Engaging customers has always been tricky business for any company but even more so for airlines since they face geographically dispersed audiences that they need to inspire to travel.

In our view there are two key elements in this problem.  The first one is the need to be where the audience is and the second one is to find something that, while being relevant to the audience, is also able to inspire audience to part with cash and travel somewhere.

An Emerging social network

Just a few days ago we wrote about the high growth rates and airline marketing potential presented by Pinterest, the new image-based social bookmarking site. In particular we stressed how this new site had the potential to inspire travelers, and now we are seeing an early attempt by an airline to exploit this potential with the launch of the BMI Pinterest lottery.

Using Images Instead of Numbers for Lucky Draw

The UK-based airline created several different image boards featuring pictures from some of its destinations. Each board contains nine pins (images) that come associated with a number. To participate users have to re-pin (share) up to six images and by doing so they will select the numbers associated with those images. Each week a lucky number is announced and one of the users who re-pinned that image wins a return ticket to the destination that is portrayed.  The image below is an example of a pin for the town of Marrakech in Morocco.

Incentivise users

By giving its users an incentive to share these images the airline, as well as achieving brand recognition and engagement, was also able to raise awareness of its destinations and was able to reach its target market on an aspirational level, when the decision to travel has not been made yet and the awareness of an attractive destination could easily inspire a user to travel.

Positive results, what’s next?

This campaign was also clearly aimed at  growing the airline’s followers base on Pinterest by asking users to re-pin (share) the content created by the airline. It will be interesting however to see how the airline will deal with the increase in engagement and following that this campaign will undoubtedly drive.

At the time of writing BMI’s Pinterest profile had accumulated over 350 followers but most importantly almost all its destination-centered boards had in excess of 800 followers and several images had been shared over 100 times.  Considering the novelty of the social network and the fact that most images are automatically re-shared on the users’ twitter and facebook profiles, the level of engagement represented by these numbers is considerable, especially for a niche carrier like BMI.

If you wish to learn more about how SimpliFlying can help your airline or airport harness the powers of the social web (or even only Pinterest) and engage travelers profitably , we offer Strategy Consulting andMasterClasses that can be customized to your needs. You can get in touch with us directly at clients[at]simpliflying.com

Follow SimpliFlying on Pinterest here.

 

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