The trophies all lined up ready to be handed to the winners of the SimpliFlying Social Media Awards – Photo: Artstudio23.com
On a recent flight from Seattle to Phoenix I did something that has become more common. My flight was delayed and I conversed with the airline via Twitter to see if there was anything I could do to make my now-25-minute connection. Had the airline not had a presence on Twitter, I could have been stranded. This was not a first though for me; I often deal with the airline social media teams to get situations handled, or to help with a booking. Social media and airlines seem to go hand-in-hand lately, but what airlines have the best social media presence?
October saw a selection of travel social media heavyweights all gathered for the 4th Annual SimpliFlying Social Media awards in Amsterdam. Over 37,000 votes were collected for the evening’s events to choose the winners.
Estonian Air Boeing 737-500.
Estonian Air recently announced that they will start to reward customers for not only flying, but also promoting their brand via social media. The small, regional airline, is the first in the world to reward their passengers for completing tasks, like sharing reviews on Facebook or Tweeting on deals and promotions.
My good friends over at SimpliFlying are working with the airline to show the world that this is the future of customer engagement. “Today 88% of frequent flyers use Facebook and they are twice as active as ordinary Facebook users,” Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying stated. “Over 70% of them would like to be part of a social loyalty programme too. Estonian Air’s pioneering effort in this field will intensify a pool of advocates for engaging with the airline online. The lessons learned from this can potentially change the course of airline loyalty programmes globally.”
Points are earned through Estonian’s Facebook App called AirScore. You can easily see how many points you have earned and the rewards you can redeem. Social media allows airlines to connect with their customers in ways that no other method can. It makes sense for an airline to reward customers to helping to promote their brand.
“Estonia is a small market and in order to provide good connections at reasonable price for Estonians, the airline needs to also attract connecting traffic from outside Estonia. Social Media is one of the most effective ways to market and promote brands across the borders,” said Tero Taskila, the CEO of Estonian Air.
I think this is a great experiment and it will be interesting how it turns out. Do you think other airlines might participate in a reward system like this?
A reminder to all of you who might be in the Seattle area on Sunday to come to our TweetUp. Among meeting sweet people, talking about airlines, you can also win free tickets on Virgin America, get other prizes and there is even a cool surprise for anyone coming.
WHAT: FREE TweetUP (really a gathering of like-minded people)
WHEN: Starts Sunday the 11th at 2pm, who knows when it will be over
WHERE: Future of Flight located at Paine Field in Everett, WA
HOW: Sign up on the TweetUp page. Show up on Sunday. Last minute show-ups are a.o.k.
WHY: Don’t ask so many questions. Okay fine. Because it will be AWESOME!
Hopefully see you tomorrow.
A big thanks to the Future of Flight for hosting us, Simpliflying for helping to organize and of course Virgin America for providing sweet prizes.
Are you going to be in the Seattle area this weekend? Do you want to get together with other aviation geeks and professionals? Then you need to come to our special Aviation Geek Tweet Up at the Future of Flight this Sunday on September 11th, starting at 2pm (we are using the hashtag #SEAvGeek)
VIRGIN AMERICA IS GIVING TWO FREE ROUND TRIP TICKETS AND OTHER FUN STUFF THAT YOU CAN WIN!
There is no cost to join in. We will be meeting at the Future of Flight to talk aviation and there are quite a few cool folks in town for the Airline Interiors Expo and APEX, so you never know who you might run into.
So what is a Aviation Geek Tweet Up? It is where people on Twitter get together to talk about their passion — aviation. If you do not have a Twitter account, it is easy to get one and I can even show you how at the event, if you want.
Sign up now and join in on the fun!
More details are coming soon.
This TweetUp is being organized by AirlineReporter, Simpliflying and the Future of Flight