Data and analytics platform Engagement Labs has released its latest TotalSocial rankings of the top-performing online travel agency and travel search brands in the US, showing Expedia and TripAdvisor at the lead.
The report evaluates brand reputation for each travel site by measuring social conversations over the past six months, compared to a previous ranking published in June 2017.
The firm’s analysis combines offline and online consumer conversations using Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data technology, which considers drivers of brand performance both on social media channels and on word-of-mouth conversations. The firm defines influence as how well the brand connects with influencers who have the largest social networks both offline and online.
Interestingly, the study finds that most online travel websites perform better in offline (word-of-mouth) conversations about them when compared to online (social media). The only website with online scores higher than its offline scores was Kayak.
Expedia, which was previously ranked second, moved into the number one spot in the most recent ranking. Engagement Labs attributes this to an increase in the volume of consumers talking about Expedia on social media.
TripAdvisor dropped to the second position in the ranking because of what Engagement Labs describes as “a steep decline in its online and offline influence scores.”
Travelocity, improved its ranking from fourth to third, after an uptick in offline sentiment—which Engagement Labs defines as consumers having more positive face-to-face conversations about the brand.
The social listening technology firm credits Travelocity’s $400 vacation packages email marketing campaign for improving brand sentiment, as well as the “Be My Gnomie” campaign—which targeted millennials and was run in partnership with online dating app Tinder.
Ed Keller, CEO, Engagement Labs says of the results:
“With so much competition among travel websites and booking tools, it’s no wonder that the top OTA brands are increasingly fueling face-to-face conversations. Travelocity is a great example of a brand that saw a boost in its offline scores, particularly in offline sentiment, after launching several marketing campaigns to better engage its customers—proving that smart marketing tactics will not only resonate with consumers, but can improve a brand’s ROI.”
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