Air New Zealand: Best Use of Social Media Award winner – July 2010

There’s always the urge to seek out and uncover the hidden gem. But when there’s a giant diamond sitting out in the open, you can’t really go past it.

Air NZ have been much lauded for their social media activity, their Airpoints fairy, being top of mind for anyone wishing to cite SM campaign successes. Really, they’re all anyone talks about.

Trying to side step being just another fan, we really did look hard for someone else better (or at least someone as good). But alas. At every turn Air NZ’s savvy use of the platforms blew us away.

They tick all the expected boxes with their active, engaging and personal presences on what Air NZ social media enviro marketer Tommy Bates calls ‘the current big three’: Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

But what really set them apart is their willingness to step out of the comfort zone and use Foursquare in a beautifully targeted Koru Club give away, Kaixin for the Chinese market and Flickr among a number of other smaller platforms.

Bates couldn’t give away any hard numbers, but says the success of their social media presence has come from being able to keep in touch with their customers.

” We know if we can engage people at each level of the purchase funnel, from awareness right through to after their travel and encourage people to share that experience along the way, we know that we’re going to have a much better chance of succeeding.”

It’s not surprising they’re leading the pack – Air NZ works collaboratively with their agencies, joining their expertise with that of their in house ‘innovation team’.

Bates says the key to approaching social media in this way is bringing key internal and external stakeholders in early to give them ownership over projects, and to always be looking for improvement.

“The biggest mistake that some people make in social media is thinking that it has to be perfect. You’ll never be perfect. What you can do is have the right resource and the right attitude to keep learning and keep getting better.”

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

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