Social Media – Always available and what it means for the industry
A blog post by Julia Heitmann (Blogger & Pilot A320). Julia Heitmann is Speaker on the Panel Air Transport and Social Media at Aviation-Event 2017.
Do you use a smartphone? Do you own a computer or tablet? Do you require such devices merely for work, or do you use it privately? Could you imagine using your device without any internet connection, or would it lose its purpose? Could you imagine switching off your device for several days?
It is fascinating how easily and quickly humans have adapted to new technologies. Computers, internet, smartphones. And currently I am merely focusing on the technologies available to most people in our society. Technologies in each division of work are outstanding, still too diverse to discuss right now.
We have to acknowledge the fact that the internet is present in all phases of our lives. People wake up, check their emails or social media accounts, perhaps already send a message to their working colleagues or friend. We are constantly available. We use the internet to email our clients, to read the news, for research, to book our next holiday, to watch our beloved series online, to shop and lastly, to remain present. We make ourselves available. At the turn of the year of 2016/2017 the world population counted 7,47 billion people. In 2016 the count of people who own a social media account amounted 2,14 billion*, whereas 1,79 billion users have been using facebook in september 2016.* The importance of the internet and thus the usage of social media platforms cannot be denied.
But what does this mean for the aviation industry?
In the course of globalisation the world has moved closer together. If one is interested in aviation, one can easily access information online. Airlines, aircraft models and sizes, destinations, airport layout, job vacancies… The topics are numerous. If there are people wanting to receive information, there will be others providing an insight. Social media accounts are created for the mere purpose of sharing one’s personal experiences in the aviation industry. Whenever we are confronted with blogs in text form, photos or videos, which offer content which otherwise is inaccessible in our daily lives, it creates fascination. We start to share that experience throughout the Blog, we feel included, connected. But, not only private users such as flight attendants, ramp agents or pilots use the advantages social media platforms have to offer.
Most airlines already created their own social media accounts, thus keeping in touch with their past, current or perhaps future clients. Feedback is received via those accounts, costumer support added. Latest airline information is shared via those channels. The chain of communication is shortened, the updates constant and prompt. Users connected with those accounts receive a constant reminder of what is currently happening. The airline’s brand is intentionally placed into the back of the minds of the users.
But do social media platforms merely offer advantages? We also have to consider that not only information which is intentionally placed online will go viral. As our society has become an “online society”, one has to consider that every action may be caught on video. Unprofessional actions or airline incidents, thus creating judgement and negative feedback. Some actions on social media platforms are unpredictable and for the aviation industry difficult to control. Therefore, when using those platforms, our statements have to be carefully considered. Although social media platforms offer various chances, it is also a media which has to be used with care.
*statistika.com, Social Media platforms, users of 2015/16
*facebook.com, Third Quarter 2016 Results
More about Social Media at Aviation-Event 2017 on May 4th:
PODIUM: AIR TRANSPORT AND SOCIAL MEDIA
How does Social Media influence the aviation industry? What are the risks What are the chances? How do Social Media Panels influence Marketing?
with , Kelsey Johnson, Blogger & Cabine Crew; Julia Heitmann, Blogger & Pilot A320; Monika Baloghova, Blogger & Cabin Crew Emirates; Verena Möller, Blogger & Cabin Crew Eurowings; Carolin Wesselmann, Blogger & Cabin Crew TUIfly; Carola Wimmer, Blogger & Maître de Cabine SWISS Airbus; Amielle Zay Abshire, Blogger & Lead Captain Gulfstream Business Jets
Moderator: George S. Pascal, CEO, ITMS Marketing GmbH