e-Media: Web-based customer service and marketing solutions

July 23, 2010

The Weekly of Business Aviation and Aviation Week’s Benet Wilson produced and hosted a webinar recently that focused on how social media is being utilized by the business aviation industry. Guests of the webcast were bizav social media users Doug Oliver from Cessna Aircraft, Ryan Keough of Cutter Aviation, and Jason Wolf with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

Following are edited excerpts of the webcast:

How did you decide which social media tools are best suited for your organization?

Cutter: For us it was definitely a challenge because our customer segment is spread across five different business units — FBO services; technical services; charter customers; charter brokers; and aircraft sales, both new and pre-owned.

We looked at the demographics of who’s using what, and have made the decision to push content out equally [to each platform], our corporate Facebook page, Twitter, and to LinkedIn … because we find that the higher level decision makers, managers, and directors are interacting more traditionally on LinkedIn because it’s not as wide open as say Facebook or Twitter.

With Twitter, we can communicate directly with customers who are traditionally pilots and [aviation] technicians.

Facebook has given us kind of the combination of all of that; it gives something for people to look at both visually and text-wise. We have found that a lot of our employees have also joined in on our Facebook site … it’s another great way to connect our seven different Southwest locations with each other.

Cessna: It’s been an evolution throughout the years … through our service and support organization, we’ve been active in online communities of pilots and owner groups; we have monitored those sites. Then we fell into Twitter and Facebook, and experimented with blogs. [We] looked at it really as an outlet, another communications channel in addition to some of our other channels.

Jetwhine [an online aviation blog] made a speech a year and a half ago, and the realization was that all of this is coming — you can either get onboard or lose out to competitors; we took that to heart. We are expanding now and looking at how we can expand what we are doing to an internal audience, to enhance our internal communications.

NBAA: We essentially wanted to hit people where they lived, whether they were on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn; we wanted to make sure our content was reaching them. We found that through our ‘Add This’ button on our website, that people tend to share documents through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in that order. That has helped target our efforts.

We also have other folks on our staff who participate on their own, through Facebook and Twitter; and they can help carry the message to non-traditional audiences about the importance of business aviation to the community.

The webcast can be heard in full at www.blogtalkradio.com by searching for Business Aviation Celebrates Social Media Day.