Leading the charge at Volaris are José Calderoni and Sai Sánchez Correa. They were kind enough to respond to our request for an interview to profile their stellar efforts better. An edited transcript of the SimpliExclusive interview follows:
1. What were the most important things you thought of doing when you started building these virtual communities?
The most important things for us were sponsorships, publicity, and disruptive events. Our goal while building these communities was to have direct contact with customers, to learn about what they like and dislike, to closely listen to them, and to create a new forum for all of our events, sponsorships, and new routes. All the while, however, the focus was on low-cost measures.
2. What kicked off Volaris’s social media presence?
We started off with a need to have fresh and ongoing information. Not just on our promotions, but also travel tips, photos, contests (not just for tickets), partnerships. We also wanted a forum for job openings, and exclusive promos for all our fans or followers.
3. How do you decide which platforms to tackle more aggressively than others?
For us, the strongest result has been seen on Facebook because of the number of questions and interactions we get on a daily basis. Hence, we target it more aggressively. Twitter is the next best platform, but we’re also on Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, and LinkedIn.
4. How do you measure the success (ROI) of your social media efforts?
We offer exclusive promotions for our social media platforms. From Facebook sales alone we’ve had revenues amounting to $2 million pesos on a monthly basis. We also measure the activities on our social media platforms, such as an increase in the number of fans or followers, number of posts, likes, interactions, and response time.
5. Do you have an internal team or do you work with an external agency?
We all work on this internally. We don’t have an external agency as we consider this makes the response process more effective and efficient, for all client related issues. [Sai, who is the PR and social media manager, is in charge of the department.]
6. How important do you think is customer service via social media?
We believe offering customer service via social media outlets is very important. This way we have immediate and direct feedback on our services. It enables us to gain customer confidence through quick and efficient responses.
7. How large is the social media team at Volaris?
Two of us are directly involved in working with social media. Another team of 4 people supports us directly with necessary responses during night shifts.
8.What is in store for 2012 with respect to Volaris and social media?
In 2012 we are looking to increase the number of dedicated people on our team. We would like to start workshops with our success stories and continue with our presence in other new social media outlets, always looking to provide better service to our customers.
9. With inflight wi-fi right becoming increasingly popular, do you have any similar plans to equip your planes?
Our fleet is made up of Airbus A319 and A320 airplanes and they are not yet equipped with this technology. For now, being a low cost carrier, we are not focused on obtaining it.
10. What sort of tools do you use to manage your social presence?
In terms of tools, we use Mediafunnel, Crowdbooster and Facebook Analytics. We are also about to close with other types of platforms.
11. What would you consider as your greatest achievement till now?
Our most significant achievement to date has been being rated as the “most devoted airline in the world” by Socialbakers. They compared us not only against other carriers in Mexico, but against some of the leading airlines in the world. We came first, obtaining a 78% response rate on all requests within optimal response time-frames.
12. Essential advice for others?
It is important for the staff to establish close relations with the executives throughout the company in order to have the ability to quickly solve any issues that arise. It must be realized that PR is closely linked to social media. And within the company, it should be given the respect and importance it truly deserves, as an indispensable communication bond with customers.
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