For this week’s post I visited The Social Media Marketing blog and read about how airlines and airports are jumping on the social media bandwagon. I chose this article because my oldest sister’s job is managing social media for her company and I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the need for all companies to use social media. The post also highlighted how even now when traveling, people stay connected and remain dependent on their technology. I had to chuckle at this because for better or worse I am this person. I will be watching a show on my laptop while playing a game on my iPad while texting a friend on my iPhone and I expect to be able to do this while traveling. When I was abroad if I didn’t have room to bring my laptop I felt like I was leaving behind a child. So in a sense i felt like this article was speaking to me. This post explains how social media allows companies to be more customer centric. This is absolutely true, communication between customer and company is easy with social media and, I believe, that it also gives the company more of a “face”. For my marketing class I did a project on Chipotle and wrote on Chipotle’s Facebook, within 10 minutes I had a message from “Chipotle” asking me how they could help me with my school project. Simple contacts like this tremendously increase brand loyalty. I saw a similar situation on Facebook where I follow the actor who plays Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter (nerd alert!). He was traveling to the states on British Airways with his dog and he tweeted to the airline asking them to take care of his precious pet. Within moments British Airways had tweeted back at him saying that his dog was in safe hands. Not only does this boost loyalty, Draco then retweeted what British Airways said which meant that his thousands of followers now knew that British Airways is a caring airlines. That is the power of social media and if a company does it right it can be extremely beneficial but, it can also be extremely damaging if a customer has a bad reaction. This article mentions how social media can aid companies to deal with upset customers. A customer can easily complain via social media. There is no awkward face to face or even phone call but just type a couple words and you are good to go. However, even though it might be easier for customers to complain it is easier to do damage control. A study found that people 75% of people were satisfied by the companies responses to their complaints.
Social media has become a powerful tool create more valued and intimate relationships between companies and customers and airline and airports are now finally realizing this potential.
While airports and airlines are joining the social media world, they are also making sure that you never have to leave it. It is now unacceptable for an airport to not have any form of wi-fi and at many airports its free. I have even been on a plane with wi-fi! I can only imagine that in a few years wi-fi will become normal on planes allowing all customers to tweet, pin, or post while airborne. This is great news for people like me who are perhaps a little too iProduct dependent.