In an industry afflicted by rising costs for fuel, labour and maintenance, and burdened with consumer disaffection and bankruptcy, it is an incredible story of how Turkish Airlines has embraced social media to increase brand awareness.
About Turkish Airlines:
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey. With the world’s fourth largest flight network, it flies to 280 international destinations around the world. Turkish Airlines is a proud title holder of Skytrax’s ‘Best Airline in Europe’ award for the fifth year in a row.
Turkish Airlines’ Business Objectives:
In 2010, Turkish Airlines launched “We are Turkish Airlines / We are globally yours” campaign to draw attention to their international stature. They identified social media as an important element of communication and made huge investments accordingly, to attract their target audience and also all other interested parties. As a sequel to ‘Globally Yours’, ‘Widen your world’ campaign was launched to focus on creating engaging experiences for travellers through new technologies and to invite everyone to explore new horizons. Partnerships with some of the biggest names in sports such as Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi for a commercial(Won YouTube’s ‘Ad of the Decade’ award) and the ‘Fans United’ contest with Manchester United helped to engage with global audience resulting in a colossal number of impressions across all its social media channels, most importantly Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Strategy adopted by Turkish Airlines:
Let us look at how Turkish Airlines decided to engage customers and increase brand awareness through the cost-effective social media platform. The channel of choice in this case was the live streaming video mobile app Periscope where users can post live video streams of what they’re doing.
When each and every brand is trying to ensure effective response rate on Facebook and Twitter, real-time engagement through Periscope was an opportunity not to be missed. It is as authentic as a brand could get with their engagement and interactions. Majority of the brands are yet to embrace it and Turkish Airlines was the first airline company to take advantage of this unsaturated market to increase brand awareness. The content is essential and this is where they nailed it, with their first live broadcasted flight which gives a sneak preview on the crew’s work style and never-before-seen scenes in a flight journey.
- Turkish Airlines made the announcement on their Twitter page 4 days before the live broadcast followed by one reminder each day.
- Periscope broadcast tweets were promoted.
- One announcement on the Facebook page the day before the journey.
- Broadcast went live starting from the Crew Garden where the crew welcomed the viewers.
- The broadcasting then followed the journey starting from crew’s preparations before boarding to how the crew enjoyed their day out at Times Square, in New York City – the journey was from Istanbul to New York. The viewers were treated to live footage of cockpit, flight lounges and in-flight services through Turkish Airlines’ onboard Wi-Fi system. They also ensured that there was constant interaction with the fans by responding to their requests and conducting Q&A sessions.
Results achieved by Turkish Airlines:
The campaign was a resounding success with Turkish Airlines gaining 5, 118 new followers and their Periscope flight achieving 2, 92, 779 likes.
- As digital marketing professionals, it is very important to stay updated with everything that’s happening around the world.
- Brands should explore new technologies and avenues. Periscope is a new technology and Turkish Airlines grabbed the opportunity to be the first one in their industry to promote their brand through it. Being the first one in itself attracts customers towards the brand.
- The campaign demonstrates that marketers should look for stories that have never been told before. Turkish Airlines fans got a glimpse of things that are normally not available to public.
- The strategy shows that it is of significant importance to choose the right medium to tell your story. The campaign wouldn’t have been globally successful if it had been a contest where only a few invited winners would have had the live experience.
- As of June 2015, Facebook and Twitter have 1.49 billion and 304 million active users respectively. Periscope claimed in July, 2015 that it has 10 million users with 40 years worth of video streamed per day.
- Social media is one of the most effective tools to create brand awareness.
- Digital marketing helps to identify untapped segments to promote business.
- Digital marketing can be utilized to do the unexpected. Airlines industry is generally blamed for lack of transparency. With this campaign, Turkish Airlines has established a sense a trust among the customers for their brand.
- The campaign was promoted primarily through social media by promoted tweets and Facebook posts. They stuck to their target audience and did not go overboard with promotions. It is absolutely critical to find which media works and which doesn’t for each campaign.
Image Credits: Turkish Airlines