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Published September 2nd 2013

Social Media Snapshot: Travel Agencies and Their Online Presence

Whether we like it or not the Summer is now over, and it has been an unusual one to say the least. The unexpected heat wave led many Brits to choose a ‘staycation‘ over more famous Summer destinations like Spain or Portugal.

This made us curious as to what people were talking about online regarding travel, so we decided to take a look at all conversation throughout August surrounding four of the most important UK travel agencies: Thomas Cook, Thomson, First Choice and Expedia.

Thomson was talked about most across the web, with 41% of conversation.

This was followed by Thomas Cook, who enjoyed a 31% share of voice. In both cases, the most popular hashtags were competition-related, with #competition and #winitwednesday respectively, as people were sharing and discussing competitions run by the agencies.


Other general topics of discussion were holiday destinations, as well as competitor and airline comparisons. Furthermore, the majority of online discussions were neutral in nature, with low percentages of emotive comment (positive and negative mentions).

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Closer inspection revealed that conversation concerning all four brands peaked around the 15-17 of August period, when agencies cancelled trips to Egypt, following the warnings from the German government advising travellers not to travel to Red Sea resorts.

These events led to an increase in negative mentions (up to 5-7%), as people were expressing their frustration regarding these forced changes in their travelling plans.

Another point of interest can be found in the Expedia mentions, which peaked on the 23rd of August, when the main topic of note was the agency teaming up with Travelocity to power searches, so news was widespread.

Interestingly, the majority of discussions were located on Twitter for all agencies apart from First Choice, which was mostly mentioned in news websites and forums.


Additionally, Tripadvisor proved to be an important platform of conversation, while all brands were frequently mentioned on the Money Saving Expert forum.

It can be crucial to discover and isolate the places your brand is discussed online, as where and what is being said can become a cornerstone of your digital strategy.

This brief look at the travel sector illustrates just how differently a brand can be positioned and mentioned, and can inform everything from effective competitor analysis to measurement of social media or offline marketing campaigns, as well as identify the impact of actions the company undertakes.

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