Tag Archives: Social media

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!


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

Airport world: Listening and Learning


Social Media and Legal Risks for Businesses

27 Aug

Businesses are taking advantage of Social Media for different reasons: increasing their productivity, marketing, building relationships through interactions with their customers, improving internal communication. However many businesses are not aware of the legal risks that can arise from the use of Social Media by the firm or by their employees.

To illustrate these risks I will talk about a brand that everyone knows: Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola operates in the beverage industry and “strive to refresh the world and inspire moments of optimism and happiness”. They have been serving more than 3500 different beverages to more than 200 countries for 126 years.

  • Confidential information: Coca-Cola’s success is based on secret recipes. Think of how quickly the recipe would spread throughout the world should an employee disclose it on purpose or not on Social Media. Disclosure of such information would definitely put an end to CocaCola’s competitive advantage.
  • Trademark and copyright: Non-authorized use of the company logo or trademark  raises the issue of intellectual property. In the case of Coca-Cola it ended pretty well: 2 of  Coke’s fans decided to set up a Facebook page for there favourite drink and their page ended-up to be the second most popular page on Facebook even if the company marketing team had nothing to do with it. Today, the company decided to only allow for people authorized or associated with the company to make a branded page and asked the 2 creators of the page to take  it over and keep on managing it. Even with this success story we can realize how harmful it could have been for the company if someone less devoted to Coca-Cola had created a brand page with misleading information without the customers knowing if the company actually had any relationship with this page or not.
  • Human resources: With the use of social media you can fear a lack of control on what your employees are doing. What are they saying about the company? Do they use social media for their personal life during working hours? What kind of use of social media could lead to en employee termination? What I understood from Malcolm Burrows (a guest lecturer of my Enterprise 2.0 class) is that defamation or offensive comments made by an employee is a valid reason to dismiss a person. This is true even if it’s from their home computer. I didn’t find any example for Coca-Cola but it should be highlighted that they need to set boundaries of what is or is not an acceptable use of social media. They also need to monitor what they employees are saying because it has become so easy to commit defamation hiding behind a computer screen.

To address these risks Coca-Cola created a Social Media Policy (SMP). This document is set up to provide guidance to their employees so that they know and understand their role in the on-line community. In its SMP Coca-Cola explain to its employees how they are expected to behave (be respectful, act with honesty and integrity, convey the company values…) but they also remind them that they are legally responsible for their action and for any content that they post.

For a Social Media Policy to be effective it should be written clearly, employees should be trained to understand it and above all it should be enforced!

Do you have any other ideas on how to cope with the legal risks associated with social media?

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