Who would have though social media would revolutionize an airport’s communicates with their passengers! Airlines can now use social media to offer their passengers exciting promotions, competitions and incentives, for example Virgin Blue’s Cheeps and Air Asia’s Big Cent Sale. They also use broader technologies and platforms with greater integration- Foursquare, Facebook, YouTube, Flick were used in KLM’s Surprise Campaign which rewarded customers who checked in with gifts in the terminals. Airports, on the other hand, use social media, especially Twitter, primarily for general announcements and customer service with very few airports partaking in more innovative campaigns. Social media allows airports to achieve their goals, allows another dimension of engagement with customers and increase in revenue.
Let us take a look at 3 airports that use social media to promote their airline and increase sales.
Objective: To launch Changi Airports largest ever shopping promotion.
Singaporeans invited to show what it feels like to win $1 in a flash mob-style mass performance, right in the heart of Changi Airport.
This attracted over 400 performers, professional and amateurs, aged 10 to 75
Outcome: Apart from driving retail sales up, the campaign evoked heartwarming expressions of pride as well. It has received 340,000 view on Youtube so far.
Like the majority of air-ports, Melboune Airport has adopted to use twitter as part of their plan to to help travellers plan their journeys better. How? By providing them with latest deals, information and flights from Melbourne on their Twitter stream. This allows twitter followers of Melbourne airport to get the latest leads, whilst increasing revenue and promotes engagement between Melbourne Airport and its customers through social media.
The first UK airport to officially launch a Twitter stream, in February 2009. Currently Manchester Airport has 18,000 followers.
During the snow and the volcanic ash cloud crises, Twitter became one of the vital channels of communication. Updates were posted as they happened, even Sky News took live updates from the Manchester Airport Twitter stream to use on it’s website and TV channel.
It was interesting Manchester Air is actually following more potential customers than it has followers (see image below). This shows a concerted effort by this airport operator to not only disseminate news and updates but also its willingness to engage through social media with their followers.
Social media provided a way of communicating to followers of the crisis, spearding the word about this is easier through the use of social media. At present, the main ways that airports employ social media are, customer service, crisis handling, relationship building and increasing commercial activity.
However, there is greater opportunity for airports to engage in social media to better service customers, create entertainment and provide a positive and enjoyable experience. Social media communicates and spreads this positive customer experience, spreading word of mouth and generating loyalty/ increased customers and increase in revenue.
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