This article forms part of a study on social media usage amongst FTSE 100 companies.
Each company in the FTSE 100 index was reviewed on its usage of such social media tools as RSS feeds*, blogs, online video, podcasts and social media platforms like Flickr and Facebook on its main website and on occasion, on websites of well-known subsidiary companies.
*RSS feeds are a simple way of delivering fresh versions of a website’s content to online readers automatically.
According to the Guardian.co.uk Business Glossary:
“The FTSE 100 index comprises the 100 most highly capitalised blue chip companies on the London Stock Exchange, representing approximately 81% of the UK market.”
Here’s how the UK’s leading airline, British Airways (BAY.L) measured up.
|FTSE 100 Company||RSS||Podcast||Blog||Online Video||Audio||Facebook, Flickr, etc|
Online Video/Webcasts: Yes
Usage of Social Media platforms: No
(Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, del.icio.us, Twitter, Digg etc)
According to Yahoo! Finance:
“British Airways Plc, aka BA, is the leading airline in the United Kingdom, and naturally one of the biggest in the world. Based at Heathrow and Gatwick, London, it manages almost 300 planes and 216 destinations in 94 countries.
Aware of the new technologies, and of the need to develop to maintain its position, BA has also set up a highly-developed Internet site, offering a variety of services : on-line reservations, flight times and tourist city guides.”
British Airways has been having a bit of a hard time in the press recently with multiple reports of flight delays and lost luggage arising from the debacle that is the transfer of flights from London Heathrow Terminal 4 to Terminal 5.
Having said that, it’s interesting to note that BA recognises that online engagement is highly critical to its success as a “full service global airline”.
The “consumer-facing” homepage at britishairways.com is a sophisticated airline e-commerce site and probably the section that most visitors to the site spend the most time on.
And whilst this won’t come as a surprise, there is very little to hold the average consumer’s attention on the rest of the British Airways site.
Granted that the average consumer will have little reason to visit the BA site other than to buy tickets or query the status of flights, a couple of worthy additions are recommended below.
- Provide RSS feeds for news, flight information – At the very least including RSS feeds to allow automatic updates of news would could potentially be very useful, particularly in the light of recent problems with Heathrow Terminal 5. This alone would improve use of the website as customers could receive information and updates about pertinent issues automatically.
- Use more online video - Much more could be made of the BA Heritage section of britishairways.com. Some streaming videos dedicated to the fascinating history of Concorde and other BA achievements would certainly find interested viewers amongst BA’s large customer base. Video clips of Concorde’s final flight are available but they requires a download prior viewing, something that feels more and more like an inconvenience to today’s ‘simply press Play’ generation.
What do you think?
Are you a customer, employee, shareholder or stakeholder of British Airways? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this review. What would you like to see British Airways doing more of in terms of social media? More online video? A CEO blog, perhaps?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Need any help?
Do you work for British Airways and want some insight into some of the ideas published here?
Or perhaps you look after marketing for British Airways and would like a quick chat about putting some of those recommendations into practice. Contact us.
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