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Social Media in the Airline Industry

Social Media in the Airline Industry: Social Capital, Crisis Communication, Brand Ambassadorship, etc.
by

Saskia Erben

on 8 October 2011

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Transcript of Social Media in the Airline Industry

Social Media in the Airline Industry ? What? How? Why? Highly interactive internet-based applications for
social interaction and communication allows for the creation and exchange of
User Generated Content "A mixture of fact and opinion, impressions and
sentiments, . . . experiences, and even rumor" (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2009) (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010) (Blackshaw & Nazarro, 2006, p. 4) Social Networking Sites Blogs Micro-blogs Wikis Content communities 500,000,000 1,338,820,000 309,810,000 1,183,795,000 Facebook is "3rd largest country" Social Media was used by more than 75% of internet surfers in 2008

Users gain extensive power on the internet by creating quickly
circulating word-of mouth

Customers consider Social media to be a more trustworthy source
for business information

Instant and far-reaching impact on corporate reputation Engagement via Social Media is "not a choice made by the
organization but for the organization" (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010) (Lefebre, 2007) (Foux, 2006) (Owyang & Toll, 2007) (Aula & Laaksonen, 2010, p. 3) Social Theory as a framework for a social phenomenon Erving Goffmann (1959, 1981) - Theories of Social Interaction Jürgen Habermas (1962) - Theory of the "Public Sphere" Robert D. Putnam (1993, 1995, 2000, 2002) - Theories of "Social Capital" Important insights into relationship building
Too focused on spoken language Process of communication and exchange of opinions
Too focused on political discussions Explains the importance of social networks
Highlights significance of two-way communication of companies with stakeholders Networks Social Connectedness Trust Reciprocity Dense Networks Social Capital Beneficial Connections between individuals
Foster the exchange of information
Influence people's opinions
Result of repeated interaction that build a social relationship
Are a record of trustworthy or untrustworthy behavior
Ongoing positive interaction between stakeholders and firm trust and reputation social capital Social capital has to be built before it can be used...
...get active BEFORE you have a reputational problem "How may airlines incorporate Social Media as
a strategic tool for communication?" Assume a central role in networks related to the organization Customer Service Crisis Communication Sales Functions Human Relations ...Communicate and take action when the whole world is watching! Fact 1: You are likely to learn about a crisis via Twitter The Miracle on the Hudson

3:07pm A320 ditches
3:11pm First photo tweeted
3:26pm First photo tweeted from inside the plane
3:30pm First news report with Twitter picture
5:07pm US Airways official press release Provide fast and effective crisis communication
with Social Media! Fact 2: You cannot avoid online communication communicate proactively
Assume the central role in the information network
Be transparent and honest
Apologize for your mistakes AA24 - passenger twitters about a bomb threat, AA takes over the message Fact 3: You do not lose control of your brand on Social Media
if you are well prepared Further Establish a cross-functional crisis communication team
Create a dormant blog and a crisis communication channel on Twitter
Monitor Social Media for breaking news
Cultivate relationships with your stakeholders and important influencers

Be transparent, honest and address viral reports immediately
... show your customers that you care for them! Future Research on Social Media Privacy concerns
Social Media ROI
Automatic online diaries
Smartphones and apps
Facebook Mail
Social search engines



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