Airports play an important role in many travel plans. Few people will feel that they are choosing and buying services from airports as they probably travel through an airport because the cheapest or most convenient flight goes through there. In fact in many cases the best airports are either those that make your experience so fast and efficient that you don’t need to spend much time there, or those that make you feel that you aren’t just waiting for a plane whilst you are there.
For any airport using social media it is important to have a very clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve and who they are communicating with, and what they want to talk about. Bad use of Twitter would be trying to engage too many different types of stakeholder about too many different types of topic with no clear benefit or reason for the airport to be using Twitter at all. Good is a clear, focused strategy. Perhaps engaging those who are en route to the airport or who are already there – making their journeys simpler and easier. Or maybe engaging those who are planning trips to help them with information about the area as well as about passing through the airport.
To analyse the success of UK airports on Twitter we have created a ranking of UK airports on Twitter using PeerIndex – which ranks how effective Twitter accounts are at engaging and influencing people in a meaningful way. There is one clear winner in this ranking: Manchester Airport. And taking a look at their Twitter account it is easy to see why. They are focused on engaging travellers and helping them to navigate their way through the airport as efficiently as possible. They answer questions on arrivals and departures, on how to get help at the airport and on what you will find when you are there. It serves, in effect, as a customer service and FAQ tool helping people to make the most of the time they spend at Manchester airport before and after their flight. It is perhaps this focus and real engagement that makes them so successful and (currently) the leader in our ranking.