In March of 2020, as Covid-19 cases began to rapidly rise across the United States, the travel and tourism industry faced a difficult choice on where to take their marketing and social media platforms.
Charleston International Airport and the IflyCHS brand were easily able to flip their table and remind their followers in the Lowcountry of all of the local destinations that Charleston had to offer. While travel outside of Charleston may not be as easily accessed, Charleston International Airport is the Gateway to the best city in the world, and they were living in it.
Our gradual flip from airline promotion to staycations and socially distanced destinations seemed effortless thanks to our partnership with Charleston Visitors Bureau. With a combined total of 275,000 followers, we were able to reach much of the Lowcountry with minimal effort. We also began to notice that those who frequently visit Charleston were more inclined to interact with our accounts when we began to showcase not only what the airport has to offer but Charleston as a whole. Past travelers had a sense of nostalgia for a city that was so close but had close its doors due to the pandemic. We offered them a glimpse of the future and left them with the hope of all they had to look forward to when they returned to our first-class city.
While Charleston may be a destination city, many locals found themselves still traveling in the pandemic for work, emergencies, or safe leisure. While most of the airport remained bare, we had one asset that we could share with our followers — masks. As our social team introduced #MaskMonday to our feeds, we began to see a flood of user-generated content that kept the marketing team on its toes in a time where finding usable graphics and stock images tasked us.
As we began sharing our #MaskMonday photos, many followers began reaching out with additional images, even utilizing our new parking garage to participate in #PlaneSpottingatCHS, a way for one family to be able to socially distance themselves from others, but still get out of their home and do something they could enjoy as a family.
Charleston International Airport, like many others in the Travel and Tourism Industry, faced challenges in 2020. However, our Social Media team, alongside Public Affairs, were able to make the best of a terrible situation. With the lost possibility of events, we were able to reallocate money into charities and began utilizing local businesses when possible to revive our local economy. We highlighted the challenges and outcomes on our social media pages. We were able to overcome 2020 with a strong team, excited to see what 2021 has in store for us, and we are excited to have our followers along for the ride.
2020 by the numbers [all organic content]:
5,599 link clicks