- Delta Air Lines is running a poll on Twitter asking passengers to choose their favorite holiday movie to watch for free while in flight, according to a press release provided to Mobile Marketer. "Die Hard," "Elf," "New Year's Eve" and "Home Alone" are the choices for December in the survey that ends October 15.
- The carrier will feature the winning movie on Delta Studio, its free in-flight entertainment system that hosts more than 1,000 hours of video programming. Passengers can watch movies on seat-back screens in more than 600 aircraft or by streaming to a personal smartphone or tablet.
- The holiday movie poll follows two earlier surveys that received more than 300,000 votes on Twitter. Flyers chose "Hocus Pocus" as their favorite Halloween movie to watch throughout October, while "The Breakfast Club" was the top choice in a survey of 1980s movies that will run next month.
Delta's Twitter polls are a quick, cost-effective way to engage travelers with the airline and give them a voice about their in-flight entertainment. Delta has 1.47 million followers on Twitter, making it one of the most popular airlines on the social network, including Southwest (2.12 million), JetBlue (1.99 million), American (1.52 million) and United (996,000).
Delta typically uses its Twitter account to engage with passengers and respond to complaints, but most recently hosted an exchange with musical artist T-Pain, who told his 1.14 million followers in September that the music played during boarding was depressing. Delta responded in a tweet that explained the downbeat songs were meant to be relaxing, per People: "Can you imagine what would ensue if we played 'buy u a drank' (a personal fave), with everyone snappin' their fingers and what not? We'd never get anywhere on time. Necessary sacrifices, Mr. Pain." Delta's response received 2,200 likes and likely aimed to humanize the large arline brand.
More broadly, social media provides an important marketing tool for airlines, especially since dissatisfied customers often broadcast their travel complaints on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get companies' attention and air grievances to a public audience. Airlines can use social platforms to take command of conversations around the brand, especially in crisis communications situations following high-profile incidents, such as when a passenger last year was forcibly dragged off an overbooked United flight. "Brands should proactively, rather than reactively, use social media to listen and speak to customers, otherwise social media becomes a breeding ground for speculation, rumor and frustration," per The Financial Times.