The airline’s head of digital marketing, Chris Davies, told Travolution that the site was looking to create a content network of insider knowledge, sourced from approved bloggers and brands in both cities, such as Mr and Mrs Smith and VisitLondon.
Davies believes that the concept of ‘twinning’ places in London and New York – such as Kew and Brooklyn’s botanic gardens – is a web first. He said that the idea and platform was scalable, but there were no current plans to add other city pairs.
Metrotwin is “expected to generate some advertising revenue to offset the cost” but Davies is wary of trying the hard sell. “Social media should be about credibility and usefulness. Some other brands’ move into the space didn’t work because people realise quite quickly if you’re trying to make money out of them.”
BA branding on metrotwin.com pages is limited to a small “powered by British Airways” logo.
The site went public three weeks ago and has so far attracted 103,000 page views in the first with 11,000 visitors.
Traffic is sourced through organic search, links on BA.com and virally within the travel blogging community. BA has also emailed executive club members with a history of flying between the two.
Elsewhere, BA.com is starting to sell upgrades to currently booked passengers. After an 18-month trial at Gatwick, the offer now applies to Heathrow departures, subject to availability.
BA is looking to maximise the revenue opportunity by emailing customers prompting them to upgrade via the “manage my booking” channel at BA.com.