Since 2006, Hong Kong Airlines has been capturing market share with a network that today covers nearly 40 destinations across Asia Pacific and North America. With one of the youngest fleets in the world, the airline is continuously upgrading its aircraft, technology, and communications strategy.

Social media is key to that strategy, which is helping Hong Kong Airlines expand its global footprint further into North America. Using a social media suite designed in partnership with Hootsuite, the airline is able to perform industry research, analyse sentiment, deliver winning campaigns, and manage incident communications.

Watch this video to learn more.

What they did

In 2017, the airline had no social media strategy beyond brand awareness and push marketing. Today, Hong Kong Airlines is a social-first airline with a marketing strategy built on listening, community building, and proactive communications—all managed by a small in-house team focused on strengthening customer relationships and expanding reach on social.

How they did it

Focusing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, the company set out to create a strategy that would ensure customers receive timely and helpful replies to all inquiries on social media.

How They Did It1

Focusing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, the company set out to create a strategy that would ensure customers receive timely and helpful replies to all inquiries on social media.

Building a winning strategy around social listening and customer care

Social listening enables brands to deliver exceptional customer experiences by closely monitoring relevant conversations and overall sentiment on social media. Hong Kong Airlines uses Talkwalker’s social listening solution to monitor positive and negative sentiment, social sentiment scores, and brand mentions in real time.

And because Talkwalker integrates with Hootsuite, the team is able to monitor conversations, assign them to the right team member, and respond directly to customers—all in a single platform.

Protecting the brand with
proactive incident management

The airline faced one of the first real-world tests of its new social-first communications strategy in 2018, when a ticketing system issue briefly caused travel websites to incorrectly offer round-trip business class tickets—for $600 a ticket.

Word got out fast, and in the brief time it took the airline to correct the issue, bargain-hunting customers snapped up tickets at the vastly reduced price.

“People were waiting for the brand to come out and say something,” says Dennis Owen, general manager of branding and social media. In close coordination with the airline’s commercial, legal, and government affairs, the communications team worked with senior management to reach a decision to honor the fare.

Hong Kong airlines announced the decision on its social media channels, and customers and news media lauded the company’s transparency and integrity.

“From understanding the conversations that were happening, we were able to make a quick decision for the business,” explains Owen. “Our customers began to see that Hong Kong Airlines was a digital savvy airline and this has definitely improved our brand positioning.”

As Hong Kong Airlines builds out its world-class social listening and customer care programs using Hootsuite, it has a better understanding of their customer’s conversations.

Learn more about the products helping Hong Kong Airlines succeed with social

The results


increase in positive brand sentiment


increase in Instagram followers


improvement in customer response time

The social-first strategy at Hong Kong Airlines is already paying off for the brand. With streamlined customer service workflows, impressive campaign results, and a social media following that has doubled from the previous year, the company considers social media to be its most cost-effective marketing channel.

Hootsuite is always providing us with advice, ideas, and solutions. The partnership helps us continuously achieve more with our strategy and product.

Photo of Dennis Owen
Dennis Owen General Manager, Branding and Social Media Hong Kong Airlines