Top 10 Airports on Social Media – case studies of the airports best at driving engagement

Airlines, as we all know, seem to have taken to social media like a fish takes to water. Well, almost. Over the last three months we’ve shared with you 40 case-studies that have revealed how airlines have used the predominant platforms of social engagement via our Top 10 Facebook, Twitter and Location-Based-Service Initiatives and Crowdsourcing case-packs.

It is now fitting that we take a look at how airports are managing their social engagement models. Our latest Top 10 presentation brings to you 10 11 case-studies that showcase the best airports from around the world in terms of how well they’re evolving and adapting to newer technologies of driving customer engagement.

The Invisible Wall

No, this is in no way related to Harry Potter and Platform 9 and 3-quarters. What I refer to here is the seamless airport experience that leads most passengers to view the airport and airline as the same entity. Most airports would now like their passengers to be able to identify the invisible wall that delineates the airport experience from that of the airline.

This is important primarily because of two reasons:

  1. Individuality: Most passengers probably see an airport as a means to an end ie, just an inevitable funnel that leads to the actual part of travel. Airports wish to change that and bring to their customers’ notice that an airport can offer an experience that the passenger will always remember – whether by means of retail outlets, food courts or something disruptive like the famous Changi Airport slide.
  2. Engagement, Revenue and Branding – A great airport brand starts by engaging, entertaining and making the passenger comfortable. On the way, an airport that is suitably engaging its passenger will drive retail (in simple words, revenue) as well. I personally know a number of people who choose to transit via particular airports simply because of great retail and entertainment options on offer. These spread especially quickly through word of mouth.

How are airports engaging on social media?

Among social media platforms, Twitter seems to be the preferred social media platform for most airports looking to engage their customers. Airports are certainly using social media, with 200+ airports using social media, either Twitter or Facebook. Some airports seem to have created some ‘buzz’ with their programs.

As with the airlines, the case-studies include some fine examples of how airports have driven revenue, engagement, loyalty, crisis management and customer service via social media. Some have gone one step further and have created some truly radical things such as virtual reality apps for airport navigation. Awesome, isn’t it?

We’ve also seen that Twitter has been successfully used as a customer service tool due to the instant, real-time responses that can be sent out to customers. When the ash clouds appeared in Europe, it has also proved remarkably helpful in handling crises.

View more presentations from SimpliFlying

 

The social runway ahead

The challenge we’ve seen in airports using social media, is how to extend this communication channel to more than just broadcast mode. Executives handling social media for their airport should now think about how to engage the passengers to the point of creating a positive customer experience. Hopefully, some of the initiatives we’ve featured here inspire other airports to do more too! Enjoy the case studies.

Agree with our list of Top 10 initiatives? Know of others?  Leave a comment about what you thought of these case-studies and how you think we could do these better. The best comments could be featured in the first SimpliFlying Top 10 eBook out this Summer!

Special thanks to Robert Cook (SimpliFlying Airports Lead) for sourcing a large majority of these case studies.

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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