English / Online Marketing

“Just being present on Facebook, Twitter, Weibo is not enough”

Ali Bullock is the Global Online Marketing Manager at Cathay Pacific Airways, responsible for all digital work, mobile apps, and is the creator of the company’s social media channels. During the Hong Kong Social Media Week in February 2012, he agreed on an interview with Shanghai-based blogger Stephan Mayer:

What makes up a successful social media strategy?

At Cathay Pacific, we believe that it’s important to be present on those social networks, which are most frequently used by our customers. For the EMEA market, this means we need to be most active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. When reaching out to our Chinese audience, my social media team uses Sina Microblog and Youku, a popular video sharing site. But a successful social media strategy means a lot more than just being been present on social networks. It’s crucial that you do not only engage in discussions with your customers, but also tie social interaction to benefits.

Could you give me an example of how this is being done at Cathay?

Through our social media channels, we offer customers a number of ways for interaction: We communicate all important flight schedule changes through Facebook and Twitter and let our customers know when one of our hubs needs to be closed due to a typhoon warning or other problems. We also ask them to state their opinions on Cathay’s latest plane models. During our ‘Taste of Moscow’ contest, we raffled tickets for a trip to the Russian capital. Participants were asked a number of questions on Russian culture and lifestyle. The high number of likes and comments show the campaign has been a tremendous success.

What role plays social media within your company’s overall marketing strategy?

Social networks play a key role in soliciting customer feedback. They help us to improve our products and services. Our social media team currently consists of five to six people and we are responsible for updating all social media channels and developing apps. At present, social media makes up only a small portion of our marketing budget. Being active on social networks does not allow us to neglect more traditional marketing channels, such as TV or billboard advertising.

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One Comment

  1. I really enjoy the article.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

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