Listening: Don’t Wing it

Airlines are among the many companies who have created strong social media presences in recent years. Due to social media’s rise in prevalence, companies have the ability to better listen to and communicate with their constituents today.

Social media has become a way for individuals to quickly contact airlines, which works in favor of both parties. For example, Cathay Pacific Airways is using social listening on their Twitter page in order to better understand their customers. By monitoring their customer’s digital conversations, Cathay Pacific can get a good idea of what their brand’s image is, and thus figure out what they’re doing well, or what they can improve on. This information will be used to make experiences better for customers.

Today’s consumers tend to know just as much about a business as the company itself, including its strengths and weaknesses. Consumers also use smartphones to check and post favorable or unfavorable reviews of companies online. It is important for airlines to listen in to conversations about their brand, which includes checking reviews.

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The first of many Facebook posts from Southwest Airlines updating their constituents after a system outage.

Airlines that have a strong presence on social media are able to have meaningful conversations with customers–conversations that are sometimes started by a disgruntled customer about a perceived weakness in the airline. Despite whole-hearted attempts to keep every interaction positive, sometimes bad things happen. Social media has become crucial to the way airlines deal with crisis communication. When Southwest Airlines experienced a large technology failure in July 2016 that caused chaos throughout airports for several days, they were able to successfully use Twitter and Facebook accounts to reach out to and keep informed angry customers in a timely manner.

Social media allows for companies to communicate, but more importantly, listen to their constituents so they can tailor their products and services to the wants and needs of their consumers to give them a better overall experience with their brand.

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