Update March 2013: Read our in depth look at Cruise Lines on Twitter over at BirdSong. See which Cruise Lines have the most followers and which ones are winning in the Twitter Presence stakes.
The autumn is coming soon and our thoughts turn to a long cruise in the sun!
With that in mind we used BirdSong to review all the major Cruise Lines to see which social networks there were active on and how they were using it.
We reviewed 52 Cruise Lines, including some overlaps where brands were promoting different accounts for international audiences. Our methodology was to identify the major cruise lines, checking their websites to look for their promoted social presence.
Most of the major cruise lines promoted their social presence from the homepage all relying on icon recognition than specific mention of their social presence and the benefit to gain from following them. Where no social presence was linked, we searched Google for reference to the brand and Twitter or Facebook. These were then added to the BirdSong database for this report and future comparisons and analysis.
On Twitter, the most popular Cruise Line, Silversea has over 83,000 followers with Disney Cruise Lines following behind on 77,000 followers. You can see the full list here. On average, Silversea tweets once a day, ‘tweeting’ more than replying or retweeting. The least followed Cruise Line, Star Cruises HK tweets less than once a day focusing on Tweeting, not engaging with their small audience.
Facebook is the most used social channel for Cruise Lines with 96% of all Cruise Lines checked maintaining a Facebook Presence. Carnival Cruise Lines has the most popular Facebook Fan Page with over 2 million fans. It’s most popular post (below) achieved 83,432 likes.
YouTube is also a key promoter for Cruise Lines with just under half of all Cruise Lines linking to a YouTube account. Most of these accounts are sharing ‘standard’ videos promting various aspects of their cruises.
Six Cruise Lines are currently trying Pinterest, compared to only three trying Google+ .
The Pinterest accounts for MSC Cruises Lines (one each for USA and NL), Cunard Line and Tauk have created borads that reflect their brand and cruise experience. MSC USA opt to share boards highlighting ntheir captains, destinations and other special events such as the MSC Divina Christening. Hurtigurten share inspirational boards featuring destinations and amazing sights. One board has been set aside for interactions, allowing other companies to pin their business pictures. The rules seem to be pretty lax which accounts for adverts for Holland America Line and Expedia appearing (pinned by a third party.)
Google + is currently used by Cunard Lines, Princess and Viking River Cruises. The most followed page is for Princess with 830 likes. Princess updates the Google Plus page every few days with a collection of photos, text and video updates. For Cunard and Viking, their pages seem to be updated sporadically with the same mix of content.
The Cruise Line industry seems to have covered the initial bases well, ensuring a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter. The trials on Pinterest are admirable and need to be continued to gain any form of traction. This too with Google+. Whilst the numbers can seem disappointing at this early stage, it can be a strong platform for future growth. With the arrival of branded Vanity URLs for Google+ those active brands will be in a good postion for further benefits.
If you would like more information on our findings, or access to our Cruise Line database, do get in touch or leave a comment below.