Creating a consistent social media strategy for airlines can be tricky
As detailed in a special report on the website Aviation Brief, airlines are using social media as another channel to connect with their customers, but often with little thought about where these media should be in relation to the brand. Creating a consistent social media strategy can be tricky. At a conference in London, aviation ¬consultant Steven Klimek commented that airline boardrooms are often unsure or even scared of social media – worried for example by the hostile reaction to Qantas’ recent badly timed attempt at brand promotion on Twitter.
First to consider, Klimek said, is whether serious engagement with social media is actually necessary. Airlines “absolutely do not have to be involved with social media”. Look at Singapore Airlines, he added – “really poor” at social media, yet “one of the best airlines in the world”. Ryanair and EasyJet also maintain limited involvement.
However, airlines can gain a lot if their social media strategy is aligned with overall business objectives. “Air Asia made a worldwide name for itself through social media,” he illustrated. KLM’s strategy involves a team of 40 people, but airlines need to have at least a few staff spending several hours a day monitoring comments about the company. This can help prevent PR disasters like the United Breaks Guitars song made for YouTube by a passenger whose guitar was broken by that airline’s staff. The video has been viewed more than 11.5 million times.