Enterprise 2.0

By Alyse O'Shea

Micro-flying

A consumer’s decision in their choice of airport is based, like many other services, on the convenience of the location, the airlines that operate there, the destinations available, but also on the level of awareness and reputation of the airports brand.

Airports are wondering right now how they may become more attractive to counter attack the other domestic and international offensive, therefore as eligible as any other brand to use social media to:

• Improve customer services
• Handle crisis
• Build relationships
• increase commercial activity
• Create an enjoyable experience for customers

So how do we know this will work?

There’s no question that Virgin America has embraced technology and social media and according to Abby Lundardini, Virgin America’s director of communication, is willing to take risks in social media.

Last August, Virgin ventured into geolocation for the first time and partnered with Loopt to offer a “2-for-1 Tacos and Tickets” promotion, which coincided with the addition of two new destinations in Mexico. Once fans checked in via Loopt at either of two branded taco trucks – in San Francisco and Los Angeles – they received a digital promotional code which delivered 2-for-1 flight tickets and 2-for-$1 tacos.

In April, the airline started offering points that were redeemable for prizes to customers who checked in to Terminal 2 in the San Francisco Airport on Facebook Places or Foursquare.

Daily deals came next, with Virgin stepping up to become the first airline to use Groupon last February. The promotion was meant to celebrate Virgin’s new service to Chicago, and offered $77 worth of airfare for $7.

The brand is seeing impressive growth and engagement. “We’ve grown tremendously in not only the revenue which we bring in, but also the number of fans,” Fletcher told Mashable. “We have one of the highest growth rates on Twitter and Facebook out of any domestic airline.”

How can this have a positive impact for the airport?

Improve Customer Service: This promotion gets the consumers involved by providing a short-term services that has not been provided before.

Build Relationships: This promotions allowed for consumers to get more involved in the airport, both physically and virtually. They were able to follow the airline on social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, in order to have a better experience when visiting the airports.

Improve Commerical Activity: By encouraging people to come into the airports, in turn creates more chances to buy products or use the services provided, which in turn promotes the airport.

Enjoyable Experience: This promotion was a fun way to reach out and create buzz on social media in a way that hasn’t been done before, so they get high marks for out of the box thinking.

Handle Crisis: I like that the Virgin folks knew that offering cheap plane tickets, especially to now destination, is really a clever way to not only promote the airline and airport services, but also to inform the consumers of the new destinations offered.

How can we turn this into innovation?

Let’s use the Brisbane Airport, as a familiar example for now. With the use of Twitter, customers and retailers can use #bneairport to interact and engage with customers by promoting:

• Shop offers and sales
• Airline offers and sales
• New launches
• New shop openings
• Meal deals
• Competitions

Using Twitter as customer support might be seen as common but the real innovation with Brisbane Airport is that they display their Tweet feeds on big screens throughout the airport. This can be a huge opportunity to create a huge customer support and to provide something different to other airports. I think Brisbane Airport could even go further and build stronger relationship with its customers on Twitter by providing customers QnA opportunity, which can allow for enquires or feedback to be responded to.

Any other ideas?

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10 comments on “Micro-flying

  1. PrapatW
    September 20, 2012

    I really like the idea of Twitter that can interact with a big screens throughout the shopping center. Some items goes on sale, we see the tweet, children lost, we see the tweet, an event is coming up, we also see the tweet. Everyone will get the message when something is happening right away. The only downside is that, it is hard to control the content of the tweet so they have to be careful when someone try to tweet something we don’t want to see.

    Cheers,

    Prapat W.

    • Alyse O'Shea
      September 20, 2012

      Thanks Prapat,
      Yeah that’s true, i didn’t think about the negative tweets – maybe if there was a team of people that read all tweets and confirmed them before they were displayed, this might prevent any unwanted or slanderous tweets.
      What do you think?

      Alyse

  2. sukhshans
    October 3, 2012

    Geo-location is a big trend since it can be integrated on mobile devices with GPS. It could be beneficial to the airport to think of some campaign that they could involve the customers waiting for their flight. The campaign could include the stores in the airport to increase the awareness of the customer about the stores in the airport. Furthermore, a campaign that involves a store can also drive present and future sales.

    -Sukshan

    • Alyse O'Shea
      October 13, 2012

      Geo-location is an important tool for advertising as well. All day on facebook my feed has been filled with people checking-in at Hungry Jacks, just so that they can a free ice-cream. This form of word of mouth advertising is so simple yet so effective.

      I think any business can benefit from Geo-location, there isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong, so why not just use it!

      thanks for the feedback
      Alyse

  3. shaungoossens
    October 4, 2012

    Hi Alyse,
    Awesome post, like the layout.
    Brisbane airport gives you a bit of QnA as Iv’e send them my last blog post on twitter and got several replies with feedback.
    – Shaun

    • Alyse O'Shea
      October 13, 2012

      Hey Shaun,
      thanks I like to make my post not only easy to read, but easy to skim-read (haha)
      Oh awesome, thats so good – I liked the idea that the airport could give instant feedback, especially in an airport where you don’t have the luxury to wait for a reply. Which is where microblogging is important to incorporate in the strategy to connect with customers!

      Thanks for the feedback!
      Alyse

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  6. Blake Thornton
    October 15, 2012

    Hey Alyse,

    Interesting deal with virgin media, I hope a business does a similar promotion down here with flights.

    I like the idea of big screens around the airport with the twitter feeds, but how would you prevent abuse?

    It might be simple to get around word filters and still get a negative, or even offensive message on these borads, so would they have to be manually reviewed before being displayed?

    Great post as per usual.

    • Alyse O'Shea
      October 15, 2012

      Yeah the big screens would have to be constantly monitored; either have a 24/7 service or the screens are from 6am-8pm everyday – which one do you think would be most ideal?

      I think that approving of the tweets (similar to what WordPress has here) would be the best option for minimizing nuisances – who like to ruin the fun!

      Thanks for the feedback!

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2012 by in INB346 and tagged .
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