Will you be flying social with Alaska Air?

Will you be flying social with Alaska Air?

You use airplanes to visit friends in faraway places. You use Facebook to share information online with friends in faraway places. Now Alaska Airlines has come up with a nice blending of those two activities, and it cements the Seattle-based company’s reputation as one of the more progressive airlines when it comes to its use of social media marketing.

FlyingSocial is a Facebook app that lets its users share Alaska’s fare deals and discounts with their FB friends. Once you sign up for the app, the software takes a few seconds to hunt down all your friends on Facebook, and then pulls up a map with their profile pics, locations and any special deals involving that destination. For example, clicking on the pic of a high school classmate of mine living in Houston shows a $99 one-way fare, as well as pics of other friends and how many miles they are from the airport. I can immediately share the deal with those friends, post it to my Facebook page and also check out any discounts offered by hotels and rental car companies.

FlyingSocial could help Alaska Airlines navigate the recession-induced turbulence in the airline business; its latest and greatest fares get that much more exposure thanks to the world’s largest social network, and frequent Alaska flyers are given incentives to stick with the airline and make it a habit to check FlyingSocial every day for new deals. It also puts Facebook squarely in their booking process; a “Shop Now” button in the FlyingSocial window that comes up when you click on a friend’s picture takes you directly to Alaska Airline’s reservation page.

I’ve written here before how Alaska Airlines’s social media team used their Twitter and Facebook feeds to deal with a March computer outage that could have been a public relations nightmare. Instead, regular updates posted promptly on the company’s social media platform, sensitive use of Twitter to deal with individual complaints, and a quickly-produced “apology” video starring company executives helped dampen customer outrage and mitigate the damage. All that was Alaska Airlines being reactive in the right way. FlyingSocial is the company going proactive with social media in a way that could add smiles to all those frequent flyer miles.

That’s just one example of a social media success story. Here’s some more social media marketing guidance courtesy of the week’s news feeds:

Don’t Forget To Answer Your “Social Telephone”

Social media consultant and author Jay Baer, along with Amber Naslund, coined the term “the social telephone” in their book The Now Revolution as a way for companies to think about their social media platforms. In this post on his Convert and Convert blog, Baer talks strategies regarding a new study about businesses that ignore Twitter complaints to their peril.

When Engaged (And Enraged) Customers Force Companies Back To Square One

Trackur CEO Andy Beal writes  about the recent customer blowback directed at The Gap, OnStar and Netflix via their social media channels when those companies tried to change branding and business models.

Walmart Nation Joins Facebook World

The world’s biggest retailer is using the world’s biggest social network in, well, a big way; it created 3,500 Facebook pages for its local stores to announce promotions and deals to customers. Juan Martinez has the details in Direct Marketing News.

That’s all the news that’s fit to share this week, but feel free to send us comments and news tips in the space below.¬† Enjoy what we hope is a perfect fall weekend for you and yours, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!

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