A brand’s Facebook page is a leading indicator of just how well its engagement strategy is working. And as we’ve observed before, a brand with high engagement finds ways to make its Facebook presence an online destination. So if there’s one industry that should know a thing or two about serving up destinations, it’s the airlines.
Trouble is, some airlines have a real problem when it comes to social media engagement. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but, maybe that’s because nobody likes them. (More on that later.)
Let’s take Delta, the nation’s second largest airline. It boasts just over 278,500 Facebook fans. And while we grant that fan numbers can sometimes be crude measures of effective engagement, consider that almost that many people fly through Delta’s Atlanta-Hartsfield hub everyday.
The friendly skies have not been friended.
So we were heartened to see Delta seize the seasonal momentum – as we’ve noted, the holidays are the perfect time to reach out to consumers – and launch a holiday-themed Facebook app strategically designed to lure consumers back to their Facebook page.
12 Days of Holiday Hints presents users with twelve numbered suitcases. Each suitcase contains a travel tip from a Delta employee (a nice personal touch) as well as a clue about the mystery grand prize. A new suitcase is unlocked each day and each suitcase represents a chance to enter the contest. The idea is that users will return each day to unlock a new suitcase for a new tip and a new chance to win.
Even in an industry where consumer choice is so heavily influenced by price (even over factors like service) it’s critical that brands establish and cultivate real interaction with consumers online. All brands, but airlines especially, need to understand that a brand’s ability to have genuine interaction with its consumers on the Social Media is now a central part of how they are judged. Brands that aren’t responsive, aren’t genuine, aren’t relevant and don’t give cool stuff away… won’t just be poorly Liked, they may be out of business.