Willie Sutton, famous as one of America’s most accomplished bank robbers during those portions of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s when he was not in jail for, what else, bank robbery, once was asked, “Willie, why do you rob banks?” His famous, and elegantly simple answer was, “That’s where the money is.”
Or least that’s the way novelist J.R.Moehringer, wrote it in his greatly embellished novel based very loosely on Sutton’s colorful life and exploits (Willie himself denied ever having said those words).
I’ve been spending – and our company has been spending – a lot of time learning as much as we can about the many ways in which social media can be used and how social media can be harnessed effectively to help our company – or yours – grow and become more successful. It’s a fascinating subject on the intellectual level.
It’s also an incredibly important subject to know a lot about, and to understand on the down-to-earth practical level, especially if your company, like mine, markets its services or products in the retail environment. To quote old Willie, these days “That’s where the money is.”
Linear Air can’t make money providing affordable on-demand private air taxi service between the airport nearest your home or office and the airport nearest your true destination unless we can get our message in front of you about our bases at Hanscom Airport in the Boston area, White Plains and Teterboro in the NYC area and Heber City in the Park City/Salt Lake City area.. We can’t save you oodles of time and eliminate nearly all the hassle normally associated with air travel unless we convince you that we can, indeed, do exactly that – and do it a price less than jet charter and comparable to what you likely would pay for the same business trip if you opted to fly with a commercial airline.
Traditional message-delivery channels like TV and radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, and even direct mailings all still have some place in this world. But in many (most?) cases the effectiveness of those communications channels has been greatly diminished - and continues to be diminished more every day – by the growing power of social media. And if your company, like mine, lacks the size, scope and deep, deep pockets necessary to score big via mass market advertising, you’re only remaining effective channel for reaching your customers is social media.
I’ve recently been learning a lot from, and visiting with social media expert Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media. He’s also the author of Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks), both of which made the New York Times’ Bestseller List. His latest book is Likeable Business.
From Dave and others I’ve learned – we’ve learned – that Linear Air needs not only to have a presence in all the big social media channels, but that we must learn to use each of those channels’ very distinct characteristics, traits and strengths to reach our potential customers, all whom use some or all of these social media channels in very different ways. It’s a highly individualized world out there these days, and the proliferation of different social media channels should be seen by those of us in business as opportunities to tell our stories to myriad potential customers whose ways of discovering and processing information are just as myriad.
And the neat thing about it is that communicating via social media gives us the opportunity to tailor our messages in ways that excite or intrigue our potential customers in unique, and often fun ways. It also gives us a way to capitalize on our new ability to communicate directly with those customers we’ve already served, and to do it in way that enhances their experience of our service or product. That, in turn, improves our ability to turn them into repeat customers. The fancy business school term for all this is CRM, or Customer Relationship Management. And over the last 5 to 10 years social media has opened up CRM possibilities and opportunities most of us had never dreamed of previously.
So, yes, Linear Air is in all the big social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Our pilots, who provide an unmatched level of personal service to all our passengers, use our onboard iPads and their smart phones to take and post photos, and to post other interesting items on all of those channels (with the passengers’ permission, of course). There’s a good chance we’ll be getting involved with other, newer, or niche social media channels in the future as we learn about them and learn how to use them. I also get involved in posting items on the various social media channels and I blog regularly here at blog.linearair.com. Linear Air also sells its services through our own website, LinearAir.com, and Hipmunk.com, the coolest, or “hippest” travel booking website around.
Beyond that, we use social media and other technology tools to follow up with our customers after they’ve completed their trips so that we can listen to what they liked and how they think we might serve them even better in the future.
So log on to your favorite social media channel and do a search for Linear Air. When you find us, “friend us,” “follow us,” or “connect” with us. We’d love to have you as part of our fast-growing social media network. Of course, we’d love to serve you aboard one of our safe, fast, and comfortable Eclipse jets or Cirrus technically advanced props too. Social media’s great, but talking with you in person, and serving you directly is even better.
See you on board.