First Air is a Northern-based airline company that I believe is doing an excellent job of using social media to its advantage. First Air uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to draw followers and customers to their social media platforms.
Their most recent campaign is particularly intriguing. To commemorate their 71st year in business, First Air has counted down to an announcement scheduled for tomorrow (Oct. 12) at 1 pm. Knowing readers have a very short attention span when it comes to social media hype, the campaign began counting down five days ahead of the announcement with a cryptic yet alluring photo and caption of, “71 years in the making.” Day 4 noted that, “An important day in First Air’s history is coming.” Day 3 proclaimed, “A sense of pride and connection with the Arctic; Day 2, “It’s time,” and Day 1, “Join us tomorrow at 12:00pm (est) for a special Facebook live event!” Public speculation via social media was rampant, with most people hoping for a massive seat sale or an announcement that would lower prices more permanently.
As someone with enough business and social media savvy under my belt to assume the announcement will be important, but not earth-shattering, I still plan to tune into the Facebook live event to see what they’re doing. I an curious as a customer and as a communications professional working in Nunavut, which I think means they’ve done a very good job of executing their campaign. All three of their social media platforms delivered the message about the countdown and the Facebook live event. Their messages were short, but interesting, and left us wanting more. The ads were also visually pleasing: the watermarked images used in the background of the ads were a mix of beautiful Arctic scenery and historical aviation photos.
The only aspect of the campaign that I would suggest was lacking was that it was not mirrored on their website. Had they consulted me, I would have strongly advised them to make all social media ads click through to their website to an even more thrilling teaser announcement leading up to the Facebook live event.
It’s also great to see a Northern company using Facebook live to make an announcement. Although many of their customers will have difficulty watching the live event because of our shoddy Internet services, we can all rest assured the announcement will receive heavy press and will not go unreported.
Outside of this campaign, First Air does a decent job of tugging at its followers and customers heart-strings during Home for the Holidays sales. They excel at instilling a sense of pride in our Northern locale, and they’re very good at interacting with their consumers by hosting contests for artwork to decorate the body and wings of their aircraft.
During this course, I am focusing on Nunavut News/North for my social media strategy. Nunavut News/North has a long history and powerful reputation in the North. For more than seven decades, the company has been publishing newspapers in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. For about the last ten years, the company’s website has been protected by a paywall, meaning that readers had to subscribe to the website to read online versions of the news. This was arguably an astute business decision, but regardless, readers were still unable to read breaking news in Nunavut News/North because whether it was in print or online, the news was only available on a weekly basis.
This changed in recent months and the company has started a test website where it publishes news more frequently and as it breaks. The company is also posting the news articles more frequently on its social media platforms. This was a good business decision and one that will allow the company to become more competitive editorially speaking. I would advise Nunavut News/North to ensure it also releases breaking news via social media and not simply focus on less time sensitive feature stories. It is important in the news business to convince readers of one’s relevance in the industry.
With this new reputation developing as a social media player, Nunavut News/North may also be primed to take a larger piece of the social media advertising pie. Like all newspapers in the last five years, Nunavut News/North has likely felt a decline in their print advertising revenue, and digital ads are not filling the coffers. Industry experts indicate that social media advertising in the rise, however. I would suggest that Nunavut News/North focus efforts on developing their social media strategy to ensure it is cutting edge, making the company more attractive to agencies and organizations looking to maximize their social media advertising dollars. Their social media strategy must also include an advertising strategy.