Airline Social Media Outlook 2018: Airlines’ Priorities & Budget Forecast For Social Media

A social media strategy is no longer a luxury for airline marketing departments. It is an urgent necessity that has the potential to deliver multiple benefits, while ensuring that today’s connected travellers can interact with the airline on their preferred channel.

The Airline Social Media Outlook Report provides deep insights into airlines’ use of social media to achieve business goals. Conducted every year since 2010, the report is based on in-depth responses from extensive surveys conducted with airline practitioners. 

This year we received survey responses from 117 executives from 83 airlines across the globe, including from Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe, North America, South America and Africa.



  • Hybrid (43%) and dedicated (39%) social media team structures continue to be the most popular. This year hybrid structures have made a comeback likely due to their lower costs and better integration with the rest of the airline’s structure.
  • Customer service was indicated as a top priority by 43% of respondents and remains the top goal driven via social media. The constant increase in customer service focus is a response to user demand for faster and more efficient interactions that have the ultimate goal of improving the airline’s brand image.
  • Crisis communications was the most common new responsibility added to social media teams (31%) coming to the fore after a challenging year. The focus on customer service as a way to improve brand image and match user demand has brought a renewed emphasis on social-media-led crisis management.
  • Social media metrics and data analytics remain underdeveloped with 33% of respondents highlighting the need for data specialists and another 31% the need for tools and software. Airlines have started measuring and gathering data from social media but it appears that the data is not yet being put to good use and sometimes the metrics being monitored are not the ideal ones.

To help airline executives plan their social media budget and activities better for the coming year 2018, we have put together a comprehensive 32-page report, as well as an infographic – all sharing key findings from this survey research.


Airline Social Media Outlook 2018

For enquiries about Airline Social Media Outlook 2018, please contact Baiba Dreimane at

Baiba Dreimane

Baiba Dreimane

Project Manager at SimpliFlying
Baiba Dreimane manages SimpliFlying's digital products and consulting projects to guide airlines through their concerns. She joined the team in 2016 and has since managed a multitude of projects internationally, including research and consulting projects for SimpliFlying's global clients, Airline Marketing Innovation Labs in places like Miami, Singapore and London, SimpliFlying's Annual Awards in London, among other projects. With a deep interest in digital innovation and design, she has tried her hand at founding a MarTech startup and has created one of the top travel micro-influencer profiles in Valencia, Spain, where she resides now.
Baiba Dreimane
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