Airlines and Social Media: 5 Winning Trends

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Airlines and Social Media

Airlines and Social Media: 5 Winning Trends

Major airlines are coming on board with social media as fast as you can say Facebook. Here are 5 trends that are taking off.

1.  Feedback

Airlines like Virgin Atlantic have built a strong community presence by launching official Twitter and Facebook pages. “Social media gives our passengers a way to tell us what we are doing well and where we could improve, all in real time. This gives us an opportunity to help out whenever we can and answer a question or resolve a small issue before it results in a dissatisfied customer,” says Kyle Thorne, Social Relations Manager for Virgin.

2. Saving Money

Following airlines on Twitter or liking them on Facebook can often mean being the first to see and access the best deals, getting maximum rewards and enjoying special offers unique to social media. Germanwings integrated Facebook and Twitter into its direct marketing mix in 2009. “Our highlight is our ‘Lucky Tuesday’ offer where everyone who answers a question on Twitter can win popular flight vouchers or model airplanes. It also gives us a chance to answer relevant questions from customers and of course, we appreciate any positive feedback and suggestions,” says Thomas Labonde, Head of Marketing for Germanwings.

3. Planning and Sharing

Social media channels not only provide a space for airlines to connect with their customers, but also for customers to connect with each other. “We engage our customers through our social media channels by providing them with ideas and making them aware of special offers. Our passengers also want to share experiences and get travel advice from others in their networks – that’s nothing new, but we try to facilitate that information exchange so our passengers inspire one another to travel,” adds Thorne from Virgin.

4. Crisis Communications

The last year’s weather disruptions and ash clouds really put airlines to the test when it came to troubleshooting and the use of social media allowed them to ‘come to the rescue’ by providing consumers with instant updates. Most recently, when snow storms left thousands of planes grounded, airlines turned to Twitter to communicate with their passengers, ensuring they never felt stranded or abandoned by the airline.

5. “Enterplanement”

Airlines have started helping passengers stay connected with each other through the use of social media even while in the air. Falling in the category of ‘enterplanement’, airlines such as Delta, US Airways, Virgin America and United Airlines are welcoming free access to Facebook on-board through in-flight Wi-Fi. Malaysia Airways’ MHBuddy system not only lets passengers check-in and print out boarding passes, it also gives them the ability to see if other Facebook friends are on the same flight. They can then message flight plans to those friends and change seats so they can sit together, all using MHBuddy.

3 Responses to “Airlines and Social Media: 5 Winning Trends”

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