All posts tagged 'social media'

Got Gas? Tell the World!

When scanning the airports on GlobalAir.com’s Airport Resource Center, you may notice that some FBOs are promoted at both the top and bottom of the website. Why is that? Read on!

Is your FBO taking advantage of websites that promote your services and fuel prices? It should be! Not only is this a (virtually) free medium to let pilots know who you are and where you are, but it lets everyone know your personality and puts a human face on your company. And if you’ve been in the aviation business for a while, you know the value of being known personally.

The great news – you don’t have to dump a lot of your valuable time into self-promotion online to get something out of it. Many of the services available you can spend as little as 5 minutes a MONTH to make work for you! Do remember that the more you put into anything, the more you get out of it – but in the fast-paced online world, having NO presence is a bigger crime than having a minimal presence. Think back 20 years and imagine not being listed in the phone book, and the impact that would have had on your company!

Possibly the easiest thing you can start doing to increase attention for your FBO is to frequently update your fuel prices online. I’ve heard too many times, "My fuel prices rarely change, so why bother?" Simple answer – pilots don’t know that! If they see that it’s been three months since you last updated your prices, they are going to assume that you don’t care enough to inform them long before they assume that the price is unchanged – are you sure you want to give that impression?

Every FBO that sells fuel should have their own page on GlobalAir.com that only they are allowed to update – and freely promote their facility. Make sure that all your information is accurate by going to this link, typing in your identifier code, then clicking on the link to your FBO to view how the world sees it. If there’s a lot of missing information, that’s easily remedied by logging in and adding what is missing.

Many points of interest can be added include which credit cards you accept, if you have courtesy cars or access to rental cars on site, what (if any) ramp fees you have, direct access to your website, and an interactive Google map to your location, and much more. Here is a great example of an FBO taking advantage of many of these free services.

Ok, let’s say you’re been around the block for a while now, and you’re ready to invest in the image of your FBO. Or you’ve taken the time to talk with your fuel provider and fuel card services to discover that they will reimburse you for some advertising you do (you HAVE done that, haven’t you?). Time to step up your presence by adding your logo, some photos of that facility you just upgraded, all the featured services and cards accepted and more – maybe even have your logo on the airport page itself! Here’s an example of an FBO that is going the extra mile to showcase everything they have to offer.

Finally, don’t forget to let all your friends know about your FBO using social media. While you can copy and paste links to your page, many sites like GlobalAir.com make it easy by including quick links to all the popular social media sites – just take a quick look around the page. You can’t get any simpler than this to let the world know where they can find the gas (and more) they are seeking!

Ready to show off your favorite FBO on social media sites? You will find quick links to do so on the bottom of the page!

Travel Is Going Social, Will Business Aviation Follow?

Many of us who work in business aviation wonder if people would be willing to share their travel plans, share a flight together, let others know what they are up to, so they can meet up on trips, share rides from the airport to the hotel and so forth.

In other words, will business aviation travel go social?

One of the terms used for the aircraft we operate is “private” which does not exactly line up with “social” in a public sense.  We fly “private jets.” Private sounds like I don’t want the public to know what I am doing, where I am going and I most likely do not want to share my private ride.

Sharing is already happening in the world of airline travel and the events that drive travel; maybe to ease the pain inflicted on travelers by the airline system.

As I have looked around on the internet for social media platforms related to travel some really interesting ones have started showing up.

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·         Planely allows airline travelers to share their flight itinerary with the hope of connecting with others on the same flight. If this builds critical mass it could become a valuable tool.

·         IMGuest allows travelers to share their hotel location and plans in order to meet up face to face with others at the same or close by hotels, and expand their network.

·         Plancast is a site that is really done well, allowing people to post their plans for attending conventions, local events, music events, etc. and easily see who else is attending. A great way to make connections both locally and at away events.

·         TripIt, which just announced its acquisition by Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR), was one of the first travel sites allowing travelers to share their itineraries that gained a mass adoption. Concur is a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions and apparently thinks TripIt is on to something based on the acquisition price.

These sites allow you to sign up and use them for free, and in some cases check in through your Facebook or Twitter accounts. The Facebook check-in creates an instant profile for fellow travelers to see plus it gives the site access to your Facebook information.

So the question asked again: Are travelers willing to share their travel plans in the hope of making the experience more social? The answer seems to be yes, as travelers are signing up to these social technology platforms in droves.

What about personal and business travel in private chartered aircraft?

What is the value in sharing travel plans with others you don’t know too well? Is it too risky?  Most of these sites tout the value proposition of networking and meeting up with people you would not otherwise meet.

The value of each of us knowing where others are going can go beyond just networking.

If you and I find out we are going to the same places, we can get together and come up with new solutions for getting there more efficiently by sharing costs and buying travel collaboratively. Eventually we may even be able to drive the market to offer better solutions that fit our needs, versus what suppliers of air mass transportation offer us today.

It would great if we could go when and where we really want to go in the most efficient manner as opposed to being pushed and shoved through a system that is not designed to really meet our intentions.

When that happens can the private aircraft, and the industry that supports it, be a possible solution?

Find aircraft for sale listings and pilot resources for U.S. airports on GlobalAir.com.

Watch the AOPA Summit live online

The AOPA is streaming live its annual summit, being held this week in Long Beach, Calif. Events today included Cessna CEO Jack Pelton speaking, as well as John and Martha King receiving a safety award from the association.

If the embedding worked properly, you can watch live coverage from the event at the top of this post, or you can head over to the AOPA web site, where you can also join a live discussion via your Facebook account.

Other highlights include forums on IFR challenges and aircraft ownership, in addition to static displays and an exhibit hall.   

The Lindbergh Foundation hosts a summit event Friday at 10 a.m. entitled, “Aviation, the Environment & the Future.”

Also, the Summit has a Twitter account here that is posting updates.

VIDEO: Flying out of Teterboro with the Beach Boys

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This video of pilot-turned-Beach-Boy Mike Wagner sings of the troubles that sometimes arise when trying to fly a business jet out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey (TEB).  In the five days since it has been posted, it has found fellowship within the bizav community via Facebook and Twitter, garnering more than 21,000 views in the process. Enjoy.

Can communities and small airports use Social Media to bring air transportation solutions to their people?

 

Over the years of growing our business, I have had the opportunity to meet many airport directors in communities looking for ways to improve air service to their airports. My brother runs an airline in the western US providing air service to many communities through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program funded by the DOT. He has probably been through 100’s of presentations from airports and their support organizations – chambers of commerce, economic development boards and city governments.

All of these airports and the communities they serve want good air service. Why?

They consider air service as a necessary ingredient for business and economic development. When you can connect to the rest of the world by air you can bring business in to your community and create jobs and prosperity. When you are disconnected from the rest of the world you lose out and no one wants to lose out. 

Over the past two years the situation has not gotten better for small airports.

In fact it has gotten worse because airlines have pulled out of many small markets either entirely or they have reduced service to the point that it no longer offers any convenience to the business traveler. Because of the geographic and demographic rules of EAS subsidies, many small airports don’t qualify for the subsidy. They are just a little too close to another airport with airline service but too far away to be convenient. Or they are not quite large enough as a market.  

So far no one has come up with a real solution that fixes the problem of the demand for convenient air travel at a reasonable price in small markets.

Small airlines like Cape Air are doing a good job of filling some of the holes but there are still a lot of airports looking for solutions. Charter companies like my company are glad to pick you up at a small airport and take you anywhere. Our problem is price. We are still to expensive for the average traveler.

As I have sat in on meetings over the years I usually hear the field of dreams story. “Build it and they will come” or in this case “show up and fly and we will fill up your aircraft with happy paying passengers”. If that was the case then why aren’t the airlines showing up and fighting for those passengers?

One of the major issues I see is that no one can really tell you or me today where people really want to go. At best, over the years, consultants to the airline and airports put together a marketing study based on DOT statistics showing Origin and Destination (O&D) traffic flow between cities based on airlines published data. With some statistical tweaking the consultant shows that a quantity of people in a community are flying to or from some close by hub airport and they would all rather leave from the home field if they just could. Those stats rarely translate into a reality for the airline or the home airport because the stats don’t correctly indentify the traveler’s true intentions.

So the question to ask is how we identify the true intentions of travelers, to really know when and where they want to go, and what it is worth to them for someone to meet their intentions.

If, in a perfect world with perfect knowledge at our fingertips, we could reach that point of knowledge could we then meet those intentions with the fleet of aircraft available in this country?

Change gears with me now and think about what is happening in the world of social media: 400 million and counting on Facebook, people tweeting every minute of the day, geo-location technology that knows where I tweet or text from, linked in profiles, and applications like TripIt that tell everyone where I am going and how I am getting there. In the past few weeks Facebook has gotten slapped for their use of the information they have been collecting on all of us but at the end of the day I predict that we will not slow down telling everyone else everything about us. Privacy or no privacy we seem more than willing to let the world know just about anything.  

How could communities and small airports use the power of this information from Social Media to match traveler’s intentions to the supply of travel services? Could they build their very on communities online with the purposes of sharing travel intentions between travelers?  If so they could have the real knowledge of who, where, when and how much as opposed to the statistics that don’t seem to mesh with reality?

Something to think about isn’t it!

You can contact me at allen.howell@flycfm.com

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