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Profile: @QFTravelInsider

13 August 2009

Qantas Airlines is successfully carving out a niche in the travel category on Twitter, and across the social web, unlike any other airline that I have researched. Through their ever-flourishing “social media experiment” (Qantas Travel Insider), Qantas is connecting people with the information and insights they seek about the various places they are planning to go. From a sample of 100 consecutive tweets from @QFTravelInsider – pulled between July 15th at 10:25 PM and July 30th at 6 PM – the handle seems to be facilitating a community of travelers around the world excited to share their experiences!

@QFTravelInsider Stats (as captured on July 30th)

Followers: 2,524

Following: 1,954

Follower/Following Ratio: 1.29

Posts: 989

Account Created: January 2009

Social Media Involvement: Site, Flickr group, Facebook application, YouTube Channel, Facebook Group

@QFTravelInsider’s Twitter Page: Avatar, Background, Bio, Transparency, Website

Avatar: A

The @QFTravelInsider avatar is a nice combination of Qantas’ tail fin imagery* and identifiable travel icons – representing accommodations, shopping, food & drink. The icons are especially a nice touch since the handle is not tweeting simply on behalf of the airline. They may be effectively differentiating @QFTravelInsider from what some people may expect to be a more customer-service oriented handle.

*Tail fin imagery, as I have mentioned before, is a visually compelling and effective way to stand out in people’s Twitter feed; it associates the handle’s tweets with the airline brand, as well as the category at-large.

Background: A/B

The @QFTravelInsider background is clean and visually interesting, but may benefit from a small window that identifies the growing list of places people can engage with the brand, as well as the the travel community fueling its success.

Bio: A

@QFTravelInsider’s bio is fantastic! It effectively incorporates keywords to enhance its searchability and directly offers people an idea of how the handle can add value to their feed (or travel planning).

Transparency: Undecided

I would venture to say that because @QFTravelInsider is primarily serving as both an intermediary between travelers and an information outlet, it may be less important to identify who is tweeting. The handle, however, may benefit from asking its followers whether or not knowing who the person(s) tweeting on behalf of @QFTravelInsider would add value to their relationship with Qantas.

Website: A

The link from @QFTravelInsider’s profile leads people directly to the most relevant page within the brand’s website. Once on the Qantas Travel Insider page, people have the opportunity to find out more information regarding topics that may have peeked their interest on Twitter.

@QFTravelInsider’ Usage of Twitter Semantics: @Replies, #Hashtags, DM Requests, RTs

@Replies (48/100)

@QFTravelInsider does a great job of interacting with the community at large, as well as on an individual basis. The handle utilizes @replies to personally thank people for offering their input, as well as answer their inquiries and questions.

#Hastags (18/100)

@QFTravelInsider consistently leverages hashtags in its conversations. Every Friday, for example, the handle shares a #foodfriday tweets that the community rallies around, and ultimately contributes to a growing repository on the subject.

DM Requests (/100)

From the sample, it seems that DMing plays a small role in @QFTravelInsiders Twitter strategy. This may be because less sensitive information is being exchanged between the brand and its followers. Regardless, it is worth noting that it is usually a good idea for service-oriented brands to follow most of the people following them so the option of sending a private message is available.

RTs (15/100)

The handle strategically uses RTs to involve the larger community in inquiries (& importantly, responses) about travel recommendations around the world. The tweet to the left is a quintessential example of how @QFTravelInsider helps to connect people with its community of travelers to garner authentic & timely recommendations.

Please note: The aforementioned Twitter page analysis is subjective and the semantic analysis is not comprehensive or generalizable. Both were simply meant to offer a glimpse into the handle’s presence on Twitter without the benefit of any information provided by a 3rd party Twitter Analytics tool.

*Key to Grades:

A Great! Wouldn’t change a thing.
B Good. Would change a couple of things.
C Nothing special. Change most of it.
D Pretty bad.
F Issue not addressed.

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