of the top 10 spots, ranking 10th and 12th. Combined the two accounts have 410,000 followers. By cross referencing the followers of both accounts, BirdSong identified a net follower count of 397,641 unique followers, indicating an overlap of 385,342 Twitter users following both accounts. The count of the combined audience places British Airways as 4th on the Top 10.
The full list of airlines can be found here.
Further musings from Jamie on airlines usage of Twitter can be found here.
NB: This is a guest article by Jamie Riddell, creator of social media insight company Birdsong
NB2: Image via Shutterstock