It’s unlikely the Boston Red Sox will make first place this year, but the city’s airport has.
Complex, maddening to navigate, and a traffic nightmare, Boston’s Logan International Airport can at least brag that it has more followers (4000) on Twitter than any other major airport in the country, and is second only to much smaller Richmond International (Virginia) with 6000
And that’s good news considering the social networking team that runs the show at Logan consists of only 5 probably manic stalwarts who believe that social media makes happy airports, which make for happy travelers, which in turn generates more money for the airport and Mass Port which runs the place
@bostonlogan will get you Twitter answers to anything from flight cancellations and airfare sales to information about book signings and Christmas carolers.
Boston.com, the web site of the Boston Globe, also reports that the team spends a lot of time with people tweeting from the airport who are looking for the lost and found or simply want to celebrate having found a parking space, a major accomplishment at Logan.
But not everyone agrees that Boston owns the top spot.
Like everything else in New Media, it’s in how you look at the analytics. Boarding Area, a blog run by sometime Globe writer, Steven Frischling, say that what really counts is the amount of activity, engagement the Twitter account generates, not the number of followers.,
So while Lisa Brown, the social media manager at Logan is right on when she says people are surprised when their Tweet is answered, or when they get a Tweet advising where the the nearest Dunkin Donut shop is, Frischling says the top prize for the most interactive airport’s Tweeting is actually a tie between Richmond and small Akron-Canton (Ohio), with Boston placing number 4 in the top ten. Still very good, Boston.
Frischling’s point is a good one. In measuring the effectiveness of social media, what matters is the degree of engagement, not followers. True, Ashton Kutcher has 5 million followers (who cares if the action isn’t happening) and it follows that big airports like Los Angeles will have more followers than a smaller airport. But smaller airports like Akron-Canton are able to have robust conversations with their passengers, building a strong customer base.
Boston.com had it right when it reported that airports that Tweet, “humanize” the airport experience and as we said in a previous blog happy passengers spend an average of $20.55 on airport retail purchases, or 45 percent more than the grumpy ones, who spend only $14.12 on airport retail shops and eateries.
So I asked @bostonlogan “What do people tweet u abut the most?”
Very quickly they responded with “…people ask about food options at the airport, shopping too!”
Thanks, @bostonlogan for making the airport experience just a bit more personal!