Social media is playing an increasing important role in airlines’ daily operations with many planning to invest more to this medium, reveals the “Airline Social Media Outlook 2012” report by SimpliFlying.
The survey, conducted among 29 social-savvy airlines including KLM and American Airlines, looks at budget, staffing, challenges and return on investment (ROI).
A key trend from the study shows the increasing importance of customer service on social media. About 85% of the airlines surveyed have social media staff working across departments, with customer service emerging as the most common cross-functional role, ahead of marketing and corporate communications.
One of the biggest challenge is the insufficient allocation of resources to social media. Almost 65% of the airlines facing this problem are already investing more than 90 man hours a month into social media. The budgets for social media vary from a few thousand dollars to more than a million dollars.
“Many airlines are still learning social media on the fly, and adapting to a dynamic landscape,” said Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying (pictured left).
In spite of the challenges over 70% of the airlines surveyed plan to increase their social media budget next year. This is an almost two-fold increase compared to a year ago, when only 40% of the airlines surveyed planned to expand their social media teams.
Other key findings:
- • Many airlines have mapped the value of social media performance to business goals, the top three being brand engagement, customer service and revenue.
- • Over 70% of the airlines surveyed plan to increase their social media budget next year. This is almost a two-fold increase compared to a year ago when only 40% of the airlines surveyed planned to expand their social media teams.
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