Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. With 4.95 billion users worldwide, accounting for around 60.49% of the global population, it transforms the way organisations connect with their audience. Airlines, with their global reach and constant need for effective communication, have swiftly embraced the power of social media, but many are still not using it to its full potential.
How Can Social Media Be Used by Airlines?
1. Customer Service and Engagement
Social media serves as a real-time communication channel, allowing airlines to connect with passengers instantly. Monitoring airlines and social media interactions is crucial for companies to effectively address customer concerns. It might not be the go to customer service channel, however 16% of customers have chosen to contact an airline through this channel so it shouldn’t be ignored. Airlines can leverage platforms like Twitter and Facebook to provide updates on flight statuses, address customer concerns, and offer support. The immediacy of these platforms enables airlines to manage crises efficiently, showcasing a commitment to customer satisfaction.
2. Brand Building and Marketing
In an industry where trust and reputation are paramount, airlines and social media go hand in hand. Engaging content, captivating visuals, and strategically crafted campaigns can elevate an airline’s image, fostering a positive perception among existing and potential customers. In fact, 60% of TikTok users actually developed an interest in visiting a new destination after seeing it on the app. With 75% of people using social media for travel inspiration, it also serves as an effective marketing channel, allowing airlines to promote special offers, loyalty programs, and exclusive deals.
3. Crisis Management
Airlines often face unforeseen challenges such as weather disruptions, technical issues, or global events impacting travel and collaboration between airlines and social media platforms has revolutionised how travellers receive real-time updates. Social media becomes a vital component in crisis management, enabling airlines to communicate transparently, address concerns, and provide timely updates to passengers. A well-handled crisis on social media can enhance an airline’s reputation and build trust among customers.
4. Market Research and Feedback
Social media platforms offer a treasure trove of valuable data and insights. Airlines can use these channels to conduct market research, gather feedback on services, and understand customer preferences. This real-time feedback loop empowers airlines to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics and tailor their services to meet evolving customer expectations.
5 Benefits Of social Media For The Aviation Industry
1. Enhanced Customer Engagement and More Conversions
By actively participating in social media conversations, airlines can create a sense of community and engagement with their audience.The most crucial factor influencing purchasing decisions for 30% of Gen Z and 32% of millennials is direct engagement with a brand. Responding to customer queries, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and running interactive campaigns foster a connection which leads to higher conversions.
2. More Website Visits With Increased Brand Visibility
Social media amplifies an airline’s visibility in a crowded marketplace. It is such a powerful tool with 27% of travellers deciding to visit a particular destination based on the influence of Facebook posts alone. Through strategic use of hashtags, collaborations, and shareable content, airlines can extend their reach far beyond traditional marketing channels, attracting new customers to their websites and retaining existing ones.
3. Save Money With Cost-Effective Marketing
Compared to traditional advertising, social media marketing offers a cost-effective way for airlines to reach a global audience. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional methods and using social media can help amplify this. Targeted campaigns and sponsored content can be tailored to specific demographics, ensuring that marketing efforts are optimised for maximum impact.
4. Competitive Advantage
Airlines and social media collaboration can create strong virtual communities. Currently 56% of consumers believe that brands should enhance their relatability on social media. Statistics like this show there is a great opportunity for airlines to create content that resonates with their target audience. Proactive communication, innovative campaigns, and a strong online presence can set them apart from competitors, strongly influencing customer choices and loyalty.
5. Save Time And Create Operational Efficiency:
Internally, the strategic integration of airlines and social media facilitates enhanced connectivity. Platforms can be utilised to streamline communication and collaboration among airline staff. From coordinating flight schedules to addressing maintenance issues, social media can serve as a real-time communication hub for operational efficiency, fostering a more connected and responsive airline team.
Building a Social Media Strategy
To build a successful social media and digital marketing strategy it is best to work with a specialist team of accredited professionals. The most important steps to create a strategy with lasting results are:
1. Define Goals and Objectives
Before embarking on a social media journey, airlines must establish clear goals and objectives. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving ticket sales, or improving customer satisfaction, a well-defined aviation digital marketing strategy is essential for success.
2. Know Your Audience
Understanding the target audience is crucial for crafting content that resonates. Airlines should conduct thorough demographic research to identify the preferences, behaviours, and interests of their customers. Platforms such as Optimizely offer in depth customer data platforms that use data to build customer profiles giving organisations a holistic view of their customers wants and needs. Additionally, aviation SEO research can give airlines an idea of what customers are searching for so they can adapt their content for this. This knowledge shapes the tone, style, and content of social media posts.
3. Choose the Right Platforms
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and each has its own unique audience. Instagram is a key platform for the aviation industry as travel is the most captivating sector on the platform, boasting an average engagement rate of 1.41%. Airlines should carefully select the platforms that align with their brand and cater to their target demographic.
4. Create Compelling Content
The evolving landscape of airlines and social media integration underscores the importance of crafting engaging content. Airlines can showcase the beauty of travel, share stories of crew members, and highlight the unique experiences their destinations offer. Luckily, with the help of artificial intelligence, airlines can easily create and edit endless content. It is predicted there will be a 260% increase of organisations using AI to edit imagery in 2024. By jumping on this trend and creating high-quality visuals, captivating videos, and relatable narratives airlines can capture the audience’s attention.
5. Foster Two-Way Communication
The synergy between airlines and social media not only fosters engagement but also provides an avenue for the industry to showcase travel experiences, and community-building initiatives. Social media is not just a broadcasting platform; it’s a conversation space. Airlines should actively engage with their audience by responding to comments, addressing concerns, and participating in discussions. Building a sense of community fosters brand loyalty and strengthens the connection with passengers.
6. Monitor and Analyse
Regularly monitoring social media analytics provides valuable insights into the performance of campaigns and overall online presence. Metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, and click-through rates help airlines refine their strategy, ensuring continuous improvement and adaptability.
Get a Bespoke Strategy Built For Your Airline
Airlines and social media have become integral components of modern communication and customer engagement strategies. If you are looking to increase the success of your airline social media strategy then you have come to the right place. We’re Ultimedia, a team of specialised experts in the field offering priceless insights, empowering your airline to formulate a sustainable, long-term strategy.
With a wealth of expertise in the aviation industry, we take pride in our leading position in optimising and enhancing online engagements. If you are ready for an airline digital transformation contact us today. We’re here to assist you and excited to share our expertise.