More than 70 budding authors took part, with the most popular stories being listened to more than 200 times. Gatwick measured downloads and engagement levels, but the No. 1 performance indicator was the number of ”happy” kids. The project is soon to be released to the wider local community.
Engaging instantly and directly with target customers in a way and time that is convenient for them, has allowed Gatwick to communicate the new”brand Gatwick,” with a distinctive tone of voice.
The Gatwick personality is further revealed through the recently held third of its Q&A sessions on Twitter, featuring a senior executive. Its 46,000 followers (since rising to 61,000 followers) had the opportunity to ask the CEO, Stewart Wingate, any questions they may have had regarding the airport. Most airlines and airports wouldn’t dare to venture close to a free-for-all like this in such a public way. Gatwick’s latest session, held April 4, invited followers to pose questions to Tina Oakley, HR director.
Today, there are more than 300 airports on Twitter. Gatwick has certainly stood apart from competition, by attaching a face to the brand through its Twitter chats. Airports that follow the lead of Wingate and Armstrong could foster a much better relationship with customers. And guess what? They’d tell the world about it through social media!
Engage the Audience
Not too far from London, Dublin Airport Authority’s (DUB’s) social media activity is about high engagement levels and telling “stories.” Public Affairs Director Paul O’Kane has a journalistic sensibility to their social approach.
DUB aims to significantly enhance the airport’s existing relationship with its customers and stakeholders by leveraging original information and content across a variety of social media platforms. O’Kane is acutely aware that social media is not measured by the number of likes and followers, but rather through real engagement with the audience, which is what his team delivers—daily!
After spending many months developing an effective social strategy for DAA, O’Kane advises, “It’s as useful to know what you don’t want to do with social media as it is what you do want to do. And, Tweeting without strategy is just typing!” Last December, @Dublin Airport was named Best Airport Twitter Feed in the world in the Moodies Awards.
The mobile transformation alone has extraordinary implications for every airport, as the connected traveler will expect airports to be accessible through connectivity, charming through excellent customer service and improved customer insight while on the go.
O’Kane had this advice for the rest of airports on social media, “There are two types of aviation people in the world—those who’ve got social media, and those who are about to get it.”
From Dwell-time to Spend-Time
Beyond brand engagement, airports like Abu Dhabi International are already driving incremental revenue from social media. After just one month in the social sphere, the airport has used Twitter to promote its pay-per-use lounge during off-peak hours—an initiative that drove more than 18 new clients to the lounge in the first attempt! And the creative folks at Abu Dhabi have much more in store, in the coming months.
Consumers Demand Something New
This year will see some significant changes in how the airport brand and consumers use of social media, which could prove to be a real wake-up call for many airports.
Airports will need to think very carefully about the content they put out into the social media world, ensuring it is relevant and interesting to the connected traveler. Sharing good content shows you understand what adds value to passenger experience.
Consumers aren’t just craving new experiences—they’re demanding them. Successful airports will be those that adapt and develop from customer insights, both positive and negative.
No matter how you look at it, if you wait another year to introduce a digital strategy, your airport won’t just stand still—it will fall even further behind. Especially when the likes of Gatwick and Dublin are constantly innovating.
Airports Council International (ACI) is proud to announce its collaboration with SimpliFlying to provide social marketing training to ACI’s airport members worldwide.