Social Media Term Paper
The current research critically evaluates American Airlines presence on the social media. American Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the United States, which was founded in 1930. Currently, the company together with regional partners operates approximately 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations. American Airlines has accounts on three different social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The airline’s Facebook account was chosen as the subject of this study.
Facebook is one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms in the world. It features more than 1.18 billion active users on a daily basis. In addition, taking into consideration the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) perspective, Facebook is one of the most important assets for social marketers and is actively used as a marketing and advertising tool by the most famous brands and companies all around the world. American Airlines is also successfully using it as a part of their marketing strategy. The strategy also includes generation social impressions on customer service, social engagement, and social insights.
Facebook as one of the most popular networks connects the company with the current clients and prospective customers. This network is a useful way to support clients with minimum expenses on communication facilities. At the same time, it gives an opportunity to provide fast response as well as deal quickly and efficiently with claims. This platform helps the company to receive direct feedback from customers and evaluate the main mood and tendencies among clients. Additionally, Facebook helps to research the targeted audience and create an accurate customer profile. All mentioned above aspects help American Airlines to work effectively with potential and current clients. The company can target its marketing messages as well as advertising according to interests, demographical and social characteristics, educational level, financial abilities, and many other areas of the lifestyle of customers. In such a way, the efficiency of advertising increases, and it leads to higher level of revenue. Moreover, PR campaigns aimed at the creation of the positive image help to build the loyalty of clients and make a lagged positive effect. Consequently, that leads to the growth of profit.
The company’s presence at Facebook partly or even completely substituted such communication channels as advertising and PR articles in printed media, TV, and radio advertising, billboards and other outdoor advertising. A wide popularity of the Internet and social media networks among the modern population necessitate its usage. It is especially common for people of young and middle age, which has middle or above income level and live in countries with a high quality of life. As far as targeting audience for airlines mostly consists of people described above, the Internet and social media are perfect communication channels for such clients. At the same time, the company can reach new customers through correct targeting and carefully prepared messages and promotions. Such messages become informative, advertising, and captivating tools in the marketing practice.
Facebook gives wide opportunities for businesses to gain traffic to their websites through both paid advertising (Facebook advertisements) or boosted posts and free organic coverage. Moreover, this social platform offers such advertising tool as remarketing. Remarketing affords an opportunity to create a list of potential clients and communicates with them inviting them to make a purchase. In this case, clients’ interests are taken into account, making the communication more successful and fruitful than usual.
The biggest non-Web and Web competitors of American Airlines are Southwest Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, and United. They compete both offline and online. All of them are on top-5 on Facebook in the United States within the airline industry. According to the statistics, American Airlines are at the second place with a total number of fans about 2,181,691. Southwest Airlines has taken first place, with 5,249,228 followers. If to compare Facebook accounts of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, we can see that Southwest Airlines use more videos and content of its own blog. Such types of content usually get higher level of engagement, wider organic coverage, and, therefore, people share it more often. As far as targeting audiences of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are crossing, the companies have to make efforts to keep customers’ interest and attention. This competitive threat demands new approaches and creativity, fast reaction on changes and new trends. Specialists working in the area of social marketing have to take into account a wide range of conditions such as social and political events, local and worldwide trends. Facebook is a social media, which has a wide coverage. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the phenomena that largely influences Facebook society. Fakes and rumors spread fast, and it is hard to control such situations. Such cases can harm the brand and effect negatively on revenue.
Regarding the brand positing statement, American Airlines markets themselves at Facebook as adviser and inspirator for the journey. Through the appealing to wishes and dreams of the audience, the company creates demand and proposes a solution. The diversity of propositions can satisfy the demands of many customers. Moreover, it can offer a solution in order to make a dream more real for many consumers. In this case, the solution is a purchase of the ticket on a flight to the dream destination. The travel industry is an area where companies appeal to emotions, for that reason, social media messages have to be creative as well as emotional and catchy. American Airlines uses inspiring pictures and videos along with posts on social issues such as charity or sports events. Such content involves users into communication and discussions.
Moderators responsible for communication at social media have a wide range of options to influence potential customers. Direct messages or commentaries are good platforms for advising or even selling through links to the website. Success in e-commerce depends on high-quality traffic on the website. Social media can provide such kind of traffic via organic or paid methods. It can be made through the links added to the publications or given to the customers in private messages or commentaries, paid banner advertisements or shopping button. Shopping button is a commonly used tool for Facebook that helps customers in purchasing online. American Airlines has “Book Now” button in their account, and it leads to the booking form. Such tool makes online purchases easier and faster.
Additionally to revenue benefits, Facebook gives an opportunity to work with the loyalty of clients. First, direct communication always creates a feeling that brand is close and open to their customers. The second important feature is an opportunity to deal with claims faster than via e-mail or phone. Fast reaction to the problem ensures that it will be solved successfully. Moreover, the Facebook account is a good tool for evaluating and studying of the general mood and interests of the audience, their demands, and potential problems or risks. Social media is a platform that can be used for marketing researches, surveys, and polls. It can be even used as a base for testing advertising messages or marketing strategies.
American Airlines do not use their Facebook account as a platform for customer service, but they give a link to the web page with contact information for the company’s customer relations department, detailed information, and additional frequent asking questions. The company’s account provides clients with contacts such as a website address, phone, and e-mail. Besides, the information in the account is structured and repeated in different sections from time to time. As a result, it provides additional possibilities for the users to find needed contacts.
Recently, the Facebook account of American Airlines was not used as a tool of the marketing researches or surveys. Their social media strategy does not include such part. However, the managers do not exclude the opportunity for further development of marketing strategy and the area of impact.
There are several ways to increase the efficiency of the company’s Facebook account. To start with, some commercial publications could be used as a method of selling and increasing the revenue. This kind of posts should be used very careful and not often. The commercial content should be organically incorporated into inspiring and entertainment content as far as direct advertising at feeds can have the opposite effect. Additionally, the Facebook account can be used by American Airlines as a research tool in conducting marketing research. For this purpose, it is available for the comments of the other users to see the feedback and suggestions on the services. Moreover, the account administrators can monitor feedbacks and interests of the users on the Facebook page.
The Facebook account of American Airlines completely follows the main marketing strategy of the company. The airline markets itself as an inspirator of travelers in the United States and around the world. Messages used in social media match this mission. For instance, they use pictures and videos about different touristic destinations. Another important part of the company’s image is charity and donations. American Airlines use the Facebook account as a good platform to draw attention to the social important subjects. The airline uses a friendly and non-formal style of communication to emphasize that they are close to their clients. At the same time, communications with customers are still very respectful.