Pictures: © Ryanair (https://corporate.ryanair.com/media-centre/stock-images-gallery/)
Ryanair is already positioned as the cost leader (thanks to previous marketing strategies): no frills, low-price airline for the budget conscious traveler. But due to their low fares, the airline has had to reduce costs in areas that disprove the positive customer experience. For example, by checking-in online and paying extra for better seats or bigger luggage.
Ryanair has been using different social media platforms to engage with their customers by providing them with flight news, promotions, blog posts and quickly answering their doubts and claims.
Ryanair’s social media strategy has been or “free PR” or using some most know social media tools that achieve certain goals.
Their main focus is customer acquisition and conversation, given they are active in over 30 markets and engage in 18 different languages. That is why they use the following social media platforms.
Followers: 1,700,000 + likes (March 2017)
Focus: Adverts targeted to specific segments. Ads links to their blog. Links to their promotions.
Competitor: British Airways.
Followers: 289k followers (as of March 2017).
Focus: balanced mix of customer engagement and promotion.
Achievements: Ryanair in known as “the fastest responding airline on Twitter in Europe”.
Competitor: Virgin Railway (they both want to be the fastest in responses)
Followers: 117k followers
Focus: Awareness amongst younger “mobile-crazy” demographic.
Content: planes, crew and destiny's pictures
“The existing YouTube channel has a more corporate feel at present unlike Paddy Power who are more focused on trying to generate virality.”
Content: Explore Europe videos and their TV advertising.
Followers: 16,226 subscribers (as of March 2016).
Volume: generates less traffic, is not a very vibrant platform
Competition: British Airways.
Social media strategy 1
Company’s vision: to enable and create an innovative social media strategy that can increase sales and awareness of the brand on the net.
Ryanair is planning on creating a new platform for the company to enable user’s to engage in the process of sharing personal travel information with their friends. This will permit the user and his or her friends, the possibility to know what they are planning; where are they traveling next, what are their possible destinations, etc…
Basically, what the company is planning to do is to grant consumers the chance to plan trips with their friends and offer exclusive deals via the platform. Furthermore, users with the highest number of friends linked to his account may be entitled to receive some sort of mileage discount for their high participation with other users and for making the app more broad and more attractive.
The company will benefit in many ways by offering this new platform. It will give consumers an incentive to download the app by offering discounts based on participation and connection with other friends. It will also increase its social media participation and brand awareness on the net .It will broaden the scope of the company, making it possible to reach a different market segment with different needs and wants.
The creation of this new platform will then create a strong possibility for an increase in revenues whilst, maintaining the costs very low.The company would offer the unwanted travel packages and the travel deals they could not normally sell otherwise through other apps and platforms.
What “Ryan Air” is trying to do is to create a new social media tool. This tool will include a juxtaposition of technological tools that will make the company’s vision possible.
The Company will make the use of an “Online Community” in order to make the platform exist, this will help users interact with each other through the internet and more importantly through this platform.
It will also make use of a type of Mashup called “Consumer’s mashup” which will enable them to combine data from multiple public sources and organise it through the company’s interface. Mashups will be used combining google maps ( a geolocation software) and the user's personal account from any other existing profile. The company will also make use of private forums in which the user’s will be able to directly interact with friend’s linked to his/her account.
Social media strategy 2
Social media is an excellent platform to reach out to Ryan Air’s demographic. It has the ability to connect with young people where they spend their time and give up to date information, which is of great use with last minute deals etc. This strategy involves Ryan Air hosting a competition to its customers. Submit a three minute video on Facebook about yourself and why you love travel. A select number of individuals who receive the most “likes” will win a month of free flights with the condition they must document their journey.
This strategy has several major benefits. Firstly, it will encourage Ryan Air Customers and the general public to share and talk about the competition, generating huge publicity with the intention of creating a viral competition.
The contest winners will then be required to film their travels creating short video logs of their journey. The intention is to use to contest winners to create content that displays the joy of travel and to associate Ryan Air with these emotions. Viewers of this content will hopefully be inspired to go on a journey of their own, purchasing Ryan Air tickets in the process. This will be shared via numerous platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Vimeo.
This strategy will dramatically boost Ryan Air’s Facebook presence and has the ability to generate viral publicity. In addition, it softens Ryan Air’s image and associates them with the freedom of travel.