Now, Irish airline Aer Lingus is joining the movement with the launch of its “social jet.”
Ooops, sorry. They’re calling it the #socialjet.
That hashtag is on both sides of the airplane’s fuselage, and that’s also where the airline is promoting its Facebook address and Twitter handle. One side asks, “Have you followed us yet?” and shows the company’s @AerLingus Twitter username.
We love our @twitter handle so much we put it on the side of one of our planes! #socialjet pic.twitter.com/qLLklYuc2N
— Aer Lingus (@AerLingus) August 12, 2013
Facebook gets promoted on the other side of the fuselage. That side asks “Have you liked us yet?” and shows the airline’s Facebook Page address, facebook.com/AerLingus.
@Andrew_Parle We’ve got Facebook on the other side! http://t.co/YfYCPwlWmh
— Aer Lingus (@AerLingus) August 13, 2013
Here’s a close-up of the Facebook side:
Declan Kearney, director of communications for Aer Lingus, recently told the Irish Times that the goal is to promote the company’s customer service opportunity via social media.
Our strategy on social media is to serve first and sell second. You can’t always deal with highly complex matters on Twitter, but you can give people links to where they can find more information or you can deal with queries using private messaging.
The #socialjet is a leased airplane that is helping Aer Lingus handle increased summer flight demand. The company hasn’t promoted its social media channels on any permanent company jets, and probably won’t. Kearney says that’s because customers have “an emotional attachment” to its jets’ traditional look.
Aer Lingus isn’t the first airline to get creative with social media. Earlier this summer, American Airlines opened up its VIP lounges to people with a high enough Klout score. Other airlines have tested social media-based seat choices, too.