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Developing an Airport Social Media Program


As airports develop new customer services to meet the changing needs of the traveling public, one challenge is the demand for greater interface through social media. All airports, regardless of their type and size face this challenge. While there is extensive literature on the topic of social media, there is very limited guidance for airport specific issues in implementing a social media program.

While many airports operate a social media program, much is done through trial and error. Such a process likely diminishes passengers experience, strains already limited airport resources, incurs unnecessary costs and may result in lost revenue. Research is needed to provide airports with an accelerated learning process. This research should allow all stakeholders (airlines, tenants, community and governmental agencies) to work collaboratively so as to provide passengers an enhanced social media experience.

The research should be straightforward enough for everyone to understand, while detailed enough to provide real value to those who will need to implement the program. The research would build on the findings of ACRP Active Synthesis 11-03, Topic S01-08, Understanding the Value of Social Media at Airports for Customer Engagement and should include:

• Defining the traveling public’s expectations of airport social media.

• Identifying software / hardware options to allow airports to streamline their social media process.

• Integrate a social media strategy into airport crisis communications and planning.

• Developing templates to implement a social media program for a variety of types and sizes of airports, including staffing, budget and policy considerations.

• Providing “how-to” steps in developing social media as a multi-dimensional tool (i.e. customer engagement, airport safety, revenue generation, brand development).

• Identifying opportunities for collaboration with other airport stakeholders (i.e., airline, concessionaires) on social media initiatives.

• Developing financial model(s) which help with the reoccurring question of Return on Investment (ROI) vs. Return on Expectation (ROE).


The objective of this research is to develop a guide which provides airports with the tools to launch, develop, maintain and advance a social media program to enhance customers’ travel experience.

Related Research:

ACRP Problem Statement – Social Media – 5 March 2014

Description Source Year Social Media and Primary Commercial Service Airports

Clayton Lee Stambaugh

ACRP 11-04 - Graduate Research Award Program 2012

Understanding the Value of Social Media at Airports for Customer Engagement

ACRP Active Synthesis 11-03 Topic S01-08

Projected 2014

Improving the Airport Customer Experience ACRP 01-26– RFP Projected 2015 How Airports Measure Customer Service Performance ACRP Synthesis 48 2013

Use, Management, and Measuring of Social Media at Airports

Jason Zogg, VHB, Inc.

Transportation Research Board - Keeping up with Communication Technology: An Online Workshop on the Practical Use of Social Media


State DOT Social Media Survey American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)


How Social Media Moves New York: Twitter Use by Transportation Providers in the New York Region

Sarah M. Kaufman

NYU Rudin Center for Transportation NYU Wagner School of Public Service


American Airlines: Customer Service Beyond Lip Service

Jonathan Pierce

ACI- North America Customer Service Forum 2013

Social Media ROI Success Stories MarketingProfs 2009

Sponsoring Committee:AV020, Aviation System Planning
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Date Posted:12/12/2015
Date Modified:03/09/2016
Index Terms:General aviation, Airport operations, Real time information, Public participation, Social media, Cooperation,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Administration and Management
Data and Information Technology

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