The Best and Worst Airlines on Social Media

American Airlines is super engaged on Twitter, but most airlines seem to ignore Facebook altogether.

Social media mentions are the new frontier when it comes to customer service. When sitting in an airport, users are much more likely vent about their experience on social media than they are to call a customer service number. Many airlines realize this already, but according to new data from Engagor, there are plenty lagging behind.

Some of the numbers around social mentions this summer are astonishing. American Airlines received 572,901 mentions — 18 mentions every second, in fact — on Twitter. American Airlines also led the pack when it came to responses — their team responded to 36 percent of all mentions on Twitter. US Airways responded to 35 percent of the 88,291 Twitter mentions it received. Alaska Airlines and United responded to 31 percent of tweets each.

Unfortunately, while many teams are doing reasonably well at responding on Twitter, Facebook interactions often go neglected. United was the best at responding to Facebook mentions, but they still only responded to seven percent of posts. U.S. Airways responded to six percent of Facebook mentions, and every other airline responded two percent of the time or less.

While Facebook was a problem across the board, there are some airlines that barely seem like they’re making an effort. AirTran, which was acquired by Southwest Airlines in 2011, received a mention every 20 minutes, and responded to absolutely none of them.

Delta gave an equally dismal performance. Despite receiving more than 102,000 mentions this summer, the company only responded to 0.3 percent of mentions on Twitter and 0.8 percent of Facebook mentions.

Customer service through social networks is a growing field that becomes more important every year. Airline brands need to learn that customers expect fast responses online, and those that embrace the medium are going to see better results in terms of customer satisfaction and maybe even customer retention.