e - Media: A look at Web-based customer service and marketing solutions

Facebook: A free social networking website that allows users to add friends, send messages, and update personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.

Facebook Fan Page: A Fan Page is a public profile that enables users to share their business and products with Facebook users.

Twitter: A free social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read ‘tweets’ (text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as ‘followers’).

  • Cutter Aviation was founded in 1928 and is one of the country’s oldest general aviation service companies. Cutter has operations at eight major airports in Arizona (Deer Valley and Phoenix), Colorado (Colorado Springs), New Mexico (Albuquerque), and Texas (Dallas, El Paso, McKinney, and San Antonio).

AIRPORT BUSINESS spoke with Ryan Keough, Cutter’s manager of marketing and communications, about the company’s efforts to build a presence on the Web through social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Keough recently gave a presentation entitled, ‘Understanding Social Media’, at NBAA’s 21st Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers (S&D) Conference. He describes this year’s show as “one of the most highly charged, heavily attended, and most engaged S&D conferences I have been to.”

With regard to the social media presentation, Keough says he saw two groups: the well-versed social media users that wanted to find better strategies for doing business with it, and those who are not as familiar with the new media platforms and were looking for information on the basics.

One good point from the session in relation to S&D, says Keough, was that social media facilitates the easy digestion and spread of the ‘tribal’ knowledge of the schedulers and dispatchers business segment.

“We have started to see a lot more dispatchers that are looking into this,” relates Keough. “Social media might be more suited for the educational, awareness, and advocacy side of the house for our S&D population.

“Benefits of utilizing social media could include sharing lessons learned from conferences like S&D, as well as the potential for creating partnerships and alliances, and spreading those benefits out socially to a greater geographic area; utilizing social media as a connection to peers.”

Cutter Aviation’s social media efforts include a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. According to Keough, “We have been very cautious, taking a tip-toe approach to it. We know that hard sells don’t work with regard to social media; you are not going to use it as a major lead generation tool.

“Cutter is an 82-year old brand, and we are very proud of our history. What we are ‘cautiously’ doing is bringing out some of that history to reinforce and bolster past customer performance.”

Keough adds that Cutter has just started to roll out ‘social media only’ initiatives that can be trackable in terms of business.

“It’s a communication strategy,” he explains. “Anytime we have anything to communicate in the way of news, we’re definitely sending it out through our social media channels.

“Furthermore, companies that are looking at how to better serve our business segment and our community can monitor social media to see the pains that we go through in our business; and potentially come up with some innovative ways to address those pains.”

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