British Airways “Gets” Social Media!

British Airways Logo British Airways Gets Social Media!

Twitter and Airlines

I recently read a great post by Aaron Lee on the importance of replying to Tweets.

Aaron used the example of the airline industry where approximately 86% of tweets are directly related to customer service – therefore requiring a timely response.

In his article, he noted that US Airways customers were somewhat furious at the lack of engagement and no-replies. Instead, what US Airways does, is direct their customers (in their actual Twitter profile and not in @replies) towards an extensive feedback form on their company website.

Obviously, they’re missing the entire point of Social Media and the “real time” factor. You see – the word “social” is there for a reason. And if you’re on Twitter, you may as well use the damn bird the way it was intended, or save yourself the trouble and don’t use it at all!

Aaron’s post inspired me to do a little case study of my own, as it got me thinking of the airlines I travel with most and what they’re doing right or wrong when it comes to Social Media.

After looking at MEA (Middle East Airlines – Air Liban), Air France and British Airways (BA), I decided to start with BA and tell you what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

I also fully intend to write another blog post about all the things MEA is doing wrong – or not doing at all for that matter! Which is unfortunate, seeing the excellent airline that it is.

British Airways Heart Social Media

The purpose of this article is NOT to simply praise British Airways for the highly-regarded airline that it is. We all know of their rather prestigious reputation. But even the best, make mistakes and have angry or unsatisfied customers at times.

My intention is to use BA as an example for how other airline companies should be using Social Media if they aren’t already.

Heck, as much as I enjoy travelling with them, they still managed to lose my suitcases 7 times. But in their defense, Heathrow is THE busiest airport in the world and they did find them each time and deliver them straight to my house. Of course – I was less calm at the time while waiting for them ;).

I was also quite upset when I found out that over 150,000 or so of my miles had expired. Yes…I know miles have an expiry date but for God’s sake harass me about it if you must. I sure as hell don’t want to waste free tickets!

Can you imagine the look on my face while talking to their customer rep as he informed me I had no miles left on my frequent flyer card? This was pre-Twitter or you can be sure you would have seen a tweet or two from my part!

But in all honesty – I suppose part of the blame falls on my lap as well. Either way – my mourning period has been over for quite some time now lol. [Note to self: Go through all frequent flyer card statements soon]

With all that said – I continue to fly with BA because they normally have top-notch service, their flight times are abundant and practical, their plane seats are comfortable, their on-board entertainment is awesome, their staff is friendly and attentive, their duty-free full out rocks and I pretty much know my way around their international terminals at Heathrow with my eyes closed.

A Deeper Look at BA’s Tweeting Habits

Here’s a snapshot of BA’s Global Twitter account and profile. I say “global” because they also have a separate account for North America.

British Airways Profile on Twitter1 British Airways Gets Social Media!

As you can see they’re following back a number of people and are actively tweeting. One important thing I noted was that their profile informs people when they’re online – which is both good and bad.

You see – an airlines company the size of BA (one of the biggest in the world) is operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! So when I see they’re only available to answer customer’s tweets from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm GMT, it poses a problem.

What about customers flying in the evening or on weekends? Surely, there are millions of those.

What if I need assistance on a Saturday? Is there no one who will reply to me until Monday? What about the time difference with the rest of the world?

That kinda sucks and I was actually surprised to see this rather strict time frame.

Either way – I would strongly advise they have a support team or person on Twitter both past 5 pm and over the weekends to reply to folks in “real time”. I don’t see this tiny added budget ruining them any time soon.

Now take a look at part of their stream.

British Airways Twitter Stream1 British Airways Gets Social Media!


As you can see, BA replies to both negative and positive tweets. And that’s the way it should be!

Their stream isn’t solely composed of shameless self-promoting tweets. They might not be RTing people’s articles much, but they ARE talking!

MediaPost’s Research Brief noted that “The Retail Consumer Report” that was recently conducted showed that “by listening and proactively responding on the social web, retailers have a chance to turn disgruntled customers into social advocates.” It also goes on to say that of the 68% of consumers who posted a negative review and were replied to, 18% of them turned into loyal customers and went on to buy more.

There is NO perfect company out there! That’s a given. But when a company decides to get on board the Social Media train, they can at least listen to their customers who “feed them” and reply in kind. After all, if done correctly, it can only help them grow and generate loyal followers!

Not only does BA pay attention to each tweet, but they take on a friendly and personalized approach when responding.

They refer to you by name; they answer your query and point you in the right direction for more; they give you the direct number to call for a specific inquiry; they congratulate you on your complimentary upgrade; they wish you a safe flight; they apologize for any mishap; they thank you for your feedback; they pass on your comments to the appropriate department…

They pretty much are a prime example of what an airlines company should be doing on Twitter… And that is – to be ENGAGING and not simply engaged – for there is a very big difference as Danny Brown cleverly pointed out in one of his recent articles.

So I decided to test BA and send them a little tweet of my own.

Tweet to BA British Airways Gets Social Media!

Tweeted at 5:10 pm Beirut Time (3:10 pm GMT) - May 16th, 2011

And here is their reply about 1 1/2 hours later.

British Airways Reply on Twitter British Airways Gets Social Media!

Reply from BA at 6:54 pm Beirut Time

Test Results: Passed with flying colors!

My Thoughts: British Airways speaks the Social Media language fluently!

What About BA’s Facebook Page?

Surely you didn’t think I’d forget Facebook as being part of the Social Media world now did you? Good – didn’t think so ;).

British Airways’ FB page looks pretty recent as there’s nothing past April 26 – but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve amassed almost 55,000 fans and are actively engaging – maybe not responding to each comment but they’re participating and asking questions nonetheless.

They actually have 5 tabs besides the regular pre-set categories like “Wall”, “Info” and so forth.

Here’s a snapshot of their main landing page for “Great Britons”.

British Airways FB Landing Page British Airways Gets Social Media!

It might not be the most glamorous and fun-filled page you’ve seen, but there’s a clear call to action – and if you ask me – it’s better than many I’ve seen!

Now take a look at their menu on the left – you’ll notice the categories and as I mentioned above – each has a creative design of it’s own. Now that’s pretty impressive!

“Flying Start” is their year-round fundraising initiative with Comic Relief.

British Airways flying start British Airways Gets Social Media!

As you can see, this page has several calls to action including a “donate” button and a video at the bottom which isn’t visible on this screenshot.

The same thing goes for their 3rd tab entitled “Height Cuisine”.

This one actually features some delectable images of food served on their flights as well the experience of it as the plane gets higher. It also features cooking challenges that you can take on. Pretty neat and very nicely done.

You’ll notice they even have a tab where you can subscribe to their blog via RSS and another for “House Rules” where they’ve spelt out a set of guidelines for you to follow while visiting their page. Now these are all fine and dandy as they go through points such as mutual respect, offensive language, copyright infringements, intellectual property rights and so forth.

One rule that did stand out however, was this:

“You may not post any advertising, spam, selling and links to external sites. This includes posts used to direct traffic to other sites, blogs or Facebook pages.”


Does this mean I can’t tag them when I link to this article on my Facebook page? Do they not want their fans to see all the cool things I said about them here?

Hmmm…Okay, but I sure hope they reconsider this soon.

Now like I said, their Facebook page is still relatively new, but it does look like it’s taking off on the right foot.

Here’s a nice snapshot of a recent posting and part of the conversation that came from it.

BA Facebook Wall Comments British Airways Gets Social Media!

It might not be as witty and “happening” as Gini Dietrich’s Facebook page for Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks, but hey, one could only hope ;).

My Final Thoughts

If you ask me, British Airways is doing a pretty darn good job of keeping their ears open and their mouths talking when it comes to their Social Media presence.

As for their Facebook efforts – they’re definitely on their way. I think the different tabs are fantastic and their designs for each – even better!

Overall Advice:

  • Keep doing what you’re doing – listening, engaging and responding in a timely manner
  • Hire a team to handle your Twitter account on the weekends and past 5 pm GMT
  • Sign your tweets (initials) so we know who we’re talking to if it’s not always PL as mentioned in your profile
  • Loosen up on the Facebook guidelines and allow people the liberty to tag you in their blog posts or anywhere else – as long as it’s appropriate, respectful…and not SPAM
  • Be a little more engaging on your Facebook Wall – although you’re doing this already, just try to reply to more people (see other posts to see what I mean here)
  • Post more often on your Facebook Wall – between April 26 and today – May 16 – you have a total of 7 posts. You can do better ;). Although that doesn’t mean to bombard us with 10 a day either lol. I do love how you’re asking your fans questions though.
  • Edit your Facebook Page URL so that it reads and not

What do you guys think about all this?

Any other tips you can give British Airways about Social Media?

Have you had a good or bad experience with BA on Twitter?

What other airline companies are using Social Media the right way?

Don’t be coy now. You know I secretly smile and clap when you stop by and share your thoughts.

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About the Author

Ingrid Abboud aka 'Griddy' is a whole lot of things with a ridiculous amount of interests. For one, I'm a Social Media enthusiast with a tremendous passion for writing and blogging. I'm also a pretty cool Copywriter but a more serious MarCom Consultant. But most of all, I'm the proud owner and driving force behind - A Kinda Social Media Journal with Net News & more.

  • Horseback Riding Singapore

    Due to which they are growth rate is improving day by day !! As I think if you are compare to any social site twitter is more beneficial than other social networking !! Thanks for sharing hope such useful post will come soon !!

  • christian debt relief

    Good post about British Airways.It is interesting to know that British Airways is getting social media help.

  • Marlee Ward

    Hey Griddy!
    This is such a solid analysis and great examples! This must have taken hours! I really like the personal nature of BA’s social engagement. I think that is one area corporations really miss the boat. This is going to be a post to bookmark fo sho’ :)

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Marlee,

      It’s so nice to see you here my dear :). Hope you had a great time at BWENY – I really wish I had been there to meet you.

      Thanks so much for the kind words about this post – and yes – it did take some time to write lol.
      I have to say that although BA could improve on a couple things, they really are a good example of a  large corporation that’s doing things right when it comes to online engagement. And you’re absolutely right in that so many others are missing the boat – you should see some of the other companies I looked at…seriously, why be on Twitter if you’re not tweeting, listening, answering….your customers. There’s so much common sense to the whole thing that it boggles my mind that many aren’t doing this.

      Anyways, I will be doing some more of these in the future as I do enjoy analyzing the SM marketing efforts of companies.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marlee.
      BTW – I’m just loving reading your posts. You truly are loaded with insight and  portray such charisma through your words. Right on!

      Cheers 😉

  • Srinivas Rao

    Solid analysis of the BA social media efforts. I’ve looked closely at lots of travel companies social medi efforts and I’m usually really disappointed by them (especially their blogs). You’d think that if any industry has no excuse to suck at Social media it would be travel since they’ve got boatloads of material at their disposal.  Maybe you’ll be on the BA social media team at some point because of this article :). If they do bring you in as a consultant, they would probably benefit tremendously from your knowledge.

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Srini,

      Welcome back from BWENY. How was it? How did your session go? 
      I really wish I had been there to see you speak. And thanks again for the kind mention of me during your speech. 

      I appreciate your kind words in regards to this case study :). Thank you my friend. 
      As for the airlines industry – I couldn’t agree more and it boggles my mind by how many of them are not taking the time to listen and talk with their customers – especially seeing that there’s a lot of common sense to it. And when it’s not common sense – there’s just so much free insight from others which could serve as invaluable info to them. Oh well…

      I’ve been looking a few others as well to do another one of these analyses. 
      But I gotta tell you that I was pretty happy with the way BA is handling things so far. Sure, they’re no perfect as there’s a few things they could improve but they sure are trying and are definitely on the right track.

      As for being an SM consultant for them…I do like the idea hehe. Although, I did just give them some pretty good FREE advice here :).

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and share your thoughts Srini. It’s definitely a post that I enjoyed writing and one that took a little time to go through.

      Hope your Monday has started off well.
      Talk to you soon.


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  • Robert Pinto-Fernandes

    Hey Griddy,

    Echoing Marjorie’s points, this is an amazing blog post! What an in-depth analysis. I was saying to someone else in the blogging community recently, I love to see any brick and mortar companies, particularly the large ones, “getting it right”! Although, as you pointed out, there are improvements that can be made that won’t break the bank! Great analysis, and I think two-way engagement will work wonders for all the companies that decide to embrace Social Media, they are the ones that will have longevity. The “If you’re gonna use the damn bird…” line is super-quotable :) 

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Well hello again Robert :),
      I just came over from my “something about nothing free association post” to read what you left for me here :). And thank you again for taking the time to express your views on this topic and I’m thrilled that you found this piece well-written. It means a lot when folks appreciate my work :).

      I was rather impressed by how BA is handling their SM strategy and even though there are a few things they could do even better – I’m just glad that they’re doing what they are already. You’d be surprised by how many of these companies who have the means and force to use Social Media Marketing – aren’t! It just boggles my mind that some companies still don’t realize that traditional marketing and the “social” kind go hand in hand.

      Some still don’t see the point of Social Media or think it’s for kids or what not. And I’m not saying that SM will do wonders to your brand or company or that you’ll see overnight success – there is no such thing or miracle! But if you take the time to do it properly and apply what is mostly common sense – then you WILL grow your brand, image, product…

      It really doesn’t take a PhD from Harvard to watch what others are doing, learn from them, talk with them and eventually – figure it all out and see how it can work for you.

      As for my little quote…hehe :). I just couldn’t resist. But in all honesty – I believe what I said there – funny or not – I meant it! 
      Thanks for tweeting it out by the way.

      Once again – your input is much appreciated!
      Have a good one.


      • Robert Pinto-Fernandes

        Haha that quote is awesome, funny yet so true! 

        Exactly, it breaks my heart that none of these places incorporate SM. I recently listened to a Podcast talking about the Now Revolution book, and how businesses should incorporate SM into their overall business operations (rather than just have it as an “arm” of the company.) I think that’s a great point. 

        For the cost they could do it at it really breaks my heart to think that these big companies can’t bring themselves to do it! They could probably have a very small team working full-time to manage all the social media profiles and engage with customers (not just on 9-5 GMT hours! 😉 ) 

        As I said, this is what will separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to business – the ones who embrace SM will have the longevity!

        Thanks for your reply and loved this post!

        See you around these parts sometime soon! :)

  • Christina Pappas

    Am currently travelling in Europe and I am trying to track down SAS for an upcoming flight I have. Here is my story – I flew SAS in September and their plane broke on the runway – twice! We were all wheeled to the mechanic shed (yes, the plane fully boarded) where we listened to them take apart god only knows what and put it all back together. Not exactly what I need to hear seconds before I am 13,000 feet in the air! So major delays due to this and so I have avoided them since (and not because of one experience but because everyone I tell this story to says ‘o ya SAS – they’re pretty bad’. So this particular trip I made sure I did not book them but my flight with BMI is now changed to SAS. Yikes! I called them to check on the airport due to the current situation with ashes in the atmosphere (Norway and Copenhagen are already delaying flights). Would you believe that when I call them, they charge me per minute? I went on thier site and their live chat is not so live and never responded. I tweeted and have heard nothing. Would rather not show up at the airport to find I am stuck but am out of ideas for reaching them. I swear they are in business just to cover delays and cancellations of airlines people actually pay money to fly on.
    I am so excited to see brands like BA that ‘get it’ and use it effectively. I hope we see more posts like yours Ingrid so brands that are not getting it will wake up and start paying attention.

    • Ingrid Abboud

      WOW Christina – that’s a hell of an ordeal. I really feel for you right now and I hope someone has answered you since!

      All I can say is that my heart would have probably dropped while listening to engineers fix the plane as I was sitting on it. It’s happened before – but nothing major thank goodness. I tell ya – at a time when flying should be the safest seeing all the technology – it’s kinda crazy to hear of all the mishaps and tragedies that are taking place each day. I fly quite regularly and always have (now less than before but still) – and never did I think twice of anything happening until recently.

      I’m sorry that SAS hasn’t been the company it should – I’ve actually never flow with them but I haven’t heard such amazing things about them either. I do fly BMI though since I am in the Middle East and they do fly out of here.

      And honestly! What’s the point of having a live chat if it’s not LIVE! WTF?!

      As for being charged by the minute – welcome to the rest of the world. That’s one of the perks you have in America that you don’t see much of elsewhere – or rarely.

      I was really happy to see BA doing things correctly and although there are certain things they could improve they are definitely on the right track as they are listening and trying to attend to their customers as best they can – which is a heck of a lot more than I can say for SAS seeing your story(ies) with them so far!

      I intend to look at more of these airlines and companies and do more of these little case studies in hopes they serve as either recognitions or eye openers.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story here. I do sincerely hope that everything works out and that you have a safe and enjoyable journey back home to Boston!

      Please do update us on what happens.

      All the best
      Safe travels


  • zmags

    Am currently travelling in Europe and I am trying to track down SAS for an upcoming flight I have. Here is my story – I flew SAS in September and their plane broke on the runway – twice! We were all wheeled to the mechanic shed (yes, the plane fully boarded) where we listened to them take apart god only knows what and put it all back together. Not exactly what I need to hear seconds before I am 13,000 feet in the air! So major delays due to this and so I have avoided them since (and not because of one experience but because everyone I tell this story to says ‘o ya SAS – they’re pretty bad’. So this particular trip I made sure I did not book them but my flight with BMI is now changed to SAS. Yikes! I called them to check on the airport due to the current situation with ashes in the atmosphere (Norway and Copenhagen are already delaying flights). Would you believe that when I call them, they charge me per minute? I went on thier site and their live chat is not so live and never responded. I tweeted and have heard nothing. Would rather not show up at the airport to find I am stuck but am out of ideas for reaching them. I swear they are in business just to cover delays and cancellations of airlines people actually pay money to fly on.

    I am so excited to see brands like BA that ‘get it’ and use it effectively. I hope we see more posts like yours Ingrid so brands that are not getting it will wake up and start paying attention.

  • Marjorie Clayman

    Well, this is astonishing. I’ve really never seen such a thorough analysis of a single company’s Social Media strategy. I think (personally) you could have published this as a white paper or e-book and made boku bucks out of it, because this is phenomenal. It’s also like deep fudge – each section of this post needs to be read and absorbed before you can move on.

    GREAT job!!

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Margie,

      I’m really happy you liked this small analysis of BA’s SM efforts. I chose them because they are one of 3 or 4 companies I fly with the most and when I looked at each – I thought they were doing the better job and by far! I was also rather impressed with how well they try and keep up with people’s tweets and questions and so forth. Believe it or not – they even send you the appropriate number of a department when you ask for it and not just a general one. 

      But of course – regardless of what we do and how we do it – we can’t please everyone and there’s always better I suppose. I heard Virgin Airlines does a good job as well – so I might be looking into them next as well as those that barely do anything or nothing at all for that matter. OH well…

      Imagine that? Me making money off of my efforts here? 😉 Wouldn’t that be great eh? You’re right in that I probably should consider that – although I’d want to keep the same style with my voice and not turn into a bland research style paper or anything like that. Adding personal experiences is always a nice touch – regardless of whether it’s good or bad.

      Anyways – coming from you – it means a lot that you thought this review was well done – so thank you for the support and encouragement :)). I truly appreciate it.

      And another thank you for taking the time to read this and share your fabulous thoughts :).

      Hope your day is going well.

  • SharelOmer

     HI Ingrid, 

    Really amazing analysis of their social media engagements!
    There are many services that try to measure how good and influencer you are… but this analysis is much much then all of them… 

    I especially liked the way you focus on the personal relationship they build and the importance of being there for their community…

    I’m sure that any customer wil be happy to get this review and learn what he does better and where to improve.

    Gr8 stuff,

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Sharel,

      Great of you to drop by and share your thoughts on this :). I appreciate it – thanks!

      Glad you enjoyed this piece. I’m sure there are many other airlines doing just as good of a job but I went with BA first since it’s one of 3 or 4 airlines I travel with most often. The others where nowhere near BA’s SM efforts and I thought it appropriate to showcase them as an example of how “it” should be done.

      As I said – no matter how big or good you are – you unfortunately can’t please everyone – but you can sure as heck try. And I can honestly say that BA is doing just that. With so many followers and so people tweeting them with questions or concerns – keeping up is quite the challenge. 

      BA did in fact send me a tweet to thank me for this write-up. I suppose I should have updated this article with an image of it but I didn’t get around to it :(.

      Anyhow, thanks again for joining the conversation and welcome to the community. Hope to see you around these parts more often.

      Have a great day.

      • SharelOmer

        Hi Ingrid,

        Thanks for the personal and powerful reply, I like that BA replied and said 10x, i really hope more and more companies will try to make the relationship more effective and personal… 

        I know you, as a business does it very well :)

        Happy to be in touch,

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  • Danny Brown

     Awesome stuff, Ingrid.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of BA (it goes back to their unsavoury business tactics when Virgin Air and Easyjet were trying to offer discount air services back in the 80’s). But kudos to them for how they’re approaching the social aspect of their business. :)

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey DB,

      You know – I’ve been a fan of BA just because I’ve flown with them so much and their times are very practical when you’re coming from my side of the world. And pretty much for the reasons that I stated up there. But I chose them because from the 3 airlines that I travel with most – none of them could compare to what BA was doing in terms of Social Media.

      I love Virgin – although I don’t fly with them as often any more – again – practicality is the only reason. Marianne mentioned in her comment below that they’re great with Social Media and it doesn’t surprise me.

      As for their unsavory business tactics – I believe you – although I’m not familiar with them. But if you see the even more unsavory tactics that MEA and Air France (they are sister companies here in Lebanon) use – then would be besides yourself! They have no competition so they can pretty much charge whatever they want – and that’s exactly what they do. Our Beirut – Paris flight – because it is so common and Paris (as well as London) are huge destinations for us – is one of the most expensive tickets in terms of distance. Pretty crazy. You should see the peak season prices ;). Always fun!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Danny. I’m glad you enjoyed this case study and added on to the conversation.

      Hope your day is going well.


  • Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

    Griddy, this was quite the case study lady. Dang girl! In fact, if BA had paid to bring in an ‘expert’ to tell them this, they would have shelled out the big bucks. Instead they just head the coolest freaking chick east of the Atlantic give them a slam-dunk of a SM analysis. Thus, the only thing I’d add to your suggestions at the end of the post would be that BA hire my dear friend Ingrid Abboud to be their SM Czar…and no pro-bono allowed!! 😉


    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hola Mufasaaaaaa!

      Oh how I love that idea of yours hehehe. And you can bet your *** that it won’t be pro bono! I’ve become like a damn charity haha.

      Thanks so much M. I’m glad you liked this little analysis and I do think they deserved the good words for how they’re using Social Media. They actually just tweeted me a thank you message. i should probably update this piece with it huh? lol

      TTYL c..c

  • Marianne Worley

     Virgin America is the “poster child” of doing social media right in the airline industry. Their Twitter feed is interesting and entertaining. The problem for many other airlines is that even if they start engaging with customers through social channels, if they don’t consistently provide a great customer experience, it won’t matter. If you’re great on Twitter but your service always sucks, a million apologies won’t help.

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Marianne,

      You know – that doesn’t surprise me one bit that Virgin America uses Social Media in the way it was intended. I actually thought of them while writing this piece but I wanted to use an example of an airline that I fly with often – hence the 3 that pointed out. And yes – I have taken Virgin a couple times in the past – and they plain out rock at every level – no doubt about that!

      You brought up a great point here – in that if your not consistently providing a good customer experience – it won’t matter what you do! People are forgiving to a certain extent and although they do appreciate the apologies – they also want to know that their overall experience is pleasant.

      Thanks so much for sharing your input here. I really appreciate it. Will have to look into Virgin’s ways so more :).


  • Brankica U

     This is such a cool experiment :) 

    I also think they should work 24 hrs a day on Twitter but they are probably paying a person to do all this and don’t want to get 10 employees to cover it :)

    I think they should put prettier people on their landing FB page, especially the girl, ugleeeeeeeyyyyyy
    I like how they handle Twitter, obviously. I have never used British cause they were never convenient for me and I am a total Emirates addict, so please to them next time!!!

    • Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

       Dang Bran, you just dropped an ‘ugly’ bomb on a FB chick. You Kill Me!! 😉

      • Ingrid Abboud

        YES she did! haha 

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hola Sharpy

      I’m glad you enjoyed this little case study. I was thinking of all the airlines that I fly with most often and BA is definitely one of them so I couldn’t resists to check out what they’re doing. But yes – I think the 24 hours thing is a must and adding an extra person or 2 shouldn’t be too big of a problem – at least I don’t think so.

      As for the girl in the landing page – no comment hahaha. But then again – I didn’t think they’d be using Cindy Crawford or Ingrid Abboud haha.

      Emirates is a great airlines as well – I only fly with them from Beirut and never the cross-atlantic flights – just because the detour would be silly. We are 3 hours aways from Paris and 4 from London when Dubai is about 7 hours away from them – so it would be pointless for me.

      Anyhoooo – thanks for your thoughts on this gal. Mucho appreciated :).

      TTYL hun

    • Mark Aaron Murnahan

       I think they just wanted to be authentic by actually using British models. 😉

      • Ingrid Abboud

        And yet they have an Abercrombie & Fitch store haha 😉 

  • Nancy Davis


    This is really great. I think British Airways really seems to want to “be social” and not “do social” since everyone else is doing it.

    I would suggest that they consider allowing people to post external links (like to this blog post for example) just so they can see what fans are up to.

    I know they must not want any spam, but with a company this large, spam is going to be tough to avoid.

    That is a great call to action, and I am researching great Facebook pages for my boss and showing him what I find. I am including British Airways no doubt.

    I have been looking at a bunch of company Facebook pages, and always the best ones have got engaged fans who are able to post and converse with the brand. This gives the consumer a better emotional tie to the product, and we all buy from brands we know, like and trust.

    It seems so simple, yet it is easy to overlook. I am so glad I saw this – thanks for the great post.

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Nancy,

      Lovely to see you here again :). WooHoo.

      I think they’re doing a heck of a job as well – as I’m sure some others are. The reason I chose to analyze them is because I fly with them often and figured it would be interesting to see how they’re doing things.

      They actually just tweeted me a thank you message about this piece – goes to show that they are listening :).

      As for the links – yes absolutely! When I posted this on my group page I didn’t tag them because I wanted to respect their rules but I would highly advise otherwise. I’m not sure what their corporate social media policy is but allowing folks to tag you appropriately would be a great conversation generator.

      I think BA would be a good example to show your boss – and Marianne said Virgin America are doing a great job as well – so I’d look at them if I were you and see what you think. I will eventually.

      I think you said it well – we buy from those we connect with, like and trust and I think more and more companies are starting to realize that. It’s one thing to have a million fans but it’s another thing to be actively engaging with them. If none of them are talking – then how do you know what they want and think. But again – if you want them to talk – ask them, entice them and then listen to them and respond.

      Thanks s much for sharing your thoughts on this piece. I’m glad you enjoyed the case study. I’m hoping to do some more soon.

      I would highly suggest you look at @ginidietrich:disqus page on Facebook for her company Arment Dietrich – she is the perfect example on how to be engaging with your community. I think you’ll love her!

      Have a great day.

      • Nancy Davis

        Ha! You must not know that not only am I already there, but Gini has threatened to send me to people’s homes in a tracksuit to have “conversations” with them if they do not start posting questions on her Facebook wall! (it is not proven that I own a tracksuit – it is alleged though)

        Just because I am from Jersey does not mean I have a tracksuit and a Louisville Slugger (oh wait…I may need to dispose of that)

        • Ingrid Abboud

          Holy crap – I have tracksuits too – an many of them ;)! And A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER!!!! Hahaha
          Was I not suppose to say that out loud? Oh well…it’s not like anyone will see this right? 😉

          Oh, and Aunt Gini’s tracksuit threats are to be taken very seriously! :-)

  • James D. Burrell II

     Ehem – Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest. I only make this assertion to protect the notoriety of my hometown. We are also home to Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS, but that’s another story for another day.

    I was blown away to see the level of engagement (a personal level that is) by such a large entity. As a member of the service industry, I recognize the importance of treating every customer’s concerns as if they were the most valuable to the company. That is how a business develops and maintains a respected reputation for having great hospitality. Makes me think of the wonderful service level found at the Ritz Carlton hotels — except in this case it’s service conducted through an online medium. Very impressed with BA, but then again, I’d expect it from them … as you mentioned, they are a wonderful airline.

    Great case study, Ingrid. 

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Oh my bad Jamey!!! I can’t believe I didn’t mention the Atlanta airport – I mean how could I be so daft?!!! hahaha

      I was very surprise and in a good way of course to see how BA is handling their Social Media Marketing efforts. I do take my hat off to them because they’re such a large company and it does demand time. But then again – so would anything. 

      Like I said though – there are a few extra things that I wish they did – but hopefully it will be a matter of time.

      You’re very right in saying that that’s how a business develops it’s reputation – or at least part of it. Cause let’s face it – Social Media or no Social Media – the basics need to be there!

      As for the hotel industry – The Four Seasons is also rocking it with their social media efforts. Thomas Marzanno recently wrote a post about them on the iStrategy blog and Aaron also mentioned them a couple times. So definitely worth noting here as well.

      Awesome of you to share your pennies Jimbo. Thanks so much. 
      Hope your hectic day (I’m sure) is going well :).

      Cheers and talk to you soon.

  • Lance

    Happy clapping (secretly or otherwise)!!!
    That’s it – social media is all about the social part of it (it’s not called one-way media is it!).  For a larger organization, this is just a great way to shine personality – and give the whole organization something more than the a faceless behemoth out to make money.  And that’s what creates repeat customers – care. 

    Nice article on how social media is being used!

  • Lance

    Happy clapping (secretly or otherwise)!!!
    That’s it – social media is all about the social part of it (it’s not called one-way media is it!).  For a larger organization, this is just a great way to shine personality – and give the whole organization something more than the a faceless behemoth out to make money.  And that’s what creates repeat customers – care. 

    Nice article on how social media is being used!

    • Ingrid Abboud

      Hey Lance,

      Happy clapping indeed :)! It’s always nice to see such a huge organization take the time to listen to folks and reply in kind. If only more people and companies handled their Social Media Marketing efforts that way – they would see a lot more good things coming their way. 

      I know there are other airlines that do this properly as well – Marianne mentioned Virgin in her comment here and Aaron pointed out Air Asia in his post.  I guess there’s a lot we can learn from these examples. Again – no one is perfect and mistakes are always made but these folks understand that Social Media is not Social if they’re not doing it!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.