Skift Take

Tweets at passengers and sponsoring food trucks helps airlines soothe flyers bothered by crowded flights and hefty fees.

Frequent flyers and travel humbugs say air travel has never been more inhumane. Cramped seats, sky-high fees, and brisk staff make some travelers feel more like cattle than a valued customer.

Airlines, however, are working hard to leverage social media in an effort to humanize their marketing efforts and connect with the everyday customers.

The State of Airline Marketing report, produced by and Simpliflying, examines eight effective initiatives airlines are undertaking. All involve social media as airlines tap into its power to connect and accelerate brand awareness around the world.

Social media has blurred the barriers between the corporate inner workings of these companies and the harried frustrated business travelers that they serve. This has brought about a renewed focus on real people, both passengers and staff, and content is created to being shared that relates to real flyers. Airlines are also showing the behind-the-scenes workings of their operations and the people that make the airline run.

Social media also blurs distinctions between producers and consumers: Airlines receive valuable ideas and input while also empowering and engaging their customers. A few of the success stories:

  • Lufthansa promotes its lie-flat seats by riding the momentum of the “planking” craze.
  • Air New Zealand uses Bear Gryllis in a safety video that then goes viral.
  • Delta creates a special @DeltaAssist Twitter account to help travelers in need.

Read through the full report below to see how airlines are also taking their brand offline to create meaningful relationships with customers.

Download (PDF, 1.61MB)

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Tags: crowd sourced, marketing, social media

Photo credit: Lufthansa exercised great timing when it released a video promoting its lie-flat seats at the same time planking became an Internet meme. YouTube

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