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Published August 11th 2015

Marketing: Summer Travel and Intercepting the Customer Journey

We say ‘summer’, you say, ‘vacation.’

The warm, sunny months of the year have long been coveted by the general populace.

The summer sun evokes memories of those youthful days of school vacation. In our adult primes however, long gone are those three months of indolent bliss.

Now many of us spend the hot summer days in slightly too cold offices, perhaps looking at social data about summer vacations.

Despite the fact that most working adults can choose what time of year they take vacation, summer still remains the most popular time of year for travel.

Perhaps it’s the quiet sadness with which we compare our 7 day vacations to the 90 day ones of our former years.

Perhaps it’s the fact that now we are now able to get work email updates on our phones while on vacation, so we don’t fully enjoy ourselves. Perhaps it is the fact that mainly unhappy customers take to Twitter with their travel woes.

Whatever it is, we aren’t quiet about it.

We fired up Brandwatch Analytics to see what the data had to say about traveler’s frustrations.

A quick Query to track online mentions of people talking about hating airlines pulled in some interesting data.

To derive even more insight, we broke the Query in two, one to track airline owned channels (meaning tweets that included an @mention of an airline) versus one tracking complaints with no @mentions.


The graph above shows that while there’s a clear correlation between the two lines, a majority of the time when people complain, they’re not mentioning brands with their Twitter handles.

Look outside your owned channels

This highlights the importance of using social intelligence platforms to monitor mentions outside your owned channels.

You can uncover a different type of insight when comparing how people speak about your brand when they know you’re listening, versus when they think you’re not.

For example, look at the two Topic clouds below, one showing the frustrations when airlines were mentioned and the second showing frustrations when they weren’t.


It would appear that when mentioning brands, people tend to discuss difficult encounters with customer service agents, and discuss the overall brand experience.

Complaints when not tagging the company appear more targeted at the airline itself rather than a specific staff member or incident.



Perhaps still angry about the grounding incident a few weeks back, people seem to talk a lot about hating United Airlines in the past week without mentioning the brand.

#TBT proves to be a useful tool

Using social intelligence platforms will undoubtedly uncover a lot of negative mentions for travel brands as airlines tend to get a lot of hate on social media – perhaps due to the small length of time of the consumer experience, the high costs of flying, or maybe the precision and accuracy expected of airlines (getting people to their connections on time).

Aside from being able to manage customer service inquiries, social intelligence platforms also offer opportunities to engage with happy customers or prospects.

Take for example use of the #tbt hashtag where people share their favorite moments and memories.


A quick Query to track mentions of #tbt and vacations/travelling will pull in discussions that provide an opportunity to engage with and reach out to those reminiscing.

Is it me you’re looking for?

The internet has allowed people to get very lazy.

A simple tweet of ‘where should I go on vacation?’ outsources the need to think of where one should travel.

This again, can prove very useful for those in the travel industry.  

Below see what people are saying when talking about ‘looking for a hotel’. Again, a myriad of opportunities for engagement and finding new customers.


The travel industry is filled with uncertainty, with airlines taking a particularly tough blow on social media.

If you are interested in learning more about how a social intelligence platform like Brandwatch can help improve your travel brand, download our free Travel and Hospitality Industry report, or click below to arrange a no-fuss demo.

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