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Airports’ Social Media Use Takes Off

14 Sep

As for any other services the consumers’ decision in their choice of airport  is based of course on the convenience of the location, on the number of destinations available or on airlines companies that operates here, but also on the level of awareness of the airport brand as well as from its word of mouth reputation. Airports are therefore as eligible as any other brands to use social media to:

  • Improve their customer services
  • Handle crisis
  • Build relationships
  • Increase commercial activity
  • Entertain and provide a positive and enjoyable experience to their customers

Here are 2 examples of how airports are successfully using social media to achieve one of the previously listed objectives:

San Francisco Airport – in partnership with Virgin Airlines – uses Foursquare to generate non-aeronautical revenue in its Terminal 2

Foursquare is a location-based social networking app that allows registered users to post their location at a venue (“check-in”) and connect with friends. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues and special badges can be collected when a specific objective has been unlocked (e.g. Check in 5 different beaches). San Francisco Airport created a Foursquare challenge for passengers travelling through Terminal 2, by encouraging  them to check in at different retailers of the Terminal to win unique badges and enjoy specific check-in offers.

How can this have a positive impact for the airport?

  • Customers entertainment and satisfaction: Passengers who often have to wait for a long time before embarking are provided with a fun and informative game that help them kill time and get information on the different retailers available in the Terminal.
  • Drive non-aeronautical revenues: Retailer specific check-in offers represent an incentive to purchase.

Foursquare added value is that users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered.  Each time someone does it, they announce to their friends on these social networks that they are at that particular retailer. They can even leave a comment about their experience in the shop to share with the community.

London Gatwick Airport uses Twitter to service their customers and handle their requests

LGW Twitter account is both used as passenger support, and as a means of contact with the airport. Twitter is obviously a useful tool to provide accurate and timely information about delayed or cancelled flights but also to respond to passengers enquiries or comments. Gatwick Airport excel in the latter matter by running  24/7 Twitter customer service support. Using the #askgatwick hashtag, customers can be sure that no matter what time of the day or night, Gatwick can respond and address immediately their enquiries. Thanks to this campaign the airport is the first UK airport to be listed as a trusted source of information.

Using Twitter as customer support might be seen as common but the real innovation with Gatwick Airport is that they display their Tweet feeds on a big screen in the middle of the airport , allowing customers to see both other passengers tweets that need attention and the airport’s responses and their timeliness.

I think LGW Airport could even go further and build stronger relationship with its customers on Twitter by providing passengers with duty-free special offers or touristic information of what to see in London. Any other ideas?

Here is a useful article with a lot of statistics and examples about the use of social media in airports: Airport world: Listening and Learning

I hope you will find my article helpful. Good luck with your assignment!

References:

4 (fun) ways airports can drive passenger engagement through the use of Foursquare

Airport world: Listening and Learning

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WEB 2.0 for Dummies

13 Aug

Am I the only one who thought that Doodle was just an iPhone app with this weird little alien jumping from platform to platform? That del.icio.us was a cooking blog? And Pandora the planet inhabited by the Na’vi in Avatar?

Yes? Oups! It’s high time for me to catch up with some of the Web 2.0 tools available.

After having randomly tested some of the tools hidden behind these mysterious names, I feel like I’ve just come out of a cave.

Image

How did I survive without all these amazing resources?

Here is a selection of my favourites that I intend to use on a regulars basis from now on:

GOOGLE READER

As I said in my previous post, I like fashion. I watch about 20 different blogs about streetsyle on a daily basis and I used to have them all classified in my favourite tab. It was really time-consuming to click on each link to see if a new article had been posted and not really handy.

 I always wondered what this RSS symbol meant and hallelujah it happens to lead to my salvation!

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format used to syndicate news and other web content. Google reader enables me to grab these RSS feeds from the different blogs I’m interested in and display them for me to read without needing to visit each site individually.

New me: Save time and read even more blogs!

DOODLE

I think everyone is familiar with the hassle of having to plan a trip or a teamwork meeting. I usually spend hours or days calling and emailing my friends back and forth to find a convenient date.  I’m tired of having to hear about Pierre’s lunch scheduled with his Grandma on Sunday, Paul’s appointment with the dentist or Jacques’ hot-dog eating competition.

With Doodle I’m going to cut down on my paracetamol bill! It is really easy to use and you don’t even have to sign up.

The user simply creates a poll with different timeslots. Participants can then vote for the date and time that suit them, and the user can choose the best matches for the group.

New me: Less headaches, know less about my friends’ weird hobbies.

DROPBOX

I actually discovered this tool a week ago through a friend that wanted to get hold of the pictures I’ve been taking since I arrived in Australia.

Posting my photos on Facebook could have been an option but their definition would have been reduced. My USB key was too small to share all my pictures through one unique transfer and emailing wasn’t an option either since I would have had to send hundreds of emails to get all my files to her.

Using a Dropbox came to her as the best solution to exchange our pictures in a secure and fast way.

Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store your files and retrieve them whatever computer you are using. This is called cloud computing. You simply drag the documents you want to save in a folder and you connect to your Dropbox using any device anywhere in the world if you want to access them. The best thing about this tool is that you can easily share your recorded files by sending a link to your folder to any other users.

New me: Finally have some pictures of myself in Australia

The new super organized version of myself wishes you a nice day!

Here is a quick poll to have an idea of which tools are used the most:

Web 2.0 Applications

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