Cebu Pacific, the country’s leading domestic carrier and pioneer in online booking, once had an unsuccessful online campaign before its viral video on dancing flight attendants.
“Prior to 2009 (when the company started using social media), there was an effort to introduce a Facebook Group to our audience, who were young professionals and tech-savvy. Not enough attention was put on the page from both company and consumer side so it fizzled out,” says Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution.
This did not stop the Cebu Pacific team from taking advantage of the potential of social media to boost brand awareness and sales for the company. Later that year, Cebu Pacific launched a reenergized SNS strategy and shifted from a Group page to a Facebook fan page. A couple of months later, Cebu Pacific was on Twitter.
In a little over two years, Cebu Pacific’s fan page has more than 307,000 Facebook fans and over 269,000 Twitter followers. The airline has a dedicated team managing these platforms, says Iyog, and there is one person specializing in marketing the airline locally and internationally using SNS. “Our marketing, customer service and promotions teams actively assist in answering questions of passengers/followers/fans, and promote the SNS platforms,” says Iyog.
It helps that the company is well aware of the behavior of its consumers. Says Iyog: “Most of our customers are listeners waiting for our promo announcements, but we also have a few conversationalists—around 15 to 20 percent—who keep the website interesting and buzzing by posting comments. However, we consider 100 percent of them as our guests and passengers.”
Iyog reveals that 50 percent of Cebu Pacific bookings are made online, but she and her team could not as yet directly compute SNS’ contribution to the sales numbers. Nonetheless, they still consider SNS as an essential tool in communicating the company’s messages to passengers: “We offer the lowest fares in all the destinations we fly to, and they have the most flights to choose from on our network. It is a highly efficient and cost-effective communication tool to drive our followers and fans to the Cebu Pacific website.”
Candice Iyog: “Most customers are listeners waiting for promo announcements