So happy and proud to hit over 50,000 followers — thank you!
I don’t just want to go about tooting our own horn here, but I have to admit that I am pretty darn excited that we hit a big benchmark this morning: obtaining over 50,000 Twitter followers.
I remember way back in the day being super excited about hitting 5,000 and thinking that we would likely settle there. But a huge thank you to all of our fans and readers for making us relevant! The power of having so many fans is that airlines, folks in aviation, and others take notice and give us access to some pretty cool experiences, which we share with you every day.
How cute – our first Tweet – made when our name was different
We started on Twitter back in May of 2009. Not really an early adopter, but not late to the game either. Most airlines were not yet on Twitter, and neither were Boeing nor Airbus. I remember being hesitant because I really didn’t get the concept, but people kept telling me that I had to be on it. Now it is a key place where we get our information and leads for stories and it is the go-to source for breaking news.
For a long time, I was @AirlineReporter – it was my personal Twitter account and also the one for the brand. As the AirlineReporter team grew, it didn’t make much sense to use it personally, and I broke off with using @ARdpb for my personal stuff (although it is still 95% airplane-related) and keeping @AirlineReporter for the brand.
Getting to this point has been a big team effort. Not just our amazing writers who are producing the content, but others like @NYCAviation, @AirwaysNews, @RunwayGirl, @JonOstrower, @AirlineFlyer and many more on Twitter who have been following, supporting, and sharing our Tweets for years.
If you aren’t one of the cool kids already, be sure to follow us on Twitter (while you are at it, you might as well like us on Facebook too).
We will try to keep on growing and welcoming new readers, while still staying loyal to who we are and respecting the fans who have been with us for years.
Tell me – when did you start following us?
Wall-mounted screens in the new Southwest Airlines Listening Center
Airlines in the modern world seem to use social media one of two ways. Either as an effective marketing tool with no ability to handle any customer service functions, or as a customer service tool with little-to-no ability to market effectively. There are a rare few airlines that can do both of these things and one of them is Southwest. Recently, they began operations in their new Listening Center, a kind of “social media command center” and I had a chance to see how it works.
A better look at the set up in the Listening Center
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become so ingrained into many of our lives. We have access to them on our phones, tablets, and computers – even on watches – that it becomes so overwhelming.
In some forms it is a great way of sharing things with others, like what you are doing or where you are going. However, it is also a great tool in getting a message across or being able to get some things fixed. As social media has grown over the years, it has become more and more apparent that businesses need to address these platforms as a separate communication tool and start to use them effectively. The Listening Center at Southwest is the first of its kind and is staffed by up to nine people at a time.
The current PDX carpet design which has such a cult following – Photo: Port of Portland/PDX
Portland Airport staff in the late 80s would never have imagined that over 20 years later, a cult following would beset their airport; specifically, the carpet. What has surprised the Port of Portland (PDX) and locals alike is how this simple floor covering has turned into a phenomenon.
How does a piece of carpet become so well known? We put out a tweet one afternoon with just a small glimpse of the design and within seconds, numerous people had correctly guessed what it was, and they were not all Portland locals either. What makes this carpet so special?
How many Ethiopian 787 photos did you see on the story about a 767? Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
The way people across the globe are able to get their breaking news is changing. I found it very interesting how the Ethiopian flight 702 story was broken and covered.
Personally, I had just wrapped up a great Aviation Geek Fest 2014 and was tired. I decided to head to a bar with Jason Rabinowitz and Ben Granucci (other AvGeeks and some who write for sites like Airchive.com and NYCAviation.com) to have a beer and write some emails. Then I got word from one of our writers, Bernie Leighton, that he thought an airliner had just been hijacked. Jason confirmed he was hearing some rumors as well. It was game time – I switched gears and tried to start confirming what we were seeing.
As Jason and Ben went running to their cars to grab their electronic devices, I started to coordinate with Bernie and our Associate Editor, Blaine Nickeson, via Google chat about who was going to do what with this story.
If @AirlineReporter tries to follow @United on Twitter, we are told “no.” Now we cry.
There was a bit of a buzz this week about United Airlines announcing something big on Friday. We wanted to be a part of the excitement at AirlineReporter.com (aka @AirlineReporter on Twitter) and were watching United (aka @United on Twitter). Odd thing though. When I was looking at United’s Twitter page I saw the button that said, “Follow.” What? I should have seen “Following,” since the site has been following United for almost ever.
I figured that maybe we had made a mistake and somewhere along the line un-followed United. Either way, I went to hit the “Follow” button again, and instead of re-following the world’s largest airline, I received this message: “You have been blocked from the following this account at the request of the user.”
Uh oh. Did United Airlines break up with AirlineReporter.com and we didn’t even realize it? Where did we go wrong?
This is my open letter to you United, begging you to take us back…
UPDATE: Love is in the air! Our blocking has been lifted (a push of the wrong button is likely) and the skies are once again friendly. We are now United’s 300,421st follower, but to us we feel like #1. (We are still sharing the letter for fun!)