Mango Airlines CEO Nico Bezuidenhout attributes 50% growth in revenues to social media

About a year ago, we had featured an interview on SimpliFlying with the CEO of Mango Airlines, Nico Bezuidenhout, in which he spoke about the challenges he faced starting up an airline in a country with low internet penetration. One year on, I met him when we both were speaking at the Aviation Outlook Summit Africa [see presentation]. This time, Nico was excited about the impact social media has had on his revenues – up to 50% by his estimates and he shared his perspectives on how it has worked so well.

Quality, not quantity matters

While Mango Airlines now has almost 14,000 fans on Facebook today, Nico claims that it’s not the number of fans, but the quality of engagement that matters on social media. In fact, he excitedly shares in his interview that Mango has 6.7 times the level of engagement for any South African airline on social media, and over 4 times the average engagement of global airlines. And it is this quality of engagement that is helping drive results.

For example, their recently launched Bucket List campaign asks for 12 things consumers would like to do related to travel. It may or may not feature Mango at all, like diving with the sharks in Cape Town. The thousands of submissions Mango has received for this campaign supports their new tagline launch, “Why not today?”. It is a much better way to involve the consumer in the brand, rather than just issuing a press release about a new tag line.

When I asked him what leads to such levels of engagement, Nico mentions that social media is everyone’s responsibility at Mango. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a member of the flight crew busy replying to customers’ tweets through his or her iPad. That too on the fly!

Mango Airlines has certainly risen quickly in just a year on social media, and you can learn from the CEO himself in the video interview below.


 What makes Mango Airlines successful on social media?

  • Focusing on social media is a core marketing strategy [00:30]
  • All price-based promos have been done only on social media [00:42]
  • 50% RASK increase year on year for the last two months running [00:45]
  • Quality of Engagement on social media is more important than just the number of fans [01:30]
  • Learn about Mango’s highly successful Bucket List campaign on social media to launch their new tagline[2:19]
  • How Mango Airlines dedicates resources to social media [2:45]

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
Shashank Nigam

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