Social Media is the new brand advocate for every brand for whom connecting with customer, in the right way and at the right time, is of high priority. The Airline industry falls into this category for whom the customer makes their brand go around. This paper gives you a glimpse of how Social Media helps airlines build the path to customer intimacy
Social Media Maturity Model for AirlinesSocial Media Maturity Model for Airlines
NIIT Technologies White Paper
Practice Head - Application Development
Airlines need to understand the fundamental difference in the way
interaction happens in social media today as compared to traditional
online behavior. Social media is all about "Social Interaction",
which means individuals, interact with other individuals to create and
consume content in the process.
An Airline aiming to leverage social media needs to understand
how customer experiences have become an integral part of Social
Interaction. Only when they understand this phenomenon, they will
be able to influence a favorable outcome from these interactions.
The Social Interaction of Airlines can be defined at five different
maturity levels. A step wise approach is recommended for increasing
levels of interaction based on need and expected outcome. It is
recommended that Airlines choose only a few social media platforms
for engagement and monetizing. Geographical and cultural concerns
should be the basis of deciding which platforms should be chosen.
Level 1 only requires
presence in social
1. Facebook page
2. Twitter profile
3. Industry blogs
1. Brand building
2. Information dissemination
3. Increase in traffic
1. Communication is non-contextual
2. It is a hygiene level of interaction
Basic Web development tools,
content management suites
e.g. Adobe CQ5, and Social
marketing tools that allow you
to create, curate and share
content regarding your brand.
- Shares, Likes
- Information Speed
• Profiling High Value
• Integrated Identifies
• Social Applications
• Two Way
• Help + Sentiment
Go Viral, Prevent-
Sentiment Go Viral
• Real Time
• Service Recovery
- Status, Badges
• Location Based
• Context Sensitive
• Identity As A Service
Figure 1: NTL Social Media Integration Maturity Levels
This level requires the Airline to
monitor social buzz. The
interaction at this level of maturity is
primarily one-way, with the Airline
in the listen-only mode.
At this level, the Airline actively
responds to sentiments shared in
the social media space. The
Airline typically has a real-time
dashboard of ongoing social buzz
about the brand.
In Level 4, the Airline engages with
the social user. The two way
communication becomes more
interactive and specific. The Airline
is also recommended to have
business intelligence in place to
mine social data.
In level 5, the Airline is expected to
integrate with social media so as to
leverage the social identity of the
customer. The two way interaction
becomes contextual and personal
in nature. The Airline also needs to
measure the RoI of the social
media investment at this level.
Monitoring what customers talk
about you in social interactions can
give valuable insight into the market
sentiment and human behavior.
Service recovery and reducing
negative sentiments are the main
benefits at this level.
Build brand loyalty, and mine
hidden trends and pro-active
The aim is to monetize social media by
knowing your customer and leveraging
his/her social identity to provide
extremely personalized services. E.g.:
Gifting miles to Facebook friends on
their birthdays, integrating FFP identity
with social media.
Typical benefits expected are
increase in number of customer
profiles, savings in terms of enriching
customer data, increase in certain
site actions, and better engagement
with customers on online platforms.
Security and privacy are main
concerns at this maturity level.
Mention, SocialMention, Spinn3r,
Datasift, Hootsuite, Radian6,
Social APIs e.g.: Twitter API, FB
Graph API etc. Third party social
media monitoring tools such as
Radian6, Brandwatch, etc.
Social Media APIs e.g.: Graph
API, Twitter API, machine
learning libraries for classification,
recommendations and clustering
e.g.: Apache Mahout, IDOL.
Services such as Gigya can also
be used at this level.
Innovative custom applications
written on social platform,
specific frameworks, game
mechanics, identity as a service,
assisted registrations, social
analytics, custom reactions, etc.
These can be either custom built
or through platforms such as
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About the Author
Puneet Sachdev is a Practice Head in NIIT Technologies. He is handles Social Media, Agile,
Open Source and Content Management Centers of Excellences. With over 18 years of industry
experience, he is a technical evangelist with strong beliefs in Open Source and Agile practices.
He is involved in providing innovative solutions especially to customers in the Travel and
Hospitality industry. Has worked as a consulting architect for British Airways, Avios, SITA, Sabre
Holdings, Travelocity, American Express (Travel), Virgin America and Yatra online in the area of
developing scalable systems for customer engagement across digital channels.
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