Nowadays building a following on Facebook is easier said than done – so it’s with understandable pride that the Dubai-based low-cost carrier, flydubai announced today that it had reached a social media milestone of one million fans on its Facebook page.
The airline only launched its Facebook page in January 2014 and has since built its following completely organically. The airline uses its page to keep followers up to date with news, fan photo’s, fare promotions and competitions. In 2016, flydubai’s page was used to share critical information following the tragic loss of flydubai flight 981 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
All 55 passengers and 7 crew were killed when Flight 981 crashed on the threshold of the runway. Concerned followers from around the world were able to access important news updates direct from flydubai page without having to navigate away from Facebook.
Speaking about flydubai’s social media strategy, Mike Evans the airline’s head of customer experience commented: “Social media goes beyond allowing us to have a two-way dialogue with our customers, it’s an invitation from our fans into their space to have real conversations and to share pivotal moments.”
He continued: “We’re excited to have a community of one million on Facebook, which is the cornerstone of our social media presence.”
flydubai points out that it doesn’t just use Facebook as a way to sell its brand to customers but also as a way of connecting with them. Through Facebook Messenger, customers can contact the airline 24 hours a day – a dedicated team of social media agents can respond to enquiries and complaints in English, Arabic or Russian.
But while flydubai’s social media following is impressive, it’s nothing compared to its big brother, Emirates Airline. Last year, Emirates was the first airline in the world to reach the one million follower mark on photo sharing app, Instagram.
“As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram is a great platform for us to share inspiring visual content about our people, interesting aspects of our operations, places to see, and things to do while travelling,” said Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ communications chief.
It was also the first airline to reach 500,000 followers on Linkedin and now boasts over 8 million fans on Facebook. Yet even that isn’t enough to help Emirates maintain its status as the world’s most powerful airline brand. That title was snatched from Emirates this year (who had held the title for the past 5 consecutive years) by none other than Russian airline, Aeroflot.
The report by Brand Finance scored Aeroflot an AAA rating and noted the airline’s “dominance of its domestic market.” Emirates’ brand value slumped by a massive 21% this year to $6.1 billion USD, while Qatar Airways fared even worse – a drop of 38% to $2.16 billion USD.
Surprisingly, while Aeroflot became the most powerful airline brand, American Airlines, with a brand value of $9.8 billion USD, became the world’s most valuable airline brand – the first time the airline had taken the lead since 2007.
This article was amended on 15th August 2017. The original text said the flydubai website crashed following the crash of flight 981 in Rostov-on-Don. This was not the case – flydubai activated a contingency website that was able to cope with demand. It was used to share important information for families and media.