Business aviation companies and organizations increasingly are using Twitter microblogging to reach out to customers, to network and to promote the industry, reports Aviation Week and Space Technology. Twitter is a Web site that allows participants to communicate with fellow “followers” using “tweets,” which are posts of 140 or fewer characters.
The National Business Aviation Association has two accounts: @nbaa and @noplanenogain, spokesman Dan Hubbard said. “We’re on Twitter for two reasons: one, we wanted to provide real-time information on the No Plane, No Gain campaign, including links to news stories, video clips, blogs and other activities,” he said. “We also recognized that Twitter is a medium that a lot of people are congregating around and we wanted to speak to people in a space where they are already gathered.” NBAA, which has been on Twitter since March 20, currently has 70 followers and is following 50 more. “We know that the people we follow have their own followers who can amplify the message of No Plane, No Gain,” he said.
Connecticut-based Guardian Jet, a business aviation consultancy, has been on Twitter since July 2008, Executive Vice President Michael Mikolay said. The company has two accounts: @bizav and @guardianjet. “My original plan was to use it for a small network of my aviation sales colleagues as a way to share information such as new listings, price changes, deal pending statuses, etc. quickly,” he said. However, “After a month or two of protecting our tweets, I decided that instead of just focusing on serving up information to just a select few people, I wanted anyone and anybody to be able to follow that status of our company and the products we are selling,” he said. “Twitter has so much to offer that I wanted to make sure that I was providing Guardian Jet’s aviation information to those that may be seeking out what we have to offer.”
Phoenix-based Cutter Aviation (@cutteraviation) has been on Twitter since last October, said Ryan Keough, the company’s manager of marketing and communications. “We adopted the official Cutter Aviation Twitter identity before we determined how to best use it in order to prevent anyone else from picking up our brand, but now are very active with Twitter as a corporate communication tool,” he said. Cutter felt Twitter has potential to become a new way to interact with customers and friends and understand their needs, Keough said.
Another function of Twitter is monitoring perceptions about the Cutter Aviation brand in all aspects of the business, including FBO, maintenance, sales, charter and travel, Keough said. “Twitter will allow us to receive feedback on our performance in the eyes of the customer and respond personally to the customer, and adapt our processes to meet their needs,” he noted. All three organizations offered advice for others considering using Twitter. “Don’t be afraid. It can be a very effective medium for communicating with a large number of people who likely want to hear what you have to say,” NBAA’s Hubbard said. Twitter should be viewed as a two-way conversation more than a one-way communication, said Cutter Aviation’s Keough.
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