Airlines and Social Media: Optimizing Customer Relations

The spread of social media is certainly having a growing impact on every part of day-to-day life and for businesses it’s becoming almost essential for marketing and customer relations. Just some of our recent posts included web apps to help gather customer feedback, the stages of the social media ROI cycle and a look at social media and mobile commerce. Now we want to look at how airlines can also realize the potential of social media.

There are real opportunities for airlines to optimize their customer relations using social media now and cheapflights.co.uk has been looking into how the top airlines utilize it. An interesting article over on eyefortravel.com looks at some of the best 5 opportunities that airlines should be looking at. The first area is Customer Loyalty and Virgin Atlantic is an example of a company that has successfully encouraged active participation from its customers through Facebook and Twitter pages.

Another of these opportunities arises with Deal Tracking. Customers now have a range of options available for checking out the best deals, and also special offers, using social media. Germanwings is one airline that has successfully integrated Facebook and Twitter into its marketing, which gives the company plenty of chances to engage with its customers. The article then looks into Planning, Sharing and Connectivity noting that the use of social media by airlines is not just about the relationship between the airline and its customers but should also encourage the opportunity for customers to share with each other.

The next of the top 5 opportunities for airlines using social media is Crisis Communications as one thing that many customers have previously complained about is a lack of communication when things go wrong. Finally we move on to In-Flight Communications & Entertainment whereby airlines are recognizing the fact that their passengers like to stay in contact with people when on the move.

We previously told readers about the MHbuddy system from Malaysia Airlines which along with being used for checking-in and printing out boarding passes, can also be used by people to see if their Facebook friends are on the same flight and even change their seats so that they can sit with each other where possible. For much more information on each of the categories head to the full article at the eyefortravel link above. Have you noticed any successful examples of airlines using social media in customer relations? Why not let us know by sending us your comments