Aviation Marketing: Social Media is not going away

Like-minded people
The primal appeal of social media is the connectedness of like-minded people

In recent years, the emergence of different social media technologies has spurred a revolution in the aviation marketing. Today’s market necessitates that aviation manufacturers utilize these tools as an integral component to help build brand value.

“The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies,” published by McKinsey & Company, presents a forward view on how social technologies impact value creation for manufacturing and service companies.

From the report, I have identified 5 separate areas where social media technologies can impact the value of aviation manufacturers.

Social Technologies today:

  • Have 1.5 billion global users
  • 80% of which interact with social networks regularly
  • Report 90% of all companies that use social media websites experience financial benefits
  • Show an average of 28 hours per week are spent online by knowledge workers — writing e-mails, searching for information, or collaborating internally

Take the time to look through an online aviation directory, and you will see that about 65% of aviation manufacturers have no links to any type of social media on their websites. I would presume this is primarily because:

  • Management has yet to recognize the power of social media as a collaboration tool
  • Misguided integration of social media into the traditional marketing mix
  • Some have yet to see the value in social media, and instead view it as a social fad that will eventually fade away

Five areas where social technologies add value to aviation and aerospace manufacturers:

1. Product Development: Social media serves as an effective forum to facilitate collaboration between customers and developers. This makes it easy to derive customer insights, and allows for the co-creation of better, more effective products.

2. Operations and Distribution: Aviation manufacturers can leverage social media platforms to help forecast and monitor product acceptance, and can see the effects of different applications on the market through unprompted and unfiltered conversations between customer groups.

3. Marketing and Sales: Social media platforms allow for interactive marketing between the manufacturer and customer. For example, a Twitter post immediately communicates information to the customer because of Twitter’s time-based information delivery system. That same post can then be accessed hours, days, or even months later on the manufacturers’ own page.

4. Customer Service: Social media grants manufacturers the ability to respond to customers in real time, and on the communication platform of their choosing. The collective knowledge of the entire consumer populous can be used to arrive at the correct solution or work-around if needed.

5. Business Support: Immediate communication between consumers and manufacturers speeds up the internal flow of information in the company, more closely connecting the task and talent. Lose the “dark matter” buried in the one-to-one nature of emails by reducing the amount of time spent retrieving data relative to the project or organization.

The level of utility of these social media platforms will depend on the number of people willing to transform culture and process to take full advantage of the collaborative potential these technologies offer. Achieving maximum utility depends on the determination of users to change the social landscape. The traditional applications of these technologies must be set aside, allowing for the discovery of new applications altogether.

photo credit: conner395 via photo pin cc

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