Airlines flying high on social media

SouthWest Airlines and Delta Airlines in the US had been appreciated for their social media presence on Facebook and both of them managed to boost their sales through the same channel. A useful compilation of contests on Facebook by these airlines is put together on Slideshare.

For its part Indian Airlines are playing catch up and haven’t been able to boost their sales so far using social media as yet. Some airlines which are doing serious work in this space are:

Jet Airways

Jet Airways extended its presence on social media networks to LinkedIn and Foursquare. With this initiative, the company wants to reach out to a larger section of audience and provide information on a real time basis.

On LinkedIn, Jet Airways has created company page for itself. Here the company would provide necessary information to 100 million users of LinkedIn with information such as latest initiatives and additional services to enhance their travel experience. The company page is interlinked with the official Twitter handle of Jet Airways – @jetairways which would be used for providing such information.

On Foursquare, Jet Airways becomes the first Indian flight operator to have its presence. Currently the Jet Airways user profile provides tips and discounts at various airports in India and outside India. There are also plans to utilise the platform to retain guests and also win new ones through virtual badges.

Jet had started its social media initiative through Facebook by forming a page on the popular network. The Facebook page has more than 1.7 lakh fans in approximately 14 months since the start. Just like the Twitter initiative of providing news and offers, Facebook does the same through regular updates on the wall. There is also an application created for booking tickets right from Facebook itself which is interlinked with the official website. One can also manage bookings, check flight status and/or web checkin from Facebook itself. This reduces the need to visit the website as Facebook can be used to navigate around the necessary sections for a passenger.

We have seen how the latest version of Foursquare can help brands use the tool even more than what it was possible earlier. Quite possibly, Foursquare would be the best tool for airliners to adopt as it is a location based social network which is conducive for airlines. Having said that, Foursquare doesn’t have a huge user base in India which the likes of Facebook and/or Twitter enjoy. Therefore, having a mixture of all these networks and bridging them together in the best possible manner would be a big task for Jet Airlines and other airlines who may follow suit in the future.

Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines has its presence on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter the airline has more than 8,500 followers and on Facebook there is a page with more than 93,000 likes. Content on both the channels is more or less the same with Cricket dominating due to the World Cup going on. Alongside, information on flights and other offers are also shared with the users.

SpiceJet

SpiceJet also focuses on Facebook and Twitter as two primary channels for dissemination of information. The Facebook page has more than 1.8 lakh likes and Twitter handle has a little over a thousand followers.

The Facebook page is currently running a contest called “48 hours in Varanasi” where people are asked to submit the things to do in Varanasi in 48 hours which is a blend of travel and enjoyment. The winner would be given a ticket to fly on the route for free. Besides this, travel tips, announcement of new routes, prices of some routes are also announced on a regular basis.

On Twitter, SpiceJet is merely sharing the information on routes, prices and the contest. There is no engagement or interaction with users on the microblogging service.

Just like Jet Airways’ Facebook Page, SpiceJet also has a ticket booking store added to the page as a separate tab. This is interlinked to the official website which handles the payment process.

Air India

Recently Air India announced it would be aggressively targeting the social media industry by using Facebook and Twitter as its primary platforms. The official website of the government owned carrier doesn’t mention any Facebook or Twitter pages so there is no way to ascertain an official social media property. One Facebook page on Air India has amassed more than 5,000 fans but all posts are by the fans itself and not by the brand. Presently there is no Twitter account set up for the airline.

As per a post on Aviation India, Air India would offer ticket booking and the ability to check flight status via Facebook. On Twitter, however, the focus would be on understanding customer behaviour and address complaints.

Another innovative feature added by Air India is of mobile check-in by visiting http://www.flyai.mobi/. This service has been launched in 6 metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Interestingly, Air India plans to enhance its sales by 30% using social media which is a big number to have for a conversion rate.

 

Did we miss out on any airlines doing well in social media and not being mentioned here? Please share as comment.

[Image via Flickr]