Social Media in Airline Industry

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Social media has brought an enormous transformation in the way companies especially those in the airline industry organize their staff and develop a business strategy in the 21st century. Social media is a term coined from two words: that is social and media. Social implies to the interaction between people with a common interest, a community or group while media suggests a channel, platform, or medium, which permits the creation and exchange of information between people or organizations (Colliander & Dahlén, 2011). Despite its numerous influence in the life of human beings and widespread acceptance, social media has existed for less than 20 years. Some of the platforms that have witnessed increased social media popularity and used in both corporate world and community include LinkedIn launched in 2003, followed by Facebook and Myspace in 2004 (Oyza & Agwu, 2015).

I would recommend the companies in the airline industry to design a social media application that allows the customers, stakeholders as well as employees to get news and product updates to improve the experience of the clients onboard (Jackson, 2014). Even though the company has been offering in-flight magazines and periodicals, it is important for the management to provide a special standalone application to enhance the connectivity between the customers and institution. The app will also give the passengers an opportunity to download editions of the in-flight magazine beside a collection of other publications circulated by the airline company. Given that organizations within the airline sector have huge followers because of nature of the business associated with repeat customers, informing in-flight clienteles on what is trending before arriving at their destination keeps them updated. Additionally, the companion app will help the institution to build a strong bond between customers and management hence creating a high-value interaction with passengers onboard (Boccia, 2013; Carnein et al., 2017).

The social media is sustainable as it promotes the strategies of increasing public consciousness by enabling a forward-thinking perspective in an organization by keeping in-flight customers guided regarding events in their possible destinations. Additionally, the airline company will use the forum to develop an active editorial forum to encourage sustainability dialog among managers and employees, investors, the media, customers and non-governmental organization. Consequently, the paper will focus on providing a business strategy recommendation on the proposed social media to support the growth of the airline company in the long-term.

Literature Review

Social media in airline industry business

Vanessa (2012) believes that social media supports the building of reliable connections among people from different cultural, racial and educational background thus offering them opportunities to share activities, interests, and real-time interaction. The social media network’s plethora is one of the most considerable advantages that managers can utilize to connect with existing or potential investors and partners to gain a competitive advantage in the airline industry. In the 21st century, companies are increasingly incorporating social media into the business processes as well as strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Some of the common platforms that have received such acknowledgment include blogs, Twitter, Wiki pages, virtual communities just to mention a few. However, the success of these platforms is attributable to intranet integration.

Even though the implementation of social media mechanisms may encounter some hurdles among various employees and stakeholders, the outcome is tremendous. One of the most significant advantages of integrating social media into the intranet is permitting the sharing of knowledge and collaboration among organization's global employees in the airline industry (Barnes & Mattsson, 2016; Isidore, 2013). Additionally, it has presented a new culture that appreciates the participation of staff members in the management of the airline company and allowing secure communication of stakeholders of the institution particularly customers onboard. However, the development comes with challenges that if unaddressed can lead to slow business growth that will affect the decision-making process in both the short-term and long-term. Corporations in airline industry often integrate social media applications into the current as well as already existing business procedures and function to help improve the experience of passengers and maintain their loyalty. Even though the participation of corporate customers may not face obstacles, internal communications often have a high degree of experiencing challenges in regards to implementation of a company’s social media (Cheuk & Li, 2013; Carnein et al., 2017).

A Social airline business

Hinchcliffe and Kim (2013) considered social business movement as the most excellent single improvement in human progress regarding individual expression and self-organization. Social business as a strategy adjusted towards growth entails connecting new resources of creative input from various individuals. Therefore, a simple, open and natural form of communication established through such networks to adequately engage the customers within an airline industry have a considerable impact on the business policy and consumer experience.

Although social media has discouraged the face-face interaction between management and customers within an organizational setting, it has born positive outcomes attributed to an active virtual connection aimed at enhancing in-flight passenger’s experience (Miller & Freimund, 2017). For instance, customers who frequently use the airline app within a network will increase their chances of learning new things as well as guiding them on all issues that are trending at their possible destinations. Moreover, the capture of feedback from consumers and workers through standalone apps in the airline industry has gone beyond the traditional business model.

Effects of social airline business

Over the last few years, organizations in the airline industry have expanded their customer base owing to the advancements that are user-friendly in the social media field. According to Forbes, Goodman, and Dolan, 2015, an organization can reach a large customer base when they utilize social media forums such as business apps and Facebook to convey a corporate message. Additionally, the broadcasting of positive feedback regarding information sent through these platforms have improved institutional cooperation and harmony within the company.

Social media forums such as standalone apps built and used within the company allows the management to gather prospects that are useful in establishing network needed for exchanging knowledge, ideas, and experience. Therefore, these platforms have become the go-to place for customers who have the desire to learn more regarding an airline company as organizations use them to provide updated data concerning services, upcoming events or products (Park & Abril, 2016). Moreover, most of the institutional activities and profiles on these platforms are made public allowing customers to gain knowledge of the market and industry. Providing solutions and answers to questions posted by consumers has been possible through platforms such as Twitter, standalone apps, and Facebook thus expanding consumer base.

Social media has changed today’s airline industry atmosphere by making constant and real-time basis communication achievable between passengers and management. Consequently, keeping consumers updated concerning all the activities and events transpiring around the globe depending on which information one has interest on.

The arrival of social media has risen steeply in the last few years, yet many businesses still have inadequate strategies to harness the benefits of this information platform. Additionally, growing demand of consumers online accompanied with an improved communication technology have confirmed that the phenomenon is here to stay permanently.

Targeting an airline organization’s audience has been effective through social media. The platform has enabled companies especially those in the airline industry to understand their customers besides differentiating their demographic variable target tools for the intended audience. Understanding a target audience assists the management to shift the strategies of the business in improving all the marketing policies. Moreover, they can discover new uncharted prospects that include analyzing the audience’s interactions, movements, and behaviors when on-board. Employing a standalone app helps the company to acknowledge the preferences and taste of their clients when traveling with them. Therefore, giving them an opportunity to incorporate new features aimed at improving the experience and making journeys enjoyable with the organization.

Ranking ability of the Organization in the airline industry

The more followers, comments, likes and sharing gained on the standalone platform will increase the search ranks and the capacity of the company to realize a broad base of consumers. Establishing blogs and connecting the business events, as well as activities to the social media forum, further advances the online visibility and traffic to the airline company’s website. Cheuk and Li (2013) believe that maintaining regular videos, updates, and images, as well as interactive and persuasive content to passengers onboard, helps drive change in management as well as the business strategies in the corporate world. The more active a company’s business policies are in the social media sector, the more leads it obtains in terms of consumer experience and loyalty. Therefore, the technological phenomenon has enabled business institutions to increase their traffic by directing customers to their website through comments and behavior of in-flight passenger perceived by the company through online.

In conclusion, social media has enhanced business strategies of most companies, especially in the airline industry as well as improving the competitive atmosphere of the sector. Social media such as Twitter, standalone apps, and Facebook just to mention a few have increased the development of business policy and growth of organizations and corporation in the world.


Social media has become a significant part of human life in the 21st century opening more avenues for communication and connection with both friends and coworkers irrespective of their geographical boundaries. With social media platforms such as Twitter, an organization can gain a prominent spot in the market by making conscious business decisions to influence customer’s experience and loyalty. Furthermore, creating a company's standalone apps that support downloading of the airline company’s publications will help it to build a network of connection that encompasses clients and shareholders, who bring new knowledge into the institution. Through these social media platform, the business information regarding products and services are available to the passengers onboard thus promoting the development of new business strategies focused on customer feedback concerning their services.

Given that mobile handsets have features that can support such social media platforms, it will empower the airline company to get quick comments concerning characteristic of services, destination information as well as new market opportunities. The knowledge and responses that management gets through the app will help the organization to establish new business policies aimed at improving the value of services offered by the airline corporation in the long-term.

Social media has also played a considerable role in facilitating professional and personal development within an organizational setting. Through the apps, individuals within the institution can connect with each other and discuss their advancements as well as career opportunities in the airline industry. Additionally, social media allows people from the different cultural background within the same industry to socialize without any limitations and thus enhancing fusion of staff for the betterment of the company. In this way, individuals get to learn about people from diverse backgrounds and organizational culture that support their success within the sector. Therefore, the social media phenomenon is one of the most critical features of the corporate world that is destined to stay and consequently a decisive factor in the success of institutions in the 21st century.


SWOT Analysis: this is an appraisal of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The assessment is a requirement of any institution to permit understanding of the industry and then to focus on maximizing strengths and opportunities while decreasing weakness and threat aspects.



i. Social media such as standalone app supports integration with websites. Thus, providing many customers an avenue to communicate and make their booking at their convenience.

ii. The recommended social media will have more active users. As a result, the airline company can use the platform to reach most of their consumers who are travelling with them.

iii. The companion app will have features that understand what the users require. Therefore, it gives the airline company an opportunity to segment the market and build various levels of service and pricing strategies.


i. The companion app has weak policies and programs of protecting the users’ information and data. As a result, it is not convenient to perform business activities that are confidential.

ii. The social media may have a reduced fan engagement because of its complex nature. Consequently, it will difficult to connect with every customer onboard.

iii. Most users often have a negative attitude towards the issue of privacy, which creates a bad image. The outlook that some customers may have concerning such business apps in regards to confidentiality can adversely affect the performance of the companies in airline industry as well as customer experience.



i. Companion apps have can be used to improve customer loyalty and experience globally during travelling. Therefore, it can support the airline industry in acquiring more expansion for both business and leisure destinations for their clients.

ii. Social media connects the business page to the company’s website. Therefore, the airplane organization can use the platform to link its business plans and permit continuous communication among personnel and clients.

iii. The social media (companion app) will have few or no competitors thereby making it easier to enhance communication between customers and staff.


i. Getting comments from users that are negative may reduce the customer base and experience because most people will opt not to use the platform.

ii. An aggressive campaign by the competitors with advanced platforms can adversely influence the integration of the company policies as well as customer loyalty.

iii. The high number of dislikes on the social site may have a negative influence on the implementation of customer pricing strategies in the market.

C-level Buy-In

C-Level is a term often used to mean a company’s most essential senior executives. The word is coined from the titles of the top officials, which have their identification starting with letter C for chief. The officials may include chief executive officer (CEO), the chief operating officer (COO), the chief financial officer (CFO), and chief information officer (CIO). The implementation of findings within an organizational setting requires the support of these staff to make a difference in the institution as well as enhancing the professional development of other employees. Therefore, the section will discuss the recommendations focusing on the opportunities and strengths of social media to win the support of the C-Level staffs in the airline company. The objective is to encourage the personal and professional growth of all the employees as well as the business strategies in the firm.

The success of any organization in the business world depends on its connection with various stakeholders of the company as well as competitors through media. However, connectivity can only be achievable if the management and relevant sponsors join hands and find a comprehensive means of improving the level of interaction and communication between people outside and inside the airline company (Orsburn, 2012). Social media has been one of the most common platforms that various firms in the business world utilize to raise their network of consumers and staff in the international arena. Even though the proposed standalone application will receive criticism from various users globally as provided in the challenges section of the paper, the outcome of implementing it will be advantageous to the company in the long-term. Given that most of the company’s clients are tech-savvy and active users of social media, it will grant them the easiest way to network with the organization’s website (Qualman, 2013).

Additionally, the popularity of Facebook is an added advantage to the firm, as it will empower the various departments to receive quick feedback and comments from customers, coworkers as well as stakeholders regarding service provision. Moreover, it will allow more staff to connect most efficiently as well as promoting professional and personal development. Customizing the company’s website with the standalone apps will provide more opportunities for interactive service forum and continuous monitoring of employees through communication.


Social media has provided more possibilities for businesses in the 21st century than ever before. Currently, there are many social media platforms primarily in the airline industry that can enhance communication and cooperation of various stakeholders of the company. Connectivity has been the goal of every organization in the corporate world; however, it requires social platform that are affordable and accessible to all participants in an organizational structure.

Every company has a vision built on maximizing the profits while minimizing the cost by using cost-effective measures. Therefore, the only sure way of achieving the goal is through investing in social media platforms such standalone apps that help customers to connect with the management by downloading in-flight magazines. These applications offer management the best approach to communicating with clients as well as staffs.

Customization of a standalone app to the company’s website provides an interactive avenue for customers to provide quick feedback and comments regarding company development as well as on product and service quality. Introduction of social media forum in the business strategy will offer the management an opportunity to stay ahead of their competitors as they enhance the development of staff through communication and experience of the customers.

From the SWOT analysis of social media, it is apparent that the forum has more opportunities that the airline company can integrate into the business systems blended towards achieving efficiency among the various teams in the institution. Companion apps among other social media platforms offer companies the opportunity to expand their market and knowledge base; however, it depends on how adequately the institution’s C-Level staffs have supported the proposal.


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Carnein, M., Homann, L., Heike, T., Vossen, G., & Kraume, K. (2017). Customer service in social media: An empirical study of the airline industry. Retrieved on February 17, 2018 from

Cheuk, B., & Li, H. (2013). Using Social Media to Co-Create New Business Strategies at Environmental Resources Management. Global Business & Organizational Excellence, 32(4), 49-58. doi:10.1002/joe.21494.

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Hinchcliffe, D., & Kim, P. (2013). Social Business by Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company.

Isidore, P. (2013). Airline companies in social media: A case study of HOP! Retrieved on February 17, 2018 from

Jackson, D. (2014). The Not For Profit and the Business of Social Media.

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Orsburn, E. M. (2012). The Social Media Business Equation: Using Online Connections to Growth Your Bottom Line.

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Park, S., & Abril, P. S. (2016). Digital Self-Ownership: A Publicity-Rights Framework for Determining Employee Social Media Rights. American Business Law Journal, 53(3), 537. doi:10.1111/ablj.12084.

Qualman, E. (2013). Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live & on Business.

Vanessa, D. (2012). What Do Twitter Trends Mean. Organizing the world hashtags.

January 19, 2024

Corporations Technology

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