How does Amsterdam Schiphol make use of social media tools such as Twitter and YouTube?
We use social media tools to initiate and maintain positive, solid and commercially effective communication between Schiphol and its travellers. Social media helps contribute to the vision and objectives of Schiphol along general lines. Twitter is used mainly for web care purposes.
We aim to improve customer satisfaction by providing prompt replies to customer’s questions. We use Facebook primarily to enhance community engagement by posting relevant content, such as history items, news, campaigns and polls. We also have Schiphol TV via YouTube, with actualities, service updates for travellers and special announcements about airlines and events (including route launches, the Chinese New Year, facts and figures etc).
You recently collaborated with Starbucks on a popular social media campaign. Can you tell us a little more about this?
In March we posted an offer on Facebook: buy one tall espresso beverage or tea at Starbucks Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and get the second one free. Our followers were able to claim the offer with a simple click and then received an email with a voucher.
The offer was visible on the timelines of the people who claimed the offer, and was therefore also visible to their friends. It went viral very rapidly: the first official Dutch offer virtually ‘exploded’ on Facebook. A total of 1.8 million people claimed the offer. At its peak we received 4,000 claims per minute. The offer generated 54,000 new ‘likes’.
How many followers do you have on Twitter?
We have 5,583 followers on Twitter. We have not launched any campaigns on Twitter yet, so this is all natural growth.
Have you ever used social media channels as part of your route development strategy?
Our activities have so far been focused on passengers and consumers, but the lessons learned from this will be used as we take our next step in B-B communication from the airport to network planners at airlines.
Do you use social media to keep passengers up to date on the latest flight timetables and schedule changes?
Last August we started posting flight timetables on Facebook, enabling our followers to track a flight via Facebook. In phase two, it will be possible to post a message on your timeline containing your departure and/or arrival times and your destination. You can also tag friends in this message. We want to make everyone’s journey via Schiphol as social as possible.
We have also introduced the Schiphol-app in various languages including a special Chinese-version, which allows for visual translation of our signs at the airport.
How do you plan to develop your online presence in the future?
Social media will no doubt become more and more important for us; the main challenge is to deliver accurate, relevant information in
a timely manner and keeping our ‘eye on the ball’ is key.
We are planning to optimise our products and services on Facebook to make everything more social and to engage more productively with the community. We want to increase our followers on Twitter through branding, promotional campaigns and good web care and we also want to extend our presence on social media from 9am-5pm to 7am-11pm. The idea is to do the above step by step, first getting the basics right of just answering questions, after which we will expand our activities.