With growing numbers of Asian passengers at Helsinki Airport, Finavia is paying particular attention to Chinese customers this year. In order to promote Helsinki Airport in China, Finavia created a page for the Airport on Weibo, a social media site in many ways similar to Facebook.
Opening up a channel on Chinese social media is part of Finavia’s marketing communication targeted at Chinese travellers.
“Our goal is to increase the transfer traffic between Europe and Asia via Helsinki Airport. Optimally, Weibo will give Helsinki Airport more visibility and influence over the route choices of people travelling to Europe,” says Katja Siberg, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at Finavia.
On Weibo, Finavia promotes mainly the services and connections available at Helsinki Airport, in addition to Helsinki and Finland as travel destinations. The major marketing and information campaigns, like Match Made in HEL, also receive visibility on the site.
Weibo has about 175 million active users per month. Helsinki Airport is on Weibo at www.weibo.com/helsinkiairport.
“With Weibo as a direct link to Chinese passengers before they even travel, we can tell them about the services and smooth connections at the Airport. Before, we lacked a channel China for promoting our excellent airport. This is a great addition to our channel set on social media,” says Markus Haapamäki, Finavia’s communications specialist on social media.
Interesting stories behind the products
At the Airport, Chinese travellers look for experiences and they are happy to spend money on goods and services. This is one reason for presenting the range of commercial products and services before the trip to Finland.
“In addition to major brands, the Chinese are interested in local products. It is really important that we are able to tell the story behind the local products,” says Petra Merikanto, who is in charge of passenger surveys at Finavia.
Helsinki Airport has already invested in services in Chinese: there are guides who speak Chinese and many of the signs are also in Chinese. The Helsinki Airport mobile app – as well as Finavia’s website – are also available in Chinese. Moreover, during the spring, employees of the commercial operators have received training in the Chinese culture and the expectations of Chinese customers.
Even on a business-to-business level, there are new connections when Finavia in January increased its cooperation with Capital Airports Holding Company in China. Following the cooperation agreement, Helsinki Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport are now sister airports.
An event celebrating the ten-year twin city relationship between Helsinki and Beijing, called Moi Helsinki, was arranged in Beijing in May. Finavia was Visit Finland’s partner at the event.