Twitter use soaring among airlines

Brands are continually finding ways to use emerging media to benefit their marketing and communications efforts. The travel industry, which is constantly adapting, is one area where social media is taking off.

The snow and ice this winter have led to the most flight cancellations in 25 years. Flight cancellations lead to frustrated travelers, who must contend with extended stays in airports, keeping track of luggage and rescheduling flights when possible. For airlines, this can be a customer service nightmare, as airline employees try to provide information and resolve problems as quickly as possible.

Many airlines have turned to social media teams to help expedite the customer service problem, as more and more travelers voice their frustrations over Twitter. According to Twitter, tweets about travel rose 54 percent from 2012 to 2013, to 12 million tweets per week and hit an all-time during winter storms that canceled flights. The real-time nature of Twitter — versus more static social media networks like Facebook and Google+ — appeals to both travelers and airlines alike.The major airlines have all established Twitter accounts that are go-to customer service destinations for frustrated travelers.

Tweeting frustrations toward brands is a common practice these days, as social media makes it so easy to do. The social media teams at these airlines are taking customer service to whole new heights by seeking out those frustrated travelers and trying to alleviate the stress any way they can. It helps build positive brand awareness for customers, and it wouldn’t be possible if the brands didn’t grasp and implement emerging media techniques.

Have you ever tweeted to an airline while traveling? What was your experience?