Study: Airline brands see dip in positive sentiment on social media, response rate to blame?

Study: Airline brands see dip in positive sentiment on social media, response rate to blame?

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Airline brands across the board are experiencing a significant dip in positive sentiment across social media platforms. Positive sentiments on X (formerly known as Twitter) showed the largest decrease from 25% in 2022 to 14% in 2023 while negative sentiments rose from 22% to 26% over the same time period. The report also highlighted that this was the first time positive sentiment on public airline tweets has decreased since the pandemic.

Sentiments for airlines are largely positive on Instagram compared to those of other platforms with 51% positive sentiments in 2023, a fall from 59% last year. Negative sentiments on Instagram toward airlines fell marginally by 1% in 2023.

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These were the results of Emplifi’s analysis of social media activity for global airline brands that measured customer engagement across X, Facebook and Instagram between January 2020 and July 2023.

Additionally, it noted that the most mentioned airline on X was Qatar Airways with 539,856 posts from 1 January to 30 July 2023. In Asia, Air India took the lead with 185,638 mentions while AirAsia had 29,603 mentions and Singapore Airlines garnered 24,714 mentions.


most mentions on japac

With an increased online presence, passengers have also begun turning to social media platforms to seek rapid solutions and real-time customer support from airlines. However, only 25% of public questions asked receive responses on average. In fact, user queries to airlines averaged a 23% response rate across Facebook and X.

Interestingly, the airline industry falls on the lower end of the social care spectrum, answering 40% fewer questions as compared to telecom companies. 

Where airlines shine in their customer support is the speed at which they answer the questions of their customers, coming only second to Telecom brands. Maintaining a keen awareness of customer sentiment is especially crucial to airlines where 86% of consumers will abandon a once-trusted brand after two negative customer experiences.

“While brands recognise the importance of top-tier customer service, staying aligned with rapidly evolving expectations is a challenge," said Zarnaz Arlia, CMO, Emplifi.

“By prioritising customer care on social platforms, airlines not only meet customers where they are but also foster loyalty, encouraging advocacy and, in the end, driving profits,” added Arlia.

negative sentiments on x

“Airlines should seek out strategies to expand their operations effectively in order to uphold high levels of customer satisfaction,” said Emplifi in a statement. “Employing messaging technology like bots could play a pivotal role in minimising the number of unanswered queries,” it explained.

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