Airport Marketing for the Chinese Connected Traveler
Many destinations have turned their focus to attracting
the Chinese traveler. In turn, airports are now exploring
Chinese social media to complement their western
focused programs. But where to start?
Airports are the first gateway for Chinese
entering a destination.
This provides unprecedented opportunities for
airports to engage these Chinese travelers via social
media. Although many airports have started to
connect with travelers via Facebook & Twitter, these
platforms are not available in China so new Chinese
social media platforms are needed.
While getting many fans and followers is a start, it is
only the beginning. The real challenge lies in
engaging them and driving results from this
Has your airport identified how to think beyond fan
numbers and instead tie social media to specific
business objectives? Whether you are new to social
media or are an airport with an existing social base, a
strategic plan needs to be in place in order to make
social media work for your airport.
went into effect
on October 1,
than 18 %
In April, 2013 President Xi Jinping noted that in the next five years China will probably have over 400 million
tourists traveling abroad.
Everyone is scrambling for a share of the spoils. In October, the British government announced plans to
simplify UK visa procedures for nationals from China, with the goal of trebling Chinese tourists to Britain by
2015. India has launched Chinese-language Life of Pi tours after the film was a box-office hit in China, while
Greece is promoting "idyllic island honeymoons" to the Chinese market. Even the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe
The Connected Chinese
The „connected Chinese traveler‟
phenomenon is rising with 420
million Chinese owning a
Over 600 million internet users in
China. Over 300 million people
downloaded WeChat. Over 450
million people use Weibo.
Chinese are interested in sharing
their experiences (good & bad)
with their friends and follows
Leveraging this social media
dynamic will help your airport
increase revenue and spend per
A Mobile platform should be main
focus for developing a
communications and branding
strategy with Chinese travelers.
INDIVIDUAL & GROUP
TRAVEL – BOTH
DEMOGRAPHICS ARE BOTH
For almost all Chinese entering an international destination the airport is their first
stop on their journey. A welcoming social media message or information on the
ways to get around or even a short video in Chinese will go a long way in
establishing a positive impression for the airport and destination being visited.
SEARCH ENGINE ,
TV, PRINT, RADIO,
BUZZ ON WECHAT
Earned Media = Trust
Eighty-six percent of consumers in China say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from
friends and family, a form of earned media , above all other sources of advertising. In terms of
advertising messages, health-themed (46%), high-energy/action (43%) and humorous (41%)
resonated most with Chinese consumers. In particular, health-related ads created a most
memorable brand identity for more women (54%) than men (41%). *
The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey was conducted between August 31 and September 16, 2011 and polled more than 28,000
online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.
Earned Media: Growth
Like a tree, growing your earned media (Social) takes
time and hard work. Digital Jungle understands the subtle
nuances that make particular content more attractive and
engaging for a Chinese audience.
on a thread or
post for a topic
with a response.
Using a form of
inducement or incentive
to motivate engagement.
Often in the form of a
competition, give-away or
Leveraging your community for
some benefit. Often just soliciting
feedback on a topic or maybe a
request for some form of favor,
i.e., „like‟ my post or „follow me‟.
For both a Chinese and Western focused social media program the content areas will generally be within four
broad categories. For each of these categories the social marketer will need to look for opportunities to
establish a relationship through content and relevant, interesting activities.
Get Airport top-of-mind, on a
nationwide and global level
Increase the awareness of our
Claim positioning themes
through off and online
Prove these themes through
operation and communication
Cooperation with aviation and
Both outside and in the terminal
Focus on connected traveler
through online, e-mail and
possibilities (search engine
Accelerate on mobile
Social Marketing Activities:
6 Key Activities
Each content and social marketing program must include activities that will be appropriate for
your target audience and align to your broader social media marketing goals. Below are 6
social media activates that maybe considered for an airport looking to engage Chinese
Advocacy, by those who
have experienced a
product or service,
has always been the
biggest driving force
behind gaining new
travelers are keen to get
information on the go
and are not shy to vent
their frustration in an
Socially caring airports
build memorable, longlasting bonds with the
Online platforms offer
opportunities for inviting
and tapping into great
ideas for product
Airports are keen to build
bonds with international
communities too and
make them feel at home.
An average traveler
spends at least an hour
waiting to board his/her
flight. How can airports
and retailers penetrate
into gate seating areas
and sell their products?
Western Social Media
Western Focused Social Media Initiatives
A number of western focused social media initiatives are used by airports to build their brands and drive
customer engagement and loyalty.
Melbourne International Airport uses Twitter to help travelers plan their journey by providing flight schedule
information and special offers.
London Gatwick Airport has a Twitter Flight Information Display Screen, in public view at the airport that
allows travellers to Tweet any issues that need attention. The airport‟s responses are also shown.
Birmingham Airport established a Facebook advertising program that was used in conjunction with social
activity to reach out to travelers.
Boston Logan Airport advertises flights, cruise holidays and contests on their Facebook site.
Passengers are typically the main focus for social media initiatives at airports. However, social media is
used by airports to connect, communicate and interact with all types of customer including airlines, the travel
trade, and stakeholders in general.
Targeting Chinese Through Weibo
Charles de Gaulle Airport
Hong Kong Airport
As more airports understand the need to leverage Chinese social media, the list of Sina Weibo accounts is only set to
grow. However, many have not created a verified official accounts (“V”) . Without being verified, Chinese netizens have a
lower engagement rate because they are concerned about the account being „real‟. Currently, many Sina Weibo airport
accounts are non verified and therefore will underperform in China.
Case Study: Christchurch Airport
Christchurch Airport is one of the few International airports to embrace a Chinese social media
strategy to specifically target inbound Chinese travelers using Chinese social media.
Chinese Social Media
Sina Weibo & WeChat
In preparation for the arrival of a new Chinese carrier in
early 2014, Christchurch Airport has established a verified
Sina Weibo Account.
Their Chinese social media strategy involves the active
engagement of Chinese travelers to this region and to
provide them with information relating to Christchurch and
We are China's largest
independent content focused,
digital marketing Agency
Our primary focus is to work with
Western organizations to deepen
their relationships between their
brand and Chinese consumers;
through quality content and strategic
thinking, to drive consumer action,
and to deliver value and measurable
results for our clients.
Our content uniquely touches highly
targeted Chinese audiences; from
Chinese students looking to study in
a Western university, Chinese
tourists looking travel abroad or
Chinese consumers wanting to
purchase brands online.
Our Clients: Corporate
Over the years, Digital Jungle is proud to have represented some of the world‟s leading brands as well as some
innovative SME‟s. Here is a list of
This is a small sample of the clients we work with. Additional information can be found on our website.
Social Media & Contact
Social Media: with Contact
+86 10 6561 firstname.lastname@example.org
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