Aviation Marketing: Getting social media to pay off

For aviation marketers to reap social media benefits, they should be open-minded and take a holistic view of marketing, customer engagement, brand reputation, sales and innovation channels

The aviation industry has been slow to embrace social media. However, forward-thinking aviation manufacturers that are early movers will have a competitive advantage over their peers.

Accenture Consulting published an enlightening social media adoption report on B2B companies. Here are some of their key findings, along with my insights for aviation marketers.

7 reasons why aviation manufacturers engage in social media:

  1. To increase engagement and have positive experiences with prospects/customers
  2. To protect, influence and proactively build brand reputation
  3. To create new revenue streams
  4. To respond to customers’ demands
  5. To tap into new sources of innovation
  6. To reduce the cost of marketing and advertising
  7. To keep up with the competition

Who is more engaged with social media – component or system manufacturers?

While they acknowledge that social media is important, component and system manufacturers are not supporting investment or resources in this area.

  • 10% of manufacturers are actively engaged in social media
  • 25% are slightly engaged
  • 65% are not engaged at all

It not surprising that system manufacturers are more involved than component manufacturers. System manufacturers involved in avionic platforms, communication, and cabin entertainment systems are more accustomed to collaboration and sharing content.

Why aviation manufacturers fail to reap social media benefits

Executives understand the theory of social media and the role it can play in the company’s success. However, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the lack of understanding of how to proceed. Other issues that slow down social media adoption are:

  • Investing in new skill sets and human resources
  • Understanding how to measure and assign an RIO metric
  • Internal collaboration between departments
  • Investing in new software and systems

Creating a social media strategy that aligns with and supports business objectives

Social media by its very nature is in a constant state of transition. Aviation manufactures accustomed to documentation and process will have to have an open mind when thinking about how to use social media to achieve business objectives.

A good starting point is to ensure a consistent customer and brand experience. Other considerations include:

  • Content creation that is targeted to the customer base
  • Sharing insights obtained through research and analytics
  • Management, protection and privacy of customer generated content

For 60 years aviation marketers have practiced the “one-to-many” approach of outbound marketing with limited mechanisms for engagement. Social media is people-to-people marketing conducted across multiple digital platforms. Implementing a successful social media strategy requires a long-term approach combined with innovation and analytics to align with business objectives.

Click on the following link to download Accenture’s report, “Making Social Media Pay – Rethinking Social Media’s Potential to Bolster B2B Interactions, Customer Loyalty, Revenues and Brand Reputation”

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