As one of the newer airlines to embrace Twitter, @Air_Baltic has not yet solidified its objective(s) for leveraging the mircoblogging platform. Instead, it is experimenting with content to determine how it can add value to the brand’s growing community on Twitter. From @Air_Baltic’s first 124 tweets – captured between March 24, 2009 through July 31st, 2009 – I solidified some ideas* on how airline brands can more confidently begin to build an engaged, brand-appropriate community from it’s first tweet on Twitter.
*These ideas will be covered in the UW Twitter Book.
@Air_Baltic Stats (as captured on July 31st)
Follower/Following Ratio: 1.89
Posts: 124 (avg. 1 tweet a day; range 0 -7 )
Account Created: March 2009
@Air_Baltic’s Twitter Page: Avatar, Background, Bio, Transparency
Before I begin, I have to ask about the nonessential character in the handle’s name, “Why the underscore in between Air and Baltic? Why not simply be @AirBaltic?”
See rationale here.
The @Air_Baltic background is strong because it is unique to the brand, offers visitors a few pieces of interesting information, as well as lists other spaces online where people can engage with the brand. Note: I can’t help but hypothesize that @Air_Baltic took cues from @SouthwestAir’s background.
“No BS” came to mind when I read @Air_Baltic’s bio. It offers people a quick idea of who the airline is by including the brand name, the regions the carrier services, & the simple fact that it offers “cheap flights!” Despite not being incredibly clever, @Air_Baltic’s bio sufficiently addresses the single most important aspect of a brand’s Twitter profile: searchability. I would only suggest that the handle use the remainder of the bio characters to let people know 1) what they can expect from following @Air_Baltic and 2) who, if it’s a single person, is tweeting on behalf of the brand.
See rationale here.
@Air_Baltic’s Usage of Twitter Semantics: @Replies, DM Requests, #Hashtags, RTs
It was not until a few months into Twitter that @Air_Baltic began to @reply to questions and inquiries from other handles, which makes me wonder if @Air_Baltic was waiting for others to reference or @reply to the handle first. If that was/is the case, the handle may benefit from setting up a keyword search on search.twitter.com and saving the RSS feed of the query ( reco. Google Reader). This may help the handle to interact with more people who are mentioning the brand name, but may not know that they are on (and listening) via Twitter.
DM Requests (1/124)
The fact @Air_Baltic requested to DM once in the sample demonstrates the handle’s knowledge of how and when to best leverage the tool. Note: The number of DM requests is not surprising as @Air_Baltic has not yet demonstrated a commitment to using Twitter as a customer service tool.
There were a number of missed opportunities to leverage hashtags in the sample of @Air_Baltic tweets. The handle may have benefited from bucketing the conversations surrounding the new fair prices and the “Where Next” competition. Off the cuff ideas of hashtags are: using a pun like #fairprices for the former conversation and using something as straight forward as #WhereNext for the latter. The great thing is, the content exists for @Air_Baltic to create nicely unified & topical repositories.
The most valuable @Air_Baltic RTs are those that include informative opinions & insights about the brand and/or its offerings. The brand may benefit from commenting in [brackets] after a retweet instead of simply before the RT.
Other: Twitter Not Isolated
@Air_Baltic did a great job of developing a synergy between its existing communities – on and off line – when it began to tweet. Within the first 50 tweets @Air_Baltic began to organize and promote it’s first TweetUp. In addition, the handle cross-promoted it’s content and competitions on Facebook, which may have helped the brand gain visibility and traction on Twitter.
Please note: The aforementioned Twitter page analysis is subjective and the semantic analysis is not comprehensive or generalizable. Both were simply meant to offer a glimpse into the handle’s presence on Twitter without the benefit of any information provided by a 3rd party Twitter Analytics tool.
*Key to Grades:
|A||Great! Wouldn’t change a thing.|
|B||Good. Would change a couple of things.|
|C||Nothing special. Change most of it.|
|F||Issue not addressed.|