Article

Olly Honess
Olly Honess 5 August 2013
Categories Social Media

What can air hostesses teach us about social?

I was sitting on a flight back from Turkey and I became aware of some movement on my right.

I was sitting on a flight back from Turkey and I became aware of some movement on my right.
 
It was the air hostess who were going through the motions of the usual pre-take off routine.
 
"Please be aware that itisstandardproceduretoturnoffthecabin lights during takeoff. Please ensure that yourseatbeltisfastened and that yourtableisstowedawaysaftely..."

 

These were no doubt important messages. But they were being completely ignored not only by myself but also by the rest of the passengers who (a glance around the cabin confirmed) sat flicking through the papers, staring out of the window, thumbing magazines or continuing their own private conversations.

She continued with a sales message this time. Less important but equally as lost. "The duty free trolley willbecomingaround shortly and stocks a rangeofspiritswinesandperfumes"

What’s the problem here? She wasn’t in a hurry. The microphone was working perfectly.

I think the problem is that she said exactly what people expected her to say in exactly the way people expected to hear it, and so she was ignored by all but the most nervous of flyers.

What’s developed over decades of commercial air travel as an air hostess TOV is now firmly entrenched. We can all jokingly mimic it which indicates a level of continuity even between airline brands.*

 

I think this is a reminder of something we in social all know. We’re all aware ’content is king’ but the other lesson here is to make sure people pay attention to what you are saying in the way you say it.  That means establishing and sticking to a strong and recognizable brand TOV. Would I have paid more attention the air hostess if she had delivered the message in her own personal tone as opposed to the expected one? Yes. Would I have been more likely to clear out my remaining Euros on some duty free tat I don’t need if her announcement was delivered with a bit of charm and wit? Definitely.

With half of brands reportedly achieving social engagement values of only 0.2%, there’s clearly more tonal work to be done. Agree a strong brand personality before you communicate through social and spend extra time enforcing safeguards ensuring all your communications adhere to it.  It’s too easy to stick to the way others have done and to default to how other brands speak on social (I’m looking at you, cat meme) . All that does is blur the lines between yours and hundreds of other messages you audience receives that day.

And then you’ve spent your efforts and your client money creating something that will be completely ignored. And that’s the worst thing that can happen.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Amazon is the new Google for Product Search

Amazon is the new Google for Product Search

Amazon has become the top place consumers go on the Internet to search for products. In a Raymond James study published in early 2017, 52% of people said that Amazon is now their first choice for product searches. Here’s how you can get to the top of Amazon’s results and stay relevant

Brian Beck
Brian Beck 21 November 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
3 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2018

3 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2018

Discover three big trends that will have the impact on social media in 2018 - from ephemeral content, to influencer marketing and augmented reality.

John Siebert
John Siebert 15 November 2017
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of traditional outreach methods to get in touch with targeted buyers or sellers.Here are some of the best and fastest growing global B2B platforms that are helping thousands of businesses in the world to grow and reach their international and local clients.

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more