Brand Engagement, check. Customer service, check. Revenue?


A few years ago, the question was still a point of discussion, to get social or not? And all airlines have found a reason to why they should get social, being the incident of the ash cloud or that they noticed their competitors were coming up with all kinds of ideas to get their brand out there. Now, a few years later, every airline has at least one social media platform, and social media is here to stay. What have we seen in the airlines business the past few years?

  • Over 75% of airlines invest more than 90 person-hours per month- and only 3.4% dedicate less than 10 hours.
  • Cross-functional roles are commonplace for social media teams, with 85% employing cross-functional teams.
  • Customer service emerging as the most common cross-functional role.
  • Business goals of social media investment are: 1) brand engagement 2) customer service 3) revenue.
  • The biggest challenge faced by airlines is the insufficient allocation of resources to social media.
  • Over 70% of respondents plan to increase their social media budget in the next year, showing an increase over Simpliflying’s 2011 report.

Let’s discuss point four again, brand engagement, customer service and the ultimate goal (I would think), revenue. The first to points were a challenge in the beginning, but now, most airlines know how to get their brand out there with social media and use most of their social media platforms as a customer service. I bet most of us have already contacted an airline through Facebook or Twitter knowing we’d get a response sooner than filling in a contact form or finding the right number to call (right?).

But, revenue, how are they making money with social media? It is said to only use social media if you actually do gain some sort of profit from it. Otherwise, why waste your time? So, most airlines are using social media, some with success and others not, and I kept on wondering, do they make profit? Or are they wasting their time? How much revenue do they make? What are they actually doing?

I took the top four airlines in Europe (British Airways is #5, but I have yet to find a social media campaign they have made, if you know one, let me know), and looked into their social media uses to find out how they are profiting from the use of social media.

Turkish Airlines

A scavenger hunt and the London Olympics. Could the idea sound any better? Brilliant. Turkish Airlines had a campaign set up in London that had QR codes in a citywide scavenger hunt. Digital billboards set up everywhere around London displayed QR codes based on the national flags of countries competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Once the user scanned a QR code they were redirected to a mobile sit where the user could check-in to the country.

The person with the most check-ins or the one who has the greatest number of individual check-ins will won two-way ticket to one of Turkish Airlines’ global destinations. All you had to do was scan a few QR Codes!

Brand engagement, check!

QR codes were scanned over 1400 times.

Users spent an average of 3 minutes on the mobile site.

The campaign reached a 4,500,000 number of impressions on earned media.

Revenue? I think we can safely say, check!


Myskystatus is tool from Lufthansa to let your online network know you’re flying (somewhere around the globe) when Facebook tells them you’re on a plane.  My Sky Status is a Facebook and Twitter widget that tells your friends and followers where exactly you are while you’re traveling. Also, you can track flights on any airline, not just Lufthansa, which created the tool with independent digital agency Profero’s New York office. At, a Lufthansa-branded property, travelers can enter their carrier, departure date and flight number or departing and arriving airports and select which social network they’d like to post their status to. Then, on their profile page, the widget will update their location in real time for all their friends to see.

In 16 days, the site has attracted more than 60,000 unique visitors, which have resulted in about 500,000 newsfeed impressions on Twitter and 1 million on Facebook. Bet someone is making some profit there…



Swiss International Air Lines ranks at the top of a Social Media Survey conducted amongst Switzerland’s top 50 brands.  Classified as a leader in the way Social Media channels have been integrated in the organizations business and communication practices, Swiss International Air Lines services its Social Media channels 24/7 in 5 (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish) languages with the support of contact centers in Basel and Mindpearl’s Cape Town centre since early 2012. Airlines have been expanding the social media response to a 24-hours service. SWISS enhanced the scope by providing the 24 hour service on both Twitter and Facebook, adding a special trained service center for its customers.

SWISS uses social media as more of a customer services which in turn doesn’t really gain any revenue, but I bet it saves SWISS lots of money in many cases.


Aegean Airlines

Every day in 2013, Take Me There, a new competition for Aegean Airlines’ passengers, will provide one lucky participant with a unique opportunity to claim a return ticket to any destination in the Aegean Airlines’ network, both within Greece and abroad, to visit friends or relatives that they have missed.

If you wish to participate in this unique competition, all you need do is log on to the website and tell Aegean Airlines who you most want to visit, at which Aegean destination (Greek or international), and for what reason.

Every day right up until the end of 2013, one lucky participant will win a return ticket with Aegean that will provide them with an opportunity to visit loved ones in distant parts of Greece or Europe.

Brand Engagement? I can already picture the amount of posts on every social media platform when someone wins a ticket…

Revenue? Read carefully….see it? Return ticket. You have to get there first, and it’s a competition for Aegean Airlines’ passengers 😉

Here a nice short video, in Greek, any Greek readers here? Like the tune 🙂


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