Late last month at a low-cost carrier conference in Miami, I sat down with airline marketing and branding strategist Shashank Nigam of SimpliFlying to talk about airline use of social media--or the lack thereof. Listen to this Things With Wings podcast (14:44) to hear Nigam explain:
-- Which airlines are making the best use of social media, and why (1:25)
-- Why he believes only 59 of the 64 airlines worldwide he knows to be on Twitter "do not have a clue" what they are doing on the site (2:44)
-- How airlines could use social media with frequent flyer programs, and why the Air France/KLM attempt at that, Bluenity, has not, in his view, been very successful (4:00)
-- How airlnes could make use of existing travel planning social media sites such as Tripit and Dopplr to drive sales (5:37)
-- How airlines can "start small" (9:00)
-- How airports are starting to make use of social media (12:31)
For more on points referenced in the interview, read Akron-Canton Airport's explanation of how it's making use of its Twitter and Facebook accounts, or take a look at Richmond Airport's Tweets. See Satisfly's explanation of its airline social media concept here. Check out Southwest's extremely popular blog, or take a look at JetBlue on Twitter here (and perhaps become its 888,924th follower--at least that's the ever-growing count as of 5:40 p.m. EST on July 15).