Loyalty 2.0 | The Top 10 Social Loyalty Initiatives by Airlines

After all the clamour regarding social media and how it’s the next big thing, we’re finally beginning to see some sense emanating from all the noise. Until now, there was an overwhelming feeling that what brands (among them airlines) really wanted out of social media was vague: there was no real consensus on what social media could actually do. It was mostly an unexplored quagmire that might yield riches or the swamp monsters. However, after an initial couple of years of experimentation, it’s quite evident that there are indeed riches to be gained from this quagmire. The bad news? There’s a monster protecting that treasure!

The Turning Tide

Undoubtedly, social media offers many benefits versus traditional forms of engagement. Some of them do bear repetition: the near-instant form of communication; two-way interaction compared to broadcast messaging; the ability to spread messages very fast across networks; the potential to identify and target “brand advocates” to drive brand awareness in cults (see Cult Relationship Management). We’ve strived to point out that a presence on social is media is not sufficient to do wonders for the brand: given that almost every airline is now on social media (our Monthly Airlines on Twitter report offers some numbers) brands must not only differentiate themselves but also focus their efforts on driving specific business goals. If they don’t, they’ll be relegated to the backwaters of social media.

It turns out that our ceaseless advice and suggestions have not gone unheeded. More airlines than ever before are now using social media as a platform to drive business goals such as crisis management (see our recent case-study on Delta Airlines), revenue (examples abound in our Top 10 series) and now, a much more challenging aim, to drive loyalty via social media.

You should create a loyalty initiative for your airline too!

The challenge in creating a social loyalty initiative is that you really need to be sure of what will click with customers. After all, the goal is to increase loyalty which requires reciprocation from the customers. The good thing is that there are potentially infinite ways (if you’re imaginative enough) of creating a successful initiative. What you need to keep in mind is that most customers will become more loyal based on two things: rewards or recognition (or both).  Our case-pack will illustrate the diverse ways in which this is being done by some of the major airline across the world.

The benefits of creating a successful social loyalty initiatives are manifold:

  1. A brand advocate with a strong social network could act as a huge multiplier for your loyalty efforts by getting members from his network involved with the brand.
  2. There is a huge opportunity to move away from traditional loyalty programmes and offer something disruptive and innovative.
  3. Loyal customers are worth more than new customers (this is true for traditional loyalty programmes as well).
  4. The biggest benefit: there is very little lag between implementation and measurement. The results can be seen very quickly indeed.

Without further ado, we present to you our list of the Top 10 Social Loyalty Initiatives by Airlines.

What did you think of this list? Felt we left out someone? Felt this was perfect and want to reward us for our efforts?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do join in the discussion and tweet us @simpliflying.


Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore. He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic. He can be reached at shubhodeep@simpliflying.com.
Shubhodeep Pal
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