Ryanair’s Social Media Strategy: Driving Engagement With Humour

When Ryanair started operations in 1985, it had just one flight in service, flying passengers between Waterford and Gatwick, London. Thanks to its relentless perseverance and budget pricing model, the brand is now Ireland’s biggest airline and operates over 500 planes.

The low pricing model aside, Ryanair does not mind using out-of-the-box marketing strategies. It also does not shy away from getting its hands dirty in ad campaigns. Ryanair’s marketing strategy has a tongue-in-cheek approach, earning them a lot of good and bad press, even back in the day. However, this did not deter the brand from embracing the same humorous approach on its social media accounts. 

This blog examines how Ryanair’s social media strategy helps the brand gain the active engagement of audiences.

An analysis of Ryanair’s social media accounts

The ‘ultra-low’ pricing is definitely one of the biggest reasons for Ryanair’s popularity and success. However, the brand did not rely on that factor alone where marketing campaigns are concerned. Full-fledged online booking options were available even in the early 2000s, and Ryanair’s social media strategy follows the same innovative spirit. 

With an active presence on all social media platforms, Ryanair has dedicated accounts for different regions/countries and services. And with social listening, the brand stays tuned in to what their audiences would appreciate, leading to a large online follower base.

Here’s the total number of followers on Ryanair’s official social media accounts.

  • Instagram: 1.3 million
  • Facebook: 5.1 million
  • YouTube: 108K
  • Twitter: 808.3K
  • LinkedIn: 683K
  • TikTok: 2.1 million

So, how does Ryanair maintain these many followers online? Let’s take a closer look at what goes on behind the curtains.

The main features of Ryanair’s marketing strategy

Ryanair is an expert in identifying the online pulse and creating relatable posts with humor and sarcasm. Their social media accounts have a mix of beautiful destinations with idyllic travel images on one hand and hilarious memes and jokes on the other.

By using this type of content, Ryanair’s marketing strategy keeps existing users engaged and draws in fresh audiences looking to laugh. 

Let’s go over the main features of Ryanair’s social media strategy.

1. Creating content in diverse formats

Variety is the spice of life, people say. And true to that, Ryanair’s content strategy spans different styles and formats. 

While memes and photograph-based posts are popular on its social media platforms, the brand equally dabbles in videos and text-based posts.


Ryanair’s content marketing strategy offers ample options to online audiences. It uses diverse formats like stories, carousels, reels, videos, highlights, static posts, retweets, and interactive polls.

2. Leveraging tie-ups and partnerships

Already known for being a budget-friendly air travel option, Ryanair has found great success in its low-cost model. The brand takes this further by marketing various discounts and deals to people, particularly with partnerships.

For example, Ryanair has a partnership with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN which offers European students the lowest possible fares and a special ESN booking platform on the website. ESN students can get 10% off on 4 flights and other benefits. 


Ryanair’s social media strategy involves actively promoting such partnerships online, which helps put the word out and draw people in for the benefits and experience.

3. Using user-generated content

Ryanair’s social media strategy uses a lot of user-generated content, particularly on YouTube and Instagram. The brand reaches out to a wider audience base by sharing these user-generated shorts and funny clips.

Take this YouTube short, for example. It’s both relatable and humorous, gaining thousands of views and many comments.

4. Making memes of air travel experiences

Nothing speaks to people as much as memes these days. The relevance, the trending topics, and the audience preference are factors Ryanair keeps in mind by tracking social media trends.

Combine this with air travel experiences and stories, you find an endless source of entertaining and engaging content. This is because most people have strong feelings about air travel, making these memes more intriguing and amusing.

Here’s an example post from their Instagram account that uses the meme format and combines it with travel stories.

5. Building on existing GenZ humor and lingo

Being internet and social media natives, GenZs are probably the largest and most active audiences online. From them, we have a whole new lingo that is constantly changing and evolving. 

Ryanair’s social media strategy capitalizes on this by using popular GenZ phrases such as ‘main character energy’, ‘OK boomer’. ‘Karen’, yeet’, ‘POV’, and ‘rizz’. Here’s a post from Ryanair’s Twitter account using the word ‘POV’.

This makes the account more relatable, especially to GenZs and millennials. By speaking in the language of the internet and social media, Ryanair’s content marketing keeps audiences hooked.

6. Posting fare and service updates regularly

Ryanair is constantly offering different package deals, seasonal cuts on their airfares, and various discounts and coupons. Accordingly, Ryanair’s marketing strategy involves sharing these fare-and-offer updates regularly online.

Here is a good example of a promotional post the brand shared on Instagram as well as Facebook. You can see how these regular updates across all social media platforms keep audiences informed and updated.

7. Keeping the brand image consistent

Ryanair’s logo of the woman with wings is iconic and immediately recognizable. The same is true for the airline’s iconic blue branding, making the brand’s online presence memorable.

By keeping this branding color and thematic guidelines consistent throughout, Ryanair’s marketing strategy makes it instantly recognizable. For example, for the same promotional offer ad mentioned in the point above, the Santa featured is wearing Ryanair’s branding blue color, instead of red!


8. Showing the brand cares and gives back

One of the things that makes a company instantly likable is how effective its social responsibility initiatives are. Ryanair’s social media strategy takes this into account and promotes various social causes.

The aforementioned partnership helps students travel at discounted prices. And this promotes more accessible education opportunities. Ryanair also does its part for sustainability. 

Considering the airline industry can be quite polluting, these efforts and the marketing of the causes are crucial to the brand’s online image.

A deep dive into Ryanair’s social media strategy

From the examples, Ryanair’s social media strategy is expansive and well-thought-out. Let’s examine how this translates into user engagement.

1. Ryanair on Instagram

Ryanair’s Instagram page has 1.36 million followers and 4,715 total posts. Considering the brand has posted 209 times in the last 3 months, it’s not surprising the followers on this platform are high.

In this period, there have been 1,971,104 engagements, proving how effective Ryanair’s content marketing strategy is on Instagram.

Carousals are Ryanair’s most engaging post type on Instagram. And attesting to the success of their update posts with fare details, a post with a discount code is their most engaging one.

2. Ryanair on Twitter

Compared to Instagram and Facebook, Ryanair only has around 808K followers on Twitter. But its Twitter account is very active and has given the brand a massive 1,065,525 engagements in just the past 3 months.

Ryanair’s social media strategy on Twitter focuses on replies, which constitute 51% of all their post types. The most common media type is links and this works as links also have the maximum engagement.

3. Ryanair on Facebook

Ryanair has its largest follower base on Facebook and posts regularly here. Since September end, the brand posted 129 times on Facebook, leading to 158,938 engagements. This is a decent number, considering the platform.

This relatable meme about one’s heart rate when going through airport security is Ryanair’s most popular post on Facebook. This makes sense considering how much Ryanair’s content strategy relies on humor.

4. Ryanair onYouTube

Ryanair has posted just 20 times in the last 3 months on YouTube, which checks out considering it has just 108K subscribers on the platform. But in total, the brand has an amazing 28.12 million views on all its videos.

The video about the Dublin airport losing routes due to alleged DAA mismanagement is Ryanair’s most viewed video on YouTube. This gives us insight into how Ryanair has a more direct and news-oriented approach on YouTube.

Use social media trends and market research to soar above the competition

Ryanair’s social media accounts do a great job of tickling one’s funny bone while also providing timely updates on fares and offers. 

The lingo used and the meme-based content approach make the brand’s online presence relevant and engaging.

The core features of Ryanair’s social media strategy are:

  • Using social media trends to post memes, thus drawing diverse audiences and keeping people entertained with current themes
  • Posting stories with relatable and humorous air travel content that attracts people and keeps them coming back for more
  • Leveraging user-generated content and GenZ lingo to reach out to wider audiences

Your brand need not subscribe to the same level of humor or current trends. You can use other social media strategies and tools as well, to bump up your online presence and beat the competition.

Sign up with Keyhole for a free trial today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does Ryanair use social media to engage with customers?

Ryanair leverages social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with customers. They use these platforms to provide updates on flight information, answer customer queries, and share engaging and entertaining content. By actively engaging with their audience, Ryanair aims to build a strong relationship with customers and enhance their overall travel experience.

2. What sets Ryanair's social media strategy apart from other airlines?

Ryanair's social media strategy stands out for its controversial yet entertaining approach. They are known for their witty and sometimes provocative posts, which include lighthearted jabs at competitors and even politicians. This unique strategy helps Ryanair create buzz and stand out in a crowded market, often generating viral content and increasing brand visibility.

3. How does Ryanair measure the success of their social media efforts?

Ryanair employs various metrics and analytics to measure the success of their social media strategy. They analyze key performance indicators such as engagement rate, reach, follower growth, and customer feedback. These insights enable Ryanair to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns, make data-driven decisions, and continually optimize their social media strategy.

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