Airline International Marketing Tips: Localisation
All businesses use social media to raise awareness of their brand, find new customers, and please existing ones. International airlines are no different, but they do have an additional challenge: engaging with a wide range of multilingual and multinational customers. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to take a localised approach. In social media marketing and advertising terms, localisation is the creation of bespoke content tailored to the culture and language of the target audience. This is a simple idea, and it’s what most brands with clearly defined audiences do already. However, when a major airline with customers in 20+ countries has a single social media account, they can easily fall into “generic international” territory.
In this post, we will discuss one tip for companies that want to localise: creating social media accounts per region/country. Some companies choose to segment their content within a single account, but a multi-account approach is best for reaching audiences in their language, with relevant material.
To illustrate, here are three ways country accounts prove their value for airlines.
Stay on Top of Travel Trends
Social media is excellent for raising brand awareness by telling stories and providing inspiration. In the travel industry, this usually means sharing customer experiences, suggesting destinations, and reporting on fun activities and happenings for tourists to check out in the places they plan to visit.
Unfortunately, creating content like this is difficult when your account is directed at too broad an audience. Each country has different vacation seasons, holidays and preferred destinations. Country-specific social accounts give you a platform to publish travel ideas that are relevant and inspiring. Rather than taunting customers with beautiful, remote destinations they will probably never visit, you can suggest more realistic (but equally fulfilling) trips within their vicinity.
EasyJet is an early adopter of this international marketing strategy. In addition to their default Instagram account, they have country pages for Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Germany.
This post from @easyjet_italia is a great example of localised social media content. Part of their “guide to Calabria” series, it highlights a domestic region to visit, establishes a personal connection via an employee, and gives Calabrian customers a chance to flex their local pride. In other words, EasyJet implements their international marketing strategy in using their Italian social media account to signal dedication to serving their Italian customers specifically.
As we all know, too much selling is a pitfall for brands on social media. Country-specific social media allows you to advertise more strategically and make your promotions count. Flight deals can be posted on accounts in the countries statistically likely to book those flights. In addition, you can freely share local promotions, such deals on domestic travel, without worrying about flooding a general account with information that may not be applicable to all of your followers. As mentioned before, not all countries have the same peak vacation times, so this is a great way to make sure you’re capitalising on opportunities to bring in local business when customers are looking to travel.
Engage With Customers
Lastly, running multiple social media accounts in different languages creates opportunities to engage with your clients on a more personal level. Customer care is one of the main functions of social media for airlines. Plenty of customers will write inquiries or ask about bookings, cancellations and refunds. It’s important for you to respond to those messages in a timely fashion. Country-specific accounts give speakers of those languages a place to go, and a team to interact with, elevating your international and local customer service instantly.
It also creates a space for user-generated content from the country in question. Turning to another example from EasyJet, their French account is full of reposts from travellers using #ejtraveller, most of whom are French (including every credited account in the screenshot below).
User Generated Content UGC is a well-known way to connect with your audience, and it’s all the more effective when you make the online community more specific and communicate in customers’ native languages.
For airlines looking to create a more effective marketing strategy for international audiences, localisation is an intuitive solution. Creating specific accounts for content per country makes it easy. Remember: think globally, act locally.