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Africa’s pan-continental low-cost airline passes 1.1 million mark of Facebook followers

Over the past few years different social media platforms have become quite defined in shape and purpose

Fastjet has enjoyed back to back news making headlines, shouting a ‘warning’ to other airlines. After announcing its new Harare-Lusaka route, the airline is back at the apex of stories making headlines with another milestone.

Fastjet airline has become the airline with the largest Facebook community in Africa, passing the 1.1 million mark in the number of followers in its orbit.

The airline recently reimagined its content strategy on the platform in line with consumer feedback and customer service with initial successes affirming the carrier’s leading position on social media amongst its peers.

A recent customer survey by Fastjet indicated that Facebook remains the more popular method of engagement for its customers at a preference rate of 80 percent compared to Twitter and Instagram. Evidenced by its organic growth rate, Instagram is fast becoming more popular as an engagement platform while Twitter’s newsfeed-style remains a platform where price and special-offers are digested quickly and responded to fast.

“Over the past few years different social media platforms have become quite defined in shape and purpose,” says fastjet spokesperson Hein Kaiser, “and according to our customers Facebook remains the most popular channel to engage on all levels.”

To this end fastjet have redefined the common and channel specific purpose of its social media presence. “Customer service is an absolute priority with our response rate shortened from 55 percent over 2 days to 96 percent within an hour,” says Kaiser. “In addition, we have repurposed our content strategy to balance hard sales with engaging, more visual content and increased our posting frequency to match feedback.” Twitter feeds have become a higher volume platform while Instagram and Facebook have a strong lifestyle element to content. “Thus far the strategy seems to be effective with Fastjet’s social reputation improving vastly.”

Beyond customer service the carrier leverages its social media channels to drive network and destination awareness as well as communicating commercially. “Our objective is to effectively manage social communities across all aspects of engagement; from consumer relevant content through to sales and special offers as well as customer service.” As the airline grows, so it plans to develop its community to reflect the airline’s growing pan-African footprint. “Fastjet plans to touch the lives of everyone on the continent as we grow our brand into its ambition of being Africa’s pan-continental low-cost airline.”

 “Social media is an animal of its own and the key lies in simplicity. Successful commercial campaigns have shown that the hard-sell is okay, but must be tempered with engaging content and reliable information. Brands need to be authentic and consumers will accept and engage on these mutually agreed, tacit terms,” says Kaiser. Fastjet has been experimenting with pure organic growth and measuring its rate of attrition against its redefined community and content strategy. “Our rate of attrition has reduced significantly while organic growth has enabled Fastjet’s Facebook community to grow into pole position amongst its peers.”

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