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Turkish Airlines Wants You to Get Out of Town

Folks in the US are notorious vacation-dodgers, with studies showing that workers in the US left an average of 3.2 vacation days a year gathering dust with the Human Resources department in 2013, and a stats hinting at a culture that is a bit travel-shy. Turkish Airlines has decided to give these workaholics a new incentive to take a break, while improving on its already pretty savvy Social Media marketing strategy, with its new “Gotta Get Out” campaign.

At it’s heart, it’s another airline contest, offering to fly a couple to any of the airlines 264 worldwide destinations on Business Class. To qualify, candidates must post a photo or video in their Twitter and/or Instagram account, or upload a video to their YouTube or Vine account using the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesG2Go (except on Facebook). Interested parties must also fill out an entry form on and must have what the airline describes as a “compelling story about a friend or family member who needs a trip of a lifetime”—cue the heartstrings. The deadline for entry is February 12.

“We are excited to launch this contest to showcase how Turkish Airlines offers award-winning service to the world for U.S. travelers,” said Dr. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines. “Through mediums such as social media, we are able to effectively meet the ever-changing needs of our growing U.S customer base with new and intriguing promotions.”

So far, the hashtag isn’t getting much traction, but it is just starting. Tagboard has it trending at 5 posts/week. As of the time of this post, there were twelve in total, eight of which were by the airline itself with the oldest post 18 days ago.

Turkish Airlines has performed well in Social Media, named the most popular airline on Facebook in February of last year by Skift, and enjoying success with its viral ‘Kobe vs. Messi’ videos in 2012/2013 which enjoyed more than 100 Million viewers, a feat it tried to repeat with Drogba vs. Messi  Turkish Airline’s entry in our In-Flight #Foodie category, which has thus far had over 60 Million viewers. Not a bad result.

Contests are different animals and getting fans to do the social media legwork for a company can have mixed results. Skift’s Joyce Manalo explains this beautifully in her recent article “Data Insights from Top Travel Brands’ Twitter Contests.”

When running contests on Facebook and Twitter, there were more barriers on the former. For example, since most profiles are private, Facebook fans who want to participate may opt-out faster. Also, search capabilities for hashtags on Facebook is poor, both because of Facebook’ search limitations and users aren’t as prone to use them here as they are on Twitter. On the other hand, when fans search for a hashtag entry on Twitter, it has a better view on how popular the contest is. More activity leads to higher potential for exposure and entries. Most of these contests were concurrently run on Instagram as well.

For those who don’t win these tickets for two on Business Class, there is always the consolation that Turkish Airlines has the best Economy Long-Haul Cabin of all European carriers, on Skift’s airline ratings. Paying for that vacation yourself could be an affordable pleasure.


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