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American Airlines Soars With Social Engagement

AAir3American Airlines’ AAdvantage frequent flyer program is one of the largest and most popular loyalty programs in the world allowing members to earn miles at thousands of locations.

American Airlines wanted to incorporate social media as part of their strategy for marketing to frequent flyers and AAdvantage members.

To do so they launched AAdvantage Facebook and Twitter pages to not only share with members various ways to increase their mileage balance but to also engage in conversations with their customers to better learn about and meet their needs.

Learning to Fly with Social Media

Because social media was a new marketing outlet for AAdvantage, American Airlines knew they needed a connected marketing strategy to get their social presence off the ground.AAir1

The Mystery Miles promotion was launched, encouraging members to “like” the AAdvantage page on Facebook and for a limited time earn between 100 and 100,000 miles. “Our main objective was to drive more likes to the Facebook page and increase the awareness of the new channel to our AAdvantage members,” shared Walter Weems, senior analyst, AAdvantage Partner Strategy.

After liking the page AAdvantage members could click the Mystery Miles tab and be taken on journey by entering their AAdvantage number and email address. The journey ended with a randomly generated mileage amount between 100 and 100,000 AAdvantage miles, which was automatically deposited into their AAdvantage account within 3-5 business days.

With an already existing email database American Airlines knew they had a tremendous opportunity to promote the social campaign via their email marketing subscribers. Partnering with e-Dialog, American Airlines delivered an email marketing message to nearly 5 million AAdvantage members encouraging them to “like” the AAdvantage Facebook page and embark on a mystery miles journey.

Sky-High Results

Within 10 minutes of the email campaign deploying, the AAdvantage page received nearly 6,000 likes on Facebook.

In a one-day span after the email message went out the AAdvantage Facebook page received approximately 163,000 likes.AAir2

For American Airlines this confirmed their strategy of using email as a social media driver to initially launch the campaign and shows the power social media can have due to its viral nature.

Since only members could participate, the Mystery Miles campaign also proved to be a great acquisition strategy. Both the email marketing message and the Facebook application included a call-to-action to sign up for the loyalty program by providing an email address. “In the first week of the campaign American Airlines saw acquisition of new AAdvantage members increase by 65%.” “It was one of the most successful acquisition campaigns we’ve ever had,” continued Walter.“The campaign certainly exceeded expectations,” shares Greg Schwendinger manager, AAdvantage Partner Strategy.

Overall, the month long campaign generated more than 250,000 likes to the AAdvantage Facebook page and more than 7,500 followers on Twitter. Moving forward American Airlines realizes that consumers use different outlets to communicate with the brand in different ways and they need to match customers expectations.

“The reality is people have preferences on how they want us to communicate with them. The addition of social media is another avenue through which customers need to be communicated. Any broad initiative that we execute will always be multipronged using email and social,” closes Greg.


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