Airlines in social media – the road ahead. Keynote presentation from #APEX2011

I had the pleasure of presenting at the APEX 2011 Summit in Seattle this week. I was opening the social media Education Track with a presentation that aimed to set the tone for the rest of the day – and worthy speakers to follow. Hence, I focused on the road ahead for social media at airlines.

There were four key themes I highlighted on how social media will impact airlines in the coming months:

  1. The availability of in-flight wifi to 200 million people this year would change customer engagement models
  2. Loyalty programs would evolve to include social loyalty, where virtual actions lead to virtual rewards, like badges, rather than just free flights
  3. Revenue and distribution would adapt to the social graph to skip the GDS, like the Malaysia Airlines Facebook booking app, or Alaska Airline’s FlyingSocial
  4. Customer service will evolve where people expect to do all actions through social media, that they now do over the phone with an airline. Hence our partnership with InterGlobe Technologies to launch a social media call center

Check out these trends and more, in the presentation embedded below (Flash required).


Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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