Social CRM for Airlines – Managing the Cult and driving true value (Plus: upcoming webinar)
Managing an airline’s presence on social media can be an extremely demanding job. This is due to several reasons attributable to both the platforms used as well as those managing them. One thing is certain: in almost all the conversations I’ve had with airline executives, having a large audience on Twitter and Facebook (the two most popular social media platforms) is a high priority goal. However, many are unsure of what to do when they do get their “dream” audience numbers.
For example, can you answer the following questions:
a) If your airline has a large number (say 10,000) of followers on Twitter, will you answer queries asked by each of those people?
b) If yes, how will you manage it? Do you have the resources? More, importantly, will you be able to sustain this as follower numbers increase?
c) If no, will you choose to respond to only certain people? Is your selection criteria based on any objective parameters?
A recent infographic revealed that more than 180 airlines are now using Twitter. Interestingly, it showed that United Airlines is mentioned in about 160 tweets per day but sends out a paltry 3tweets a day. Also, most of the tweets have something negative to say about United. Why doesn’t United engage its customers more on Twitter?
Two answers come to mind: first, that it doesn’t have a planned Twitter strategy in place. Second, even if it has a social media strategy, it doesn’t have the resources to carry it out.
Questions for an airline’s social media team
So, how should airlines that have a large, active audience on social media manage their audience? There are two things that all airlines looking to manage their social media audiences should be able to answer.
a) Do you know the frequent flyers in your social media audience?
b) Do you know which of your frequent flyers has the most influential social media presence?
Webinar on how airlines can drive value through Social CRM
Why is answering these questions important? First, it’s no longer the age of traditional customer relationship management. As Simplifying has mentioned before, CRM is now Cult Relationship Management. Simply put, from an airline’s perspective, a particular frequent flyer might have a huge social media presence with a large number of “followers” and friends. Now, this audience, which is not directly known to the airline, could fly them someday based on just a tweet or Facebook status message from the frequent flyer. It can therefore be hugely rewarding for an airline if it’s able to identify such “cults” that exist in its customer base.
Register for our special, free webinar on 5th April at 10 am EST for the answers to all these questions. Apart from this, there’ll be a detailed walkthrough of a new Social CRM system that SimpliFlying is producing in partnership with JitterJam.