How Thomas Cook Airlines uses social media influencers to improve SEO
23 March 2017 (Edited 18 April 2017)

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Source: David|23 March 2017

Interview with Thomas Cook Airlines Search Marketing Manager Diego Puglisi as reported by Nikki Gilliland for Econsultancy

Key points:

  • Traditional use of bloggers by brands has little SEO value.
  • With "mentions" a potential ranking factor, links have become less important, and influencer marketing has become more effective for more than just SEO.
  • Upon our moving away from obsessive link-building, SEO has become an integral part of organic strategy.
  • Influencers are as important in the travel industry as in any other vertical.
  • Thomas Cook Airlines invests in influencers for the promotion of key destinations, new route launches, new products and brand sponsorships.
  • "Identifying the right influencer is absolutely the key."
  • We analyze influencers' followers using tools, and look at the influencer's style, but also speak directly to the influencer to ensure compatibility.
  • We look at engagement: followers, likes, shares, comments.
  • And we evaluate influencers on the basis of their own SEO metrics: domain authority, citation flow and trust flow.
  • Regarding compensation: we tend to take influencers on trips with us, or send them to a destination to which they're keen to go. We use paid collaboration less often, mainly for specific high-tier campaigns or to address exclusive brand ambassadors.
  • Influencers should feel free to express their opinions, but we need to ensure the visibility of the brand.
  • KPIs we use are a mix of likes, shares, backlinks and mentions; also SEO rank changes and referrals from the influencer's content.
  • Authenticity is hard to measure, but how the influencer acknowledges comments, likes and shares could be an indicator, along with the way opinions are expressed.
  • An influencer who's only interested in monetary gain is a poor fit, regardless of level of authority.

I'm now following Thomas Cook Airlines (@TCAirlinesUK) on Twitter, and will report anything interesting I find out from that.

- David

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