Asia-Pacific airlines are joining the fast-growing list of companies, using various social media platforms to build their brands and publicise their latest activities and services.
Most of them maintain a presence on the popular Facebook site. Their strategy is to use its “Fanpage” to announce new promotions and feature customer feedback.
Some low-cost carriers have gone further to reach out to customers online. AirAsia, which set up the function in May 2008, promotes a company blog and even a CEO blog, which its CEO Tony Fernandes regularly updates. The LCC maintains two Twitter pages (AirAsiaDotCom and AirAsiablog) and a Youtube channel.
The “conversational format” utilised by social networking communities, said AirAsia’s social media specialist Derek Tan, was an effective way “to involve the masses in who we are to be and where we are going as a company”.
Rival Jetstar Asia likewise has joined the Web2.0 bandwagon with its vibrant Facebook page that highlights hot deals and service enhancements. The budget airline has further deepened its online interaction by inviting Singapore-based bloggers onboard Jetstar flights, so that they can write about their inflight experiences on their personal blogs.
Singapore Airlines, one of the industry’s most profitable and praised operators, may not yet have joined the bandwagon, but that does not to mean it is absent from the teeming online communities. The SIA Fanpage, which the airline denies being involved in, has encouraged 30,000 fans.
“Singapore Airlines maintains a single online presence, through our official website,” stressed a spokesperson of SIA.
Such popular initiatives mean that even if airlines are not actively participating in online communities at the moment, the medium may prove too tempting not to resist in the long run.
Who uses what:
AirAsia and AirAsia X
• CEO blog
Cathay Pacific Airways
Cebu Pacific Air
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines