BA Social Media Final Presentation


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  • We were given high level briefs on our first day about what this project would entail, and throughout our stay here we have been given the tools to better understand BA as a company and the airline industry as a whole We initially treated social media as an alternative to traditional customer service channels (call center, email,, but through research discovered social media’s utility as a unique hybrid of PR/Marketing/CRM Laurel: I spoke mostly with our Marketing department to gain an insight about their views on the current situation with social media since they are the ones Tweeting back to our customers 50% of the time (the other half is by the UK). I wanted to understand their thoughts on the process in place and see what they would like to see implemented to make the job a more streamlined and easier one. Page No.
  • Dan Greenfield, a blogger at, wrote a story about the viral aspect of United Breaks Guitars video, and just how much attention it garnered in comparison to United’s own social media sites. These screen shots were taken by dan to show how little United’s meek efforts hardly abetted the negative chatter going on about the youtube video. On the right you can see a screen shot of just several of hundreds (if not thousands) of mentions of the United Breaks Guitars video and how horrible United treats their customers. This is an example of how NOT to use social media. If used improperly or not at all, it could very well destroy the brand you’ve spent years and years building up in a matter of minutes or hours.
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  • We have included this little graphic to suggest the significance social media (and in this case Twitter) has on the airline industry. If airlines “do” social media well, the support they will receive on the part of their customers will be invaluable in keeping their business afloat (pun not intended). they can be sure to do better business, by staying edgy and relevant in this increasingly competitive and evolving market. Page No.
  • This chart was obtained from The Nielsen Company. With it, we wanted to show you all the top social media sites in terms of unique visitors. This specifically shows the growth of the number of visitors to each site in December 2009 against the visitors from the two previous years . Our focus here are Facebook and Twitter. You can see how much growth Facebook has seen over the last few years, and even today its numbers have grown exponentially. Though Myspace has a strong presence online, it is not a market we feel that is worth pursuing, due to our brand image as a premium airline and the very young demographics present on the site (young teenagers and rock bands mostly). LinkedIn is a great site for our target demographic: the business traveler, as it is a business networking site; HOWEVER, we feel LinkedIn lacks the platform and capabilities to post interactive and engaging content in the same way that Facebook and Twitter can. Page No.
  • Facebook and Twitter are the two most useful social media sites for our purposes They are interactive, engaging, and provide the necessary platforms for engaging our customers in new and exciting ways. Page No.
  • Social media is a megaphone that amplifies malcontent BA had a similar situation to United Breaks Guitars Melissa took it offline and compensated angry musician before he destroyed us through social media Page No.
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  • Keep in mind that all these airlines fly both domestically in the US and abroad so that may explain why their efforts and numbers are higher than our own  different client base Delta has committed itself to social media by creating a dedicated cross functional social media lab, to better understand how to use social media as a customer service and marketing platform. Undoubtedly Delta’s commitment shows the extent to which other airlines are taking seriously this evolution of web 2.0 and voice of customer. Southwest has similar numbers to jetBlue and again, their target demographic is very different from ours, but they acknowledge the utility of this space and are working hard to be where their customers are and provide innovative options for the customers to engage with the company. Page No.
  • BA demographics are from Apr 07-Mar 08 (US residents Exec club members flying to London and beyond for biz and leisure) We used this particular data to show that our essential age demographic (35-54) makes up significant portions of both the facebook and twitter communities. This demonstrates that our very customers are using social media sites, and that we need to engage with them where they feel comfortable, and it is in these spaces. Page No.
  • 7500 people have taken the time to seek us out on FB, and yet we have nothing to offer them as of yet. We understand the industrial action has hindered our entrance to FB but realize the importance of breaking into this platform (if you remember from the previous slide comparing BA demographics to twitter and facebook, you will recall that 31% of our key 35-54 age group are active on facebook). Breaking into this platform is essential in our fight to keep ourselves relevant and innovative. Page No.
  • Aesthetically, there is inconsistency as far branding goes (compared to fb page and But this screen shot can show we have close to 50k followers on the NA twitter alone, which actually outweighs our UK twitter page. Despite currently have little to no plan of action for using Twitter, we feel the marketing team here in Bulova have done a great job engaging with the customer and providing answers to most customer questions, no matter how unusual. Page No.
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  • Best option for BA would be to leverage all of these along a timeframe Page No.
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  • BA Social Media Final Presentation

    1. 2. Process <ul><li>We worked with many different departments to put together this project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Transformation—Despina Papaioannou </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing—Anne Tedesco, Melissa Fernandez </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Relations—Carol O’Rourke </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claire & Vanessa </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Initial confusion about how to treat social media: customer service and/or marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>Discovered new use for social media: unique platform for multiple purposes </li></ul>
    2. 3. United Breaks Guitars What NOT to do on social media!!
    3. 4. Engaging Customers through Social Media Elspeth Ong & Laurel Goverman July 28 th , 2010
    4. 5. Agenda <ul><li>Overview of Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why businesses should care about this new channel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competitive Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benchmarking against other airlines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relevance to British Airways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What we are currently doing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential Plan of Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evolution of BA social media implementation </li></ul></ul>
    5. 6. I. Overview of Social Media What is social media? <ul><li>Social media allows people to connect with each other more extensively and quickly than ever before </li></ul>
    6. 7. I. Overview of Social Media Why social media? <ul><li>Social media is a unique hybrid of advertising/PR/CRM due to its main characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul><ul><li>Far reach (millions of people are online) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to form personal relationships </li></ul><ul><li>with customers </li></ul>
    7. 8. I. Overview of Social Media Popularity of social media
    8. 9. I. Overview of Social Media Social media platforms useful to BA <ul><li>Highest penetration: </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook (500 million users) </li></ul><ul><li>Fastest growth: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter (75+ million users) </li></ul>
    9. 10. I. Overview of Social Media Increasingly public platform <ul><li>Whether positive or negative, consumer sentiment is broadcast via social media </li></ul><ul><li>Positives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low key praise is good for brand image </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negatives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Destroy brand image in a matter of hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United Breaks Guitars </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. II. Competitive Analysis Positive case study
    11. 12. II. Competitive Analysis Benchmarking against competitors Both 1,042,717 Southwest Reactive 66,918 British Airways Proactive 36,551 Lufthansa Proactive 13852 Virgin Atlantic Both 100,152 United Both 1,594,065 JetBlue Both, @DeltaAssist acct. 70,923 Delta Mostly Proactive/ Reactive? # of Followers Airline
    12. 13. III. Relevance to British Airways BA customers are on social media <ul><li>Our travellers correspond with the largest segment of users on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li> *BA Exec Club members flying biz + leisure and are US Residents (Apr 09- Mar 10) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter and Facebook users are most likely to be affluent and living in an urban area (Nielsen) </li></ul>Age Group BA N.A.* Facebook Twitter 26-34 12% 23% 19.6% 35-54 49% 31% 41.7%
    13. 14. III. Relevance to British Airways Potential for engaging on Facebook <ul><li>Strengths: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High brand loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No interaction with fans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build relationships with customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Threats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Losing customers to competitors </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. III. Relevance to British Airways Active engagement on Twitter <ul><li>Strengths: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable and friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Response times are inconsistent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost, wide reach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Threats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negativity spreads rapidly </li></ul></ul>
    15. 16. III. Relevance to British Airways Types of interaction on Twitter <ul><li>Incoming tweets by type </li></ul><ul><li>(June 12- July 12, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter allows us to engage customers in a speedy way </li></ul><ul><li>General Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show that we are listening </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Answer queries speedily </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Service seeking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acknowledge customer concerns </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. III. Relevance to British Airways Departments involved on Twitter <ul><li>General feedback: PR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer-generated opinions on a public medium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our response has impacts customer perception of brand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quick questions: Customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to those handled by & call centre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, many of these questions only require short replies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Service seeking: PR & Customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relates to core customer needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, situation may escalate if not handled well </li></ul></ul>Incoming tweets by type (June 12- July 12, 2010)
    17. 18. IV. Potential Plan of Action Strategy for engagement <ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>PR & Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with relevant and interesting content and ask the user what they think </li></ul><ul><li>Soft-sell BA products (e.g. Metrotwin) and sentiments (British identity) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>PR & Customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on customer service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain good brand image and control potential PR fiascos </li></ul></ul>
    18. 19. IV. Potential Plan of Action Type of engagement Proactive Reactive Emotional connection Soft-sell promos Link to Promos on Short answers Link to FAQ on Follow up Facebook X X X Twitter X X X X X X
    19. 20. IV. Potential Plan of Action Disruption planning <ul><li>Can be used to communicate with customers both personally and on a mass scale: </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate proactive dissemination of up to date information regarding current crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Reassure customers </li></ul><ul><li>Be open and honest with our customers </li></ul>
    20. 21. IV. Potential Plan of Action Possible options <ul><li>No change of current strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Gain better understanding of social media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: May delay entering into channel </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outsource to social media agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: No added complexity internally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: High cost, Lack of control, Level of “expertise” uncertain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Centralize to UK in a cross-functional team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Globally consistent service proposition for customer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: Cannot manage 24/7, difficult to deal with market variations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In-source across regional offices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Adapts to consumer preferences across regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: Inconsistent service for customer </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. IV. Potential Plan of Action Proposed plan for BA social media <ul><li>Understand what BA customers want from social media </li></ul><ul><li>Gain expertise from social media specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Increase no. of users on BA social media accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate success using metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate further into departments and internal systems </li></ul><ul><li>Use in PR, marketing and customer service as part of official channel mix </li></ul>
    22. 23. IV. Potential Plan of Action Metrics for success <ul><li>This enables us to gauge success at each stage and determine if our social media investment should be moved forward </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No. of Followers/Fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depth of conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback: Helpful or not helpful? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Productivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How many tweets responded to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing effectiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No. of clickthroughs and resultant purchases </li></ul></ul>
    23. 24. IV. Potential Plan of Action Overview of costs <ul><li>Web-based platform has few set up costs </li></ul><ul><li>Manpower </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PPI for one external hire: $50k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultancy: $15-500k </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytic Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nielsen BuzzMetrics: $42k+/yr and upwards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost of creating new department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up computer systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overhead costs </li></ul></ul>
    24. 25. Moving forward and next steps <ul><li>Social media is a powerful tool </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are potentially willing to engage with us </li></ul><ul><li>BA can benefit with some investment </li></ul><ul><li>We will be meeting the Digital Innovations department at Waterside tomorrow to develop this further </li></ul>