How Not To Win Passengers & Influence Travelers On Twitter

Many times in my life my father encouraged me to read Dale Carnegie’sHow To Win Friends and Influence People,” and while I’ve never quite finished the book, many of the basic principals of the book have carried over to building corporate social media engagement.


Recently the Twitter tweets of a corporate jet service have been catching my attention, not because they are using social media effectively, but because they are using social media in a way that pushes away the very customers they are seeking to attract.


Air Royale International is an established private jet service, listing CNN, MGM, Warner Records and Florida Power and Light among their clients, however as the company seeks to broaden its reach and develop secondary revenue streams for its service its use of social media to attract non-corporate clients engages in tactics that are more commonly encountered when purchasing a used car than when seeking an upscale luxury service.


Private jets service providers are clearly very different than commercial airlines, and while there is some market overlap, the marking tactics between the two businesses is quite different.   Airlines appeal to a very broad range of customers where as private jets while appealing to a broad range of travelers is only targeting a very small niche market of travelers.


How do you attract corporate and private jet client in social media? The same way you engage then in other marketing campaigns, by maintaining a high level of professionalism and tact while focusing on service, amenities and of course the time and financial benefits of using a private jet.


So where is Air Royale International getting it wrong when targeting a very high-end client base throughout its @charter_jets Twitterstream? I’ll let you be the judge by reading a few of their recent Tweets


Terrorist plots abound on #airlines, not on private #jets or more than 9,000 general #aviation #airports. 310.289.9800

Like a rocket-launched missile, we arrange #jet #charter for domestic, international & intercontinental #flights.

#Airline #travel is no picnic, and who wants some TSA dimwit feeling you up? Fly privately. 310.289.9800

Cool, I found a private #jet flight planner & booked a discounted empty leg #flight. I saved 50% too! 310.289.9800


For starters … discussing terrorist plots that don’t actually exist probably isn’t the best way to attract any corporate travelers. Yes, safety and security is an issue for certain executives, but their threat isn’t from terrorists, it is in regard to targeted personal security.


Describing a passenger aircraft as a “rocket launched missile,” especially after discussing terrorist threats against passenger flights, really isn’t a good idea. No one wants to envision their aircraft as a missile rocketing towards a building.


While no travelers really enjoy the airport security experience, private jets travel markets to the upscale, generally educated, market of travelers … referring to “some TSA dimwit feeling you up” can probably be reworked as “Flying privately allows you to bypass airport security keeping your personal items safe and secure” … or something like that.


… and finally … no company should refer to themselves in the third person, posing as a customer gushing about their product or service … especially when being tweeted from the company’s known public Twitterstream.  This tactic makes the company look foolish and insults the intellect of their potential customer base.


There is significant revenue to be generated by private jet services selling seats on ’empty leg’ flights in this highly competitive niche market … but the key is to know who your customers are and know how to cater to them.


Happy Flying!


For full disclosure, I have recently been appointed to the Board of Advisors of a corporate jet service, consulting on social media. Air Royale International is not a direct competitor of this corporate jet service.

One Comment

  1. Great post steve and I saw some of these tweets. I also need to compliment the decency of the people who also thought these were in poor taste. Most, like yourself, seek to correct the errant messenger for the best interest of the community. However, it would have been just as easy to drop a tweet like “If you know something we don’t then notify #TSA, #FBI #Homelandsecurity” to set off an unholy nightmare for this poorly managed employee. Most people, I hope, recognized this as the work of an inexperienced and over zealous intern sitting alone behind a desk in an empty office reaching out for attention. Thanks for tipping your wings at them.

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