How BmiBaby Used Instagram to Visually Engage Travelers and Locals

Back in 2011, we published a Top 10 on the Best Social Loyalty Initiatives by Airlines that featured a location-based initiative by the British low cost carrier BmiBaby in partnership with Gowalla.  The campaign eventually evolved into a wider off-airport engagement strategy where  travel experts created virtual city tours based on Gowalla check-ins that allowed travelers to explore several different cities served by the airline.

Now, the airline has decided to further enhance its efforts to engage with people based on their location, by launching an Instagram campaign that allows communities of users to meet in person on trips sponsored by BmiBaby.

Instagram community meetings

Instagram is a free photo sharing application on iOS that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter, then share it on a variety of social networking services including Instagram’s own. BmiBaby was able to exploit a particular trend within the Instagram image sharing network: having “Instameets”.  Instameets are user-organized events where Instagramers take part in a “photo walk” and take pictures of a particular location or town, that are then shared on Instagram under a dedicated hashtag.

BmiBaby launched a campaign to celebrate the 4th World Instameet Day by providing free travel to members of different Instagram communities, allowing them to meet each other. On 11th March, members of the London Instagram community were flown into Amesterdam to meet with local Instagramers. The event was tweeted and blogged live using the #myamsterdam tag.


Increasing local engagement and destination awareness

Besides the obvious increase in positive buzz about the airline, the most interesting (and potentially rewarding) aspect of this initiative is the brand association that the airline creates with the place portrayed in the Instagram pictures. Furthermore, BmiBaby also benefits by creating a direct line of communication, and engagement with members of the local Instagram communities who become more aware of the presence of the airline at their local airport and of the other destinations they could visit by flying with the airline.

Overall, we’d say this was one of the most visually-appealing initiatives leading to community building and engagement to be carried out by an airline in recent times. SimpliFantastic, Team BmiBaby!

Curious about how new social technologies such as Instagram and Pinterest can help your airline or airport engage customers more profitably? Drop us a line here.

Marco Serusi

Marco Serusi

Former Director of Consulting at SimpliFlying
Marco Serusi was Consultant at SimpliFlying from November 2011 to January 2019 and has worked on major client projects with the likes of LATAM Airlines, London Heathrow and Airbus. He has also delivered training in digital aviation strategy for hundreds of executives globally and spoken at several aviation conferences worldwide. He is well known for his cutting-edge research into crisis communications and social media trends.
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