How COPA Airlines drove 50X return on investment from a Facebook app

Update: The campaign has been featured on Facebook Studio and also shortlisted for the Shorty Awards!

Airlines these days are chasing the elusive return on social media. And while the number of “likes” or “followers” and video views are all the rage, it’s ultimately the return on investment (ROI) that matters the most. About a year ago, AAdvantage ran possibly the most viral Facebook campaign for an airline – fans grew almost 100X in just 54 hours. But ROI numbers were not necessarily as impressive.

Now, COPA Airlines from Panama has numbers to prove a 50X ROI from their recent Facebook app – an effort for which Diego Quesada Grimaldo, their eCommerce Director, was nominated for the SimpliFlying Heroes Award last month!

Pasaporte America to promote destinations

To promote its network in the Americas, COPA recently held a Passport America sweepstakes, asking the public to tell the airline which 10 destinations they’d like to visit first if they were the winner. Participants could explore each of COPA Airlines’ 59 destinations on the map, and then select their favourite 10. One person won a trip for two to all of COPA’s 59 destinations.

The Facebook-centric campaign (app no longer online) also featured a campaign page and emails to Copa customers were sent.

The objectives of the campaign were to engage fans and increase the number of fans, increase brand awareness among the friends of fans, and increase direct sales of tickets on copaair.com. Participants were encouraged to share to increase their chances to win by liking COPA on Facebook and by booking travel on COPA.com.

The Results

In just 10 weeks, 279,000 participants registered for the campaign (33% of the registrants are referrals) and 1.3M invitations were sent, and COPA obtained 133,000 new Facebook fans. According to the airline, the campaign resulted in additional sales that resulted in an ROI that was 50 times the cost of the campaign, which was executed by COPA’s digital agency, Nobox.

As a result, COPA is now also among the top airlines worldwide with the highest Klout score, which measures a person’s or brand’s influence across their social network.

What did you think of their effort? Isn’t it the simplicity of the effort that ensured the great results? Would love to hear your feedback on Twitter (@simpliflying) and in Comments.



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  • Chasa Morse
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    Like your posts. It hones in on what your readership finds interesting.

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