Social Media In Airline Industry – How Airlines Are Leveraging This Platform With Their Creativity
“We are happy that we got our brand presence in Social media” – this is so old. Yes, it is. Social media is much more than just establishing mere presence. It is a revenue generating channel for many airlines, a medium that has helped the PR team at airline companies to cut down costs, a medium in which airlines roll-out innovative programs / campaigns, a medium that airlines use it for managing their internal PTOs (JetBlue does it), a medium that’s perceived by airline marketing team as THE most successful.
There is no hard and fast rule on how to use social media for betterment of the company, its upto the airline to put on their creativity cap to lure people (and convert them, retain them).
We happened to watch a brilliant video by Steven Klimek from Airticulate / Simpliflying. Below is a 1 hour 22 minute video on how social media is used in the airline industry. It’s pretty lengthy video, but worth the time investment in watching this.
We at Travopia have complied a detailed notes on what Steven says in this entire video. For those of you who do not have time to watch the entire video – scroll down and read the notes. We also take this opportunity to thank Steven, Airticulate, Simpliflying for this awesome and informative video.
Takeaways from above video:
Air New Zealand: A very innovative ad (with few inappropriate words) about their premium economy seats that resulted in 5, 00, 000 hits in YouTube.
Emirates Airlines: Paris Hilton did a status update in Twitter about her great trip that resulted in FREE US $1.5 million PR.
Islands of the great barrier reef, Queensland Australia:They had a job opening – someone who can take care of the island. The job responsibility: Clean the pool, feed the fish, collect the mail. They created very innovative ad video that involved the tag “The Best Job In The World”. They even created a website by name www.islandreefjob.com. Applicants have to submit a 60 second video about them to the website. The website crashed after it got 4 Million hits an hour on day one of the campaign. The site witnessed 34 Lakh unique visitors, 34,000+ video applications from 201 countries, over 6000 news stories worldwide (counting this article in Travopia will make the number 6001), media coverage valued over US $80 million.
JetStar Airlines: They created a micro site in which travellers of this airline can upload stories about the destinations visited.
Intercontinental Hotels Group: They have a program called TopGuest where the hotel gives points to guests for the check-in they do in social media. The points can be redeemed for upgrades, booking a hotel.
SAS Airlines: This airline offered the next level of loyalty program to customers. When travelers login to their loyalty management page, they were welcomed with personalized messages, the application recommends destinations and trips to the traveler based on the mileage points they have.
KLM Airlines: The airline quickly did a study on their travelers social update (their check-ins in Foursquare, status updates in Facebook, Twitter) and understood the reason for their travel, their personal likes and dislikes. Based on the study on travellers, KLM gifted them very personalized gifts. They ensured real-time customer satisfaction.
KLM Airlines: Customers can sync their Facebook profiles, attach a picture from their Facebook account to their airline baggage tag. By this initiative, KLM created personalized baggage tags.
Lan Airlines: Travellers can book a flight and share the itinerary to get reward points.
FlyPluna.com: Travellers can book a flight and share the itinerary to get 5 dollars.
Changi Airport, Singapore: They created a disruptive concept of a slider in which passengers can slide from the 2nd or 3rd floor to reach the ground floor. This particular construction generated lot of interest.
Vancouver Airport (YVR): They ran a program called “Live at airport for 80 days”, stay the participants are arranged in Fairmont Hotel that’s near the airport. People participated in the program had exclusive access to airport operations facility and they upload a video every day.
Hotel Urban Station in Buenos Aeries: They wanted to be different from Starbucks, so they did a research and understood that customers are wanting to come to their café to spend business time, meeting friends and they wanted to work. So, the hotel designed their facility to be business-friendly with Wi-Fi, work desk. The entry fee is $10, coffee and Wi-Fi are offered free.
Delta Airlines: They built an end-to-end flight booking engine in Facebook.
Malaysian Airlines: Introduced a product in Facebook called “MH Buddy”: Once a traveller makes an airline reservation, the app informs the customer about their Facebook friends who are also on the same flight and they can choose to sit next to them.
Alaska Airlines: Introduced a concept called “Flying Social”: The app displays a map with all Facebook friends (also where they live), and the app shows the best available fare to travel to your friends location to visit them.
Virgin Atlantic: They leveraged the “Klout” product (a twitter account influence measuring tool) to promote their new route (Toronto to Los Angeles).
Hotels.com: They created a video in which a person skydives from a plane and lands on Lake Tahoe. In this skydiving journey, he pulls out his mobile, opens the mobile app of Hotels.com and makes a hotel reservation. This campaign is to show the SPEED in which customers can make a reservation in Hotels.com mobile app.
Emirates Airlines: They redesigned their Skywards loyalty program website. Dubai has lot of art galleries and lot of investment has gone in arts. Emirates wanted to tap that artist market, so they asked travelers to submit their suggestions, artistic works. The winner was given a loyalty card with the artist’s work printed on it.
Groupon: Delta Airlines put their “Delta Sky Club” one-time visit ticket for $22 (usually charged at $50) and they sold 853 tickets on one day.
American Airlines: Their flight AA 24 was flying from SFO to New York and there was bomb threat. Two of the passengers inside the flight live tweeted the incidents (bomb squad checks, talks by crew/pilot) happened inside the flight. CNN picked up these tweets and the two passengers inside the flight became famous instantly. American Airlines was also engaging their in-flight customers in Twitter.
Delta Airlines: Group of soldiers were flying from Afghanistan to Baltimore (on way to home). Two of the soldiers made a video inside the flight saying that all 34 soldiers on flight are carrying 4 bags each. The soldiers say that there is a contract between US government and Delta Airlines to allow them to take upto 4 bags for free. But, Delta asked the soldiers to pay for the 4thbag that summed to $2800 for all soldiers. This video of the soldier got more than a million hit in YouTube. Within 24 hours of the video, Delta wrote a detailed explanation on their site explaining that they will be refunding the money to the soldiers and they support military.
United Airlines: One of the passenger who was flying to Nebraska made an excellent video (with a song composition) on his bad experience with United. In the video, he was explaining how United broke his custom made guitar (during cargo transport). This video has 11 million views in YouTube. According to a study, this cost US $180 million brand damage for United.
Image Credit: Clker.com, nichesuitenichesuite.blogspot.com
Author: Karthick Prabu