If you're looking to find a purpose for your social media activity, it is well worth taking a look at the one of the top ten Social Brands 100 as ranked by social brand agency Headstream. Being ready for a holiday, I decided to take a peek at Thomas Cook UK and see why its social media initiatives perform so well. It didn’t take long - the key here is customer understanding, some nicely planned engagement and consistency in tone across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Headstream analyses brands based on three KPIs; whether they create win-win relationships, listen actively and whether they employ appropriate social behaviour.
Thomas Cook UK scores highly on all these counts and it is interesting to see how it uses different channels for different purposes.
Imagine yourself there
If you check out Thomas Cook UK on YouTube, this is definitely used to educate customers about prospective destinations. Like miniature versions of Wish You Were Here?, each video cleverly identifies all the area’s best bits and with the sun shining, it’s hard not to imagine yourself in situ, soaking up the local culture. Very useful if you’re not sure about whether a country is for you or what to expect and you need the extra convincing.
Thomas Cook UK’s Facebook page is where the real activity takes place and arguably is where the magic happens. Want a promo code giving you £50 off a holiday or the chance to win a £5k holiday to the USA? You've got it. But it’s not all offer led selling. Every other post is a chance for followers to share their favourite memories and photos and there is a clever use of calendar dates too. Just recently people could vote to choose the most romantic (Thomas Cook) destination and there was even the option to send your true love a branded Valentine’s Card. Plenty of advocacy going on.
Sales and not customer led
Finally, Thomas Cook UK’s Twitter feed is well populated but is the only platform that could potentially do with a little more attention being pretty much purely sales led. Surprisingly it doesn’t seem to field many (if any) customer enquiries, which may be a product of the low amount of customer engagement it seems to achieve on there.
Headstream identifies travel as a high performing industry in terms of social, stating that ‘travel brands appear to be behaving in an appropriate, transparent manner with communities’. What’s interesting however is there is a recognition that however high quality the activity is, it still doesn’t stop customers being fickle - loyal advocates are very hard to come by.