- BRW Lists
Published 20 September 2013 11:23, Updated 26 September 2013 00:45
A photo from Instagram of Qantas’ Singapore lounge: “Private dining room and a full bar before departure.”
Qantas is trialling technology from Australian start-up Local Measure to help it monitor social media conversations in its airport lounges, regardless of whether the user mentions the brand.
The tool will pick up social media conversations in a specific location, but only if the consumer has chosen to share their location by turning on geo-location in Twitter or checking into a service such as Foursquare or Facebook Places or Pages.
Qantas head of digital communication Jo Boundy says the company is trialling Local Measure in 10 major ports around the world, including London, Dubai, Los Angeles, Singapore and domestic airports.
The airline already uses other social media monitoring tools such as Salesforce.com’s Radian6 for word-based search but people don’t necessarily mention keywords like ‘Qantas’ when they share pics from inside the Qantas Club Lounge.
Local Measure chief executive Jonathan Barouch says he sees the conversations for Qantas and other clients, such as Merivale and Gelatissimo, and about 90 per cent of them are positive.
“That’s the untold story – everyone’s really nervous about social media but when you look at it, it’s amazing gold for content marketing,” Barouch says.
Boundy says the social media team, which sits within the marketing department, is tapping into the positive feedback for its content marketing strategy.
“It’s insanely positive and that’s been a real contrast to what you see on our Facebook page, which is pretty toxic, it’s a complaint forum and the people there are not always our customers,” Boundy says.
“We can amplify [positive feedback] but it’s so much more powerful when it’s not us talking about ourselves but customers talking about their experience or even better when it’s celebrities because of their huge following.”
However, the biggest benefit for Qantas has been in customer service and group insights.
“They don’t necessarily go and tell the lounge manager ‘I liked my pavlova, I liked my Neil Perry’ pie’ but they do take photos and tweet about it in real time with three or four hashtags and suddenly they’ve given you a very clear indication of what they think of the product inside the lounges.. Our group insights managers are finding that really useful,” Boundy says.
“They also might say there’s something wrong with the barista coffee machine or there’s a leaky toilet, stuff we’d never normally see, and now we’re getting it in real time and we’re able to give it to the guys at the airport to fix.”
Down the track, if it becomes part of operations you could get, for example, a passenger tweeting a photo of her campari in the lounge and then finding another campari already waiting for her when she boards the plane.
In the first phase of the trial, the social media team reported problems in real time to the lounge managers and on a weekly basis to the customer insight team.
However, Qantas has now extended the trial to equip lounge managers at Sydney Airport with iPhones loaded with the Local Measure app. They have it ‘read-only’ mode so they can act on feedback within the lounge and make human contact with passengers if appropriate but any social media responses are left to Boundy’s team.
The most surprising thing that Qantas has learned so far?
“It’s amazing what people take photos of right before they get on a plane, nine times out of 10 it’s a boarding pass or a photo out the window,” Boundy says.
Local Measure, is backed by ASX-listed Salmat. It was formerly a consumer tool called Roamz but the company has recently repositioned to sell to business customers and is finding more success in that space.