David Parker Brown, Airline Reporter for Reuters U.S. edition, has a few things to say about Boeing’s new venture into social media. Namely, that it is about time. Boeing has been late to the game, for sure. In fact, though they now have a YouTube channel and a Twitter account, they STILL don’t have a Facebook presence. The company says told Brown they are taking it slow, and only integrating a social media platform when they know exactly how to use it to appeal to a global audience.
Call me crazy, but it doesn’t strike me as that much of a stretch to set up a Facebook page and appeal to a global audience. There are currently more than 700 million people currently using Facebook. Surey they have some idea how to impress at least SOME of that audience. I mean, there is something to be said for being prepared, but while they wait to get all their ducks in a row, other companies are blazing a social media trail and making them look just a tad bit old and stodgy.
Boeing first started with operating three Twitter (what is Twitter?) accounts: @Boeing, @BoeingAirplanes and @BoeingDefense. The Twitter accounts cover much more than just repeating news that is already out in the public domain. They have had contests, shared unique photos and personally connected with some of Boeing’s biggest fans.
So why is Boeing on Twitter and YouTube, but not Facebook? Well, the Boeing Store has a Facebook account, but to date Boeing proper still does not. Is this a bad move? Possibly not. Boeing has been taking the “easy-does-it” approach to social media, making sure they master each one before moving onto the next.
When talking to Boeing, it is clear they are looking at how to expand their presence on social media globally, versus just American-based platforms. “We are a global company, ” Todd Blecher, Director of Boeing Communications explained to Airline Reporter. “We need to find ways of becoming a global social media participant.” For example Twitter is not all that popular in China, so Boeing has decided to create a Weibo account to connect with local people and companies.
Adding a YouTube channel is smart, since Boeing is already producing the content. For a long time, Boeing has produced videos to share with employees and it has only been more recently that they have shared these videos via their website. Posting them on YouTube allows more people to view the videos and more importantly, it allows people to comment and interact with Boeing.
YouTube is not the only new thing for Boeing’s videos. On the recent American Airline’s Sky Interior delivery flight, there were only about 20 people on board and Boeing asked a few of the customer-fans who were invited by American Airlines to walk up and down the aircraft at 30,000 feet and give their impression of what they think. No script, no direction, just take a look at the aircraft and give your raw opinion (note: the video has not yet been posted). This is the first time that I have seen Boeing do something like this and it really is a new level of connecting with fans.
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