Learning from All Nippon Airways: Does Your Brand have a Facebook Content Strategy?

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As I was flipping through the inflight magazine on my recent All Nippon Airways (ANA) Brand Ambassador trip to Okinawa, Japan, it was a pleasant surprise to see the below article:

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All Nippon Airways explaining their Facebook content strategy in plain Japanese to their readers in their inflight magazine.

I’ll translate it further below, but for the sake of this conversation, let’s just say that ANA is very clear as to what content you can expect to receive should you Like the All Nippon Airways Facebook Page.

Instead of simply saying, “Please Like our Facebook Page,” I always tell my clients that they need to give a reason as to why present and potential customers should Like their Page – on top of the need to create a truly “Likeable Page” as part of a unique Facebook experience. The heart of this will ultimately come down to what content you decide to share with your fans to engage with them. While a social media strategy would include a content strategy, Facebook challenges most organizations because of its playful environment as well as the need to engage to “defeat” Edgerank.

What do I post on Facebook if I am a soap company? What if I want to sell chips for people on the go? Reusable shopping bags? Famous brand fashion bags? These are some of the questions that past clients have asked me, and unfortunately there is no one one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach. Social media marketing is part art and part science, so if you are not beginning with a clear content strategy and then not experimenting, you’ll never know what content will be “engaging” for your unique fan base.

Let’s get back to ANA’s content strategy for their Facebook Fans. Note that this is for their Japanese Fan Page targeting Fans in Japan or overseas Japanese. There are many things that ANA could be posting about, but they should be applauded not only for being clear in informing potential fans what their publishing objectives are, but also for the clarity of their Facebook content strategy.

For further background about their Facebook content strategy, I had a chance to interview the Marketing Communications team who is in charge of their social media. They actually saw Facebook as an extremely low-cost way of sharing stories about their brand that they couldn’t do elsewhere in order to keep mindshare with their fans. Whether it’s a ground staff crew dressed in a Santa Claus costume that you will only see should you fly around Christmas (and have a window seat!) or the salt that is commonly used to keep airplanes from slipping on winter runways that is given to high school students flying ANA to take their college preparatory tests (for good luck so that they don’t “slip” on their tests), posting photos and stories on Facebook seemed like a natural outlet for them to tell stories about their brand.

Moving back to ANA’s Facebook content strategy, according to the advertisement in their inflight magazine, here is how they describe their Facebook presence:

Objective: ANA’s Facebook Page is to showcase rarely seen “behind the scenes” information about air travel, participatory events, etc. – information related to the keywords “安心、温か、明るく元気!”, which translates to “peace of mind/a sense of security,”  “(human) warmth,” and “bright and cheerful!”

Below in bold are three categories of content that All Nippon Airways publish on their Facebook page:

Start Your Week with ANA Staff Smiles! – Every week we introduce one ANA staff member – and their smile – to help you get your week off to nice start! (Note: After meeting with ANA’s marketing communications team, I realized that they not only publish a staff member’s smile every Monday morning but also close the week with a picture of one of the destinations they serve every Friday afternoon.

A recent Monday morning post featured Co-Pilot Fukuoka-san, who flies the DHC8-Q400 who flies various routes with the Nagoya Chubu Airport as his base.

A recent Monday morning post featured Co-Pilot Fukuoka-san, who flies the DHC8-Q400 who flies various routes with the Nagoya Chubu Airport as his base.

Introducing ANA’s Airplanes – This includes older aircraft as well as those memorable “branded” aircraft, like the Pokemon 747 I had a chance to glimpse at the Naha, Okinawa airport pictured below.

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We Will Show You Behind the Scenes of ANA! – Images of our maintenance crew working on our aircraft, our pilots, and even rarely scene images of our Cabin Attendants in action. Please enjoy a world that is rarely scene by most!

A recent Facebook post explains in detail the why and how ANA weighs their 767s before takeoff.

A recent Facebook post explains in detail the why and how ANA weighs their 767s before takeoff.

Seeing the number of fans that ANA has amassed (close to one million) combined with the engagement you see below, it appears that ANA’s Facebook content strategy has been successful.

This Facebook post from All Nippon Airways, describing their new employee initiation ceremony, generated more than 25,000 likes, representing about 3% of total Page Likes.

This Facebook post from All Nippon Airways, describing their new employee initiation ceremony, generated more than 25,000 likes, representing about 3% of total Page Likes.

If I was to ask your brand, would you also be able to provide me a concise mission as well as clear content strategy for any given social media channel as All Nippon Airways has?

About the Author:

Neal Schaffer, Founder and Editor-In-Chief

The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer
PeopleLinx

Comments

  1. says

    All I can say is WOW! It sounds like ANA has really got a great content strategy, and I’m actually interested in checking out their Facebook page now. “They actually saw Facebook as an extremely low-cost way of sharing stories about their brand that they couldn’t do elsewhere in order to keep mindshare with their fans.”–I feel that this is how most brands should feel about using Facebook. It isn’t always about sell, sell, sell on Facebook. It’s about share, share, share.

    Thanks so much for this post! I love it. Do you think other types brands can use this same strategy (or one very similar) for their own Facebook pages?

    • says

      Hi Catie and thanks for the comment! I’m sure that there are brands doing the same, but many get lost in the ROI debate and feel the need to perhaps be doing more “marketing” or self-promoting than they need to. All Nippon Airways also does campaigns like fare discounts on their Facebook page, but by looking at it, they really keep this type of communication to a minimum so as not to spoil the atmosphere. I think the success really is to keep the self-promotion to a minimum, and think of promotional campaigns as being those less of what WE as a company want to promote and more like what THEY as our fans would like to receive from us.

      Have you found brands that have a similar approach? Would love to hear what you have found.

  2. Getyer Kix says

    How did they get the social stuff so right, while their website fly-ana is so terrible? ANA’s website is a shocking contrast from other airlines who’ve made their sites and mobile sites easy to navigate and book travel. ANA’s site feels like they let the IT guy build it — technically functional while ugly, confusing, too-many-clicks, etc. I still like their airline & service teams so I hope they can replace that website soon.

    • says

      Hi John, I don’t know … I took that photo as I was reading the magazine, and that was back in February or March of 2013. Perhaps you can contact them and see if they can send you a copy?

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