Most global airlines now understand the value of harnessing their social media presence, if they are to engage fliers and build lasting relationships. While this endeavor does mean having more real-time engagements and leaving the comfort zone of the corporate world, it’s nonetheless needed in this digital age for the maintenance and enhancement of brand equity, says aviation expert Scott Beale.
Still, though many are already locked into some form of social media engagement, some are looking for more innovative campaigns and initiatives. KLM has its “Meet & Seat” service where fliers are allowed to choose seats beside passengers based on similar interests, as indicated in their social media profiles. British Airways, on the other hand, uses a Facebook app called “Perfect Days,” which encouragers travelers to share their itinerary and travel wish list on the social media site.
Studies show that, for the world’s leading airlines, the volume of social media communication today ranges between 60,000 and 1 million Facebook followers and 15,000 and 20,000 tweets. And though these numbers are expected to grow even more in the coming decade, there’s still much to be done before airlines can become truly competent in social media engagement and customer relationship management in general. A larger, more robust resource pool is needed to respond to the increasing waves of customer posts and queries and concerns.
Scott Beale adds that a more strategic approach might be most advisable to attain brand equity. One way to do this is for airlines to partner with providers composed of social media professionals who are adept in the new technology platform.
Aviation professional Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for over 20 years. He is highly proficient in commercial sales and aviation products marketing, government contracting, and business startups. More on Mr. Beale and his work here.