IFLY Takes off on Social Media

In 2023, businesses must have a social media presence. Social media has many benefits, including attracting customers, building customer loyalty, and getting honest feedback.

And iFly is no exception — word of mouth and social media are critical to the iFLY marketing plan.

“Word of mouth is huge for iFLY because people get such a buzz off this [experience], and they tell their friends, and then that brings customers to the vertical wind tunnel,” says CEO Matt Ryan. “The name has a tendency to drive people to the web to figure out what it is, and that has a tendency to drive traffic. But most of our web traffic comes from social media.”

Jed Kirttland visited the vertical wind tunnel in December 2022. He stated online, “The instructors were easygoing. The flying was fun, my fav was the high fly.” Sally Sparks raved that her visit to iFLY was the “best experience ever. Great group of folks. Definitely would do this again. Everyone should try this because it’s great fun. Loved the professionalism of this business and would highly recommend flying here.” And a couple who took advantage of the “Love Is in the Air” package on Feb. 14 called it the best Valentine’s Day idea ever. “That was so much fun,” they both gushed.

Reasons Businesses Need Interactive Social Media Platforms

According to Kepios, a strategy consultancy firm, as of January 2023, there are 4.76 billion social media users worldwide. That means that 59.4% of the global population is on some type of social media platform. In addition, Kepios found that there are more than four new social media users every single second globally, and they can heavily influence others — and make or break a business.

Social media is an effective tool for businesses, whether small, locally run stores or multinational corporations like iFLY. Social media platforms can help improve brand awareness. In addition, they offer valuable insight into the culture of the company and the ways that the business is run. The most popular social media platforms for businesses in 2023 include LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

A simple post can circulate to thousands, even millions, of people. Interacting with customers on social media is an excellent way to grow brand visibility and impact a business’s target audience. Increasing brand awareness via social media can increase potential sales and entice potential customers.

Social media offers cost-effective marketing platforms. It has the potential to provide excellent returns with minimal investments; most social media platforms don’t even require a registration fee — although there are advantages to the paid promotional advertisement plans, too, such as increased traffic to a company’s website, which can help boost interactions and increase sales.

Social media is an excellent way to engage with customers by providing them with value. Think: tips, tricks, and information about the latest trends and news to better cement a business as an industry leader. That can help establish brand loyalty and better customer satisfaction because, in 2023, customers aren’t shy about sharing grievances and negative experiences online.

The goal is to make someone want to pick your brand over the competition. A loyal customer is the heart and soul of a successful enterprise. Ambassador, a leading relationship software company, published an infographic that stated 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others when they have a positive experience with it on social media.

That’s something that the vertical wind tunnel brand takes seriously. “People love the iFLY experience; they’re enthusiastic. The challenge is to get them to tell all of their friends,” says Chris Barrett, president of the retail division at iFLY. “It is a challenge to get everyone aware of this.”

IFLY Soars on Social Media

According to Barrett, the company has done “a lot of marketing research and found that of the 300 million American households, 200 million would be interested in coming to the vertical wind tunnel.” That’s why Barrett says it’s concentrating on “getting the word out there so that consumers are aware of it and want to actually come and see it as a nice, safe, wonderful family experience for all. Because once they have visited, they love it.”

The company is focused on improving consumer engagement. “Fundamentally, the company drives it, but just like all brands, it has some challenges with social media engagement and interest levels that peak as customers experience the dream of flight; however, that wanes over time,” says Barrett. “IFLY is an event in which more than half the visitors come back to do it again. But that does not always occur in the next two or three weeks.”

What does keep people coming back to the exhilarating experience is “almost always location,” says Barrett. “That is No. 1. No. 2 used to be digital advertisements; now it is word of mouth and social media referrals.”

Ryan adds, “Historically, the business has really focused on high-visibility locations. Our buildings are unique. We put five tunnels on five Royal Caribbean cruise line ships.” RipCord by iFLY on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas got a lot of press from its appearance on a segment of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when the first ship launched in New York in 2014.

“That is an experience that people can look at online and see people sailing across the ocean while soaring inside a glass tube, which is completely exposed to the elements. That is just one of the cool things iFLY has done with the tunnels,” says the CEO. Social media advertising is one of the most effective promotion types, but nothing beats that level of exposure. Check out the vertical wind tunnel’s Instagram to see people of all ages and abilities accomplishing the dream of flight.