Since last week, Cebu Pacific has been bragging about being the world’s 2nd most tweeted airline. Is this something that they should actually be happy about?
To find out, I looked up eezeer, the company that released this data, and looked at their Twitter reports for airlines within the last 6 months. Here’s what I found:
This spreadsheet that I made only includes Airline Listening, one of the categories they include in their report. Eezer defines Airline Listening as “public tweets received by airlines” – also called ‘Twitter mentions.’ They also have other categories like Airline Talking Champions (a list based on public tweets sent by airlines), global satisfaction, customers’ reason for tweeting, etc. I only included Airline Listening mainly because that’s what’s been making the news and what Cebu Pacific has been raving about.
The red highlights on the spreadsheet are airlines that made it to the top 10 ”Most-Complained-About Airlines” published by Travel + Leisure just this August. The green highlight was only used once –for Southwest Airlines. And that’s because they get so few complaints that they can actually claim that they’re America’s least-complained-about airline. Note though that this list is from the US Department of Tourism.
And that’s where my problem begins.
Air Asia and Cebu Pacific are obviously Asian airlines but unfortunately there is no Asian nor Philippine tourism data available to tell me what the most-complained-about airline is in the Philippines or in Asia. Are these two airlines on this list because they’re one of the worst airlines? Or because people have been raving about them? Is there even a best/worst list? I suppose that would be strange to do since the Philippines only has four major airlines. I checked out our DOT website anyway just to see if they have published anything close to this and look what I found:
Nice. I had to use IE to check this out and they have nothing on airlines. Just hotels, travelers and destinations. Guess I’m left to do my own research!
My first stop was to check Twitter Sentiment. This is a good way to verify if being the 2nd most tweeted is really something to be proud of since it could also mean you are simply the most tweeted because people want to complain and ask you for help and not exactly to praise or say hello. Note that Twitter Sentiment only gave me tweets from 3 days ago.
Okaaay. Not bad! Now let me look at the actual tweets since the problem with sentiment checking is that there’s no human involvement in it e.g. a tweet could say ‘I f*cking love Cebu Pacific’ but it will still count it as negative because it has the f word.
Just one negative tweet that was recorded as neutral and a couple of positively-rated tweets meant to be neutral. The rest are pretty accurate.
I’m not satisfied yet so I check out Social Mention to see what they have. Social Mention shows me tweets beginning the 1st of September.
Is this really reliable? Hmm. Look at the top keywords for Cebu Pacific and that should give us an idea of what people have been mostly tweeting to them about: promos! This prompted me to check what PAL has.
@flyPAL’s strength is higher, passion is also higher but if you check out the keywords, they’re less positive. This makes more sense to me now adding all this with the recent articles I’ve read on these two airlines. I will attribute this to the fact that after all, PAL is laying people off and essentially struggling, while Cebu Pacific is being talked about as the 2nd most tweeted airline on top of their already popular seat-sale promos. (If you look at Cebu Pacific’s quarterly report, you’ll see they actually have 12.1% increase in revenues for the six months ending June 30th.)
Without any other source of data, I go back to eezer and check out their comparison widget. They’re the ones who released this data anyway so we’ll see what they show me.
I compared PAL vs. Cebu Pacific’s brand karma and interestingly, Cebu Pacific only surpassed PAL twice within the last 3 months. Cebu Pacific actually went as low as -16/-17 in brand karma points with PAL only going as low as -6/-7. Very interesting.
My last idea was to look at these 2 airlines’ Twitter accounts. You’ll see a big difference in the way they talk to their customers.
@cebupacificair obviously takes the jolly/happy/cheerful character which could be why they have 60,000 more followers than @flypal. The former also has double the number of tweets at 6,457 vs. PAL’s 3,663.
Tweets just mirror people’s experience with your brand and with Cebu Pacific making traveling way easier and more affordable for most Filipinos, this might just be why more people are tweeting about them – because more people are flying Cebu Pacific. As for that big drop in their brand karma, I say more people tweeting just means more chances of getting negative tweets.
Cebu Pacific is doing a good job managing their Twitter account and while they may receive hate tweets, they seem to respond to them quickly and calmly. So yes, I think them being the 2nd most tweeted airline is an achievement.
Now as for their service… Not sure what to say about the ‘on-time departures’ as I experienced very very few of them this year. Am I just unlucky or is this really happening to most travelers?
How about you? How was your experience with Cebu Pacific? Do you think they’re doing a good job on Twitter?