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?

Facebook facing facts: Twitter is trending

Social media is a big part of teenagers’ lives; Pew Research indicates that 95 percent of teens use the Internet, and 81 percent use social networking sites.

But while Facebook has been popular for the past six or seven years, it is slowly losing ground to newer networks like Twitter.

Image from Business Insider/Huffington Post

Image from Business Insider/Huffington Post

The graphic above represents what is likely to be an ongoing trend. Twitter is becoming more popular than Facebook. Instagram is also quickly gaining steam among teen users.

One reason for the slide away from Facebook is the prevalence of older adults on the social network. Pew Research indicates that 60 percent of Internet users 50-64 use Facebook, and 45 percent of Internet users older than 65 use the site. For comparison, less than 10 percent of adult Internet users older than 50 use Twitter, and even fewer use Instagram.

Most teens indicated they prefer sites that their parents, grandparents and other relatives aren’t using. A 19-year-old focus group participant said, “Yeah, that’s why we go on Twitter and Instagram [instead of Facebook]. My mom doesn’t have that.”

I can’t argue with that rationale; when I was in high school and college, there were probably things posted to Facebook that my parents would not have approved of.