Case Study: Virgin America using Promoted Tweets to Announce Lower Airfares
Virgin America uses Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets to announce low fares and give back to a great cause with Stand Up To Cancer
In 2007, Virgin sought to redefine the customer experience for air travellers by launching Virgin America in the United States. It gained competitive market share by humanizing its brand through fun and tech- forward amenities such as custom-designed mood-lit cabins, leather seats, video touch-screens, power outlets and WiFi at every seat—all for an attractive fare.
As part of the strategy of amplifying the positive word-of-mouth about its unique service, the airline stressed the importance of social media because of its high-touch customer service approach. It created an active community on Twitter, primarily using it to communicate relevant company news, promotional airfares and guest care concerns.
Virgin America wanted to reach a broader digital audience with its low fares; however the company wanted to do it in a way that resonated with the positive brand association that its customers were now familiar with.
Virgin America partnered with Stand Up To Cancer to launch a one-day flash sale exclusively on Twitter called the Fly Forward, Give Back campaign. Fares started at $49 with $5 going to the charitable cancer organization with each booking (up to a total of $50,000).
The airline used a Promoted Trend with the hashtag #FlyFwdGiveBack to broadcast the sale to a broader audience on Twitter. Trends are featured prominently next to a user’s timeline and reflect what the hottest topics are at the moment on Twitter. A Promoted Trend is ideally placed at the top of these trending topics to amplify a conversation.
Virgin America also ran a Promoted Tweet campaign during the sale. “As an early adopter, we’ve had a lot of success with Twitter’s other beta products in naturally amplifying the ongoing conversations we already see, so we were excited to see the results of Promoted Tweets together with a Promoted Trend,” says Abby Lunardini, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Virgin America. “We targeted our Promoted Tweets to our followers so while the Promoted Trend drove mass awareness, the Promoted Tweet helped us connect with users who came searching for the sale information on Twitter.”
The exclusive flash sale on Twitter raised the maximum $50,000 in charitable donations for Stand Up To Cancer. It was also one of the top five sale days ever for the airline. Elevate, Virgin America’s loyalty program, saw a 25% increase in sign-ups over the previous week.
“On Twitter, we had over four times the average follows and over two times the average mentions of @VirginAmerica during the campaign. We also had over 11,000 mentions of our hashtag. All of the engagement and conversations around our Promoted Trend and Promoted Tweets led to one of our most successful revenue generating days ever. More importantly, we were able to do it in a way that resonated with our guests and gave back to a great cause,” says Lunardini.