I wanted to spend a little time speculating why I think @LAX_Official has the most Twitter followers of all U.S. Airports. I believe it also is the same reason Richmond International Airport is the #3 most followed U.S. airport even though they are not as big as the top 3 airports in total passengers.
To start this investigation I did a followerwonk report for:
I highly encourage you to use followerwonk to learn really interesting things about your competitors on Twitter.
Here is a screenshot of some of the data:
I often use these kinds of reports to try to determine why someone is out-shining the other players in the field.
You can often determine why they are doing well by looking at how long they’ve been on Twitter and how many Tweets they have.
Age of a Twitter account plays a big role in these things, typically. But in this case, age doesn’t correlate. LAX is actually the youngest Twitter account among the three.
A total number of tweets typically plays a role too. More tweets usually gets more followers. But Boston has that distinction.
In this case, the followerwonk report does very little to help me determine what is happening.
I then went to each of these Twitter accounts to see how engaged they were. All three are regularly having conversations with their followers. All three accounts seem very friendly and helpful.
I was concerned that I may have been stumped. I wondered if west coast people might be more engaged than east coast. That didn’t seem to make sense.
But then I found it! There is one thing Richmond and LAX have in common that Boston and Atlanta don’t:
They promote their Twitter account directly in the center of their home page!
Here is the home page of LAX:
And here is a picture of Richmond’s home page:
They have both integrated social media very aggressively in some of their most prime Website real estate. It’s a very innovative strategy that I don’t see many businesses implementing.
But this is why I think it’s a genius move:
We have entered into a Web that is being socialized. The visitors are taking over control. They want to be heard and they want access to the businesses they purchase from.
Airports are a perfect business for Twitter because you all have vital information that we need. Twitter lets you get that out instantly to everyone who wants it.
I’ve seen many airports that have Twitter accounts but don’t promote them on their sites at all. Invariably, these are the Twitter accounts with the fewest followers. I would highly encourage all airports to learn from the strategies of Richmond and LAX. There are few businesses that have valuable information that changes very rapidly. Twitter is perfect for you.
Why Richmond is so awesome.
I would like all airports (and all businesses) to spend a little time looking at the Richmond Twitter feed.
They are aggressively promoting their Twitter feed. But that isn’t the secret to their success.
The secret to Richmond’s success is they have a great Twitter voice. They are genuine, real and not afraid to touch delicate conversations. Look at this:
The Web is filled with people that just like to say mean things. But I thought it was pretty clever to send back a reply. These kinds of responses do wonders for setting a tone. You can feel that Richmond airport is a fun, genuine place.
I thought this was nice:
The lessons here aren’t complicated. But they are still important:
- You have to promote your social media accounts if you want them to grow.
- The best social media accounts are the ones that clearly feel genuine.
Keep up the good work everyone! You are doing some good stuff here.
Are you doing all you can with your Airport Photography through Social Media?
Next up… Paid search.