Ni hao: Manchester Airport develops Chinese social media presence to welcome passengers to city

Manchester Airport is hoping to boost its reach with passengers from the Far East after developing its presence on Weibo and Wechat, the Chinese equivalents of Twitter and WhatsApp.

Since the launch of a direct flight, almost 40,000 passengers have travelled between Manchester and Beijing.

And with that in mind, Manchester Airport has recognised masses of passengers from China and seized the opportunity to engage and understand Chinese customers.

A aim of the launch is to communicate in Mandarin with current passengers as well as the huge Chinese population across its catchment area.

The catchment area places around 22million people, including Chinese students. It spans Scotland, south to the West Midlands and across to North Wales, Merseyside and Yorkshire.

The airport has worked with Chinese digital agency, Red Lantern, to create and develop its presence on the channels.

Lewis Hannam, founder of Red Lantern, said: “It’s great that Manchester Airport is doing all it can to be the UK’s most China friendly airport.

“This is just the first step in some innovative moves the airport will make for Chinese travellers.”

Patrick Alexander, Head of Marketing at Manchester Airport said: “What better way to speak to a core demographic.’

“Not only can we provide them with relevant airport and airline information, but by using their channels, in their native Mandarin, we can give added value and a better, more targeted, customer service.”

The new interactive accounts will also feature tourist information, light-hearted video content from local Chinese students and some hidden gems.

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