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When you see something successful on social media, you might be able to adapt it for your own use. Unless, of course, it’s a tweet or post that backfires spectacularly—see Denny’s Aug. 31 tweet about people who don’t tip, and the backlash that ensued.

Here’s an example to imitate (which is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery). Harv’s Air Flight Training in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, found a way to put its clients’ stories on Facebook, in their own words, in a highly engaging manner.

The family-owned flight school has a photo album on its page called “Why I Fly.” It’s a “continuously growing tribute to Harv’s Air’s unique pilots and their inspiring stories,” the photo album reads. “They share a passion for flying which connects these stories in a fascinating way.”

The photos are nothing out of the ordinary—people standing by airplanes with headsets and big smiles. It’s the accompanying captions that bring them to life.

“As a student, flight training pushed me to venture outside my comfort zone.”

“Why do I fly? Yeah, that’s a good question honestly. The short answer is because there is nothing else in the world like it. Having the ability to get into an actual airplane, to be able to share that experience with others and to be able to do something that sounds as crazy on paper as flying does, simply can’t be compared to anything else.”

“It wasn’t until 2008 when a neighbor friend of ours … encouraged me to get my license. He stated it was never too late to follow your dreams. … Although being a ‘mature’ student, [Harv’s Air] made me feel welcome and assigned me to one of their top instructors.”

“Growing up, I got used to people around me doubting me and discouraging me, telling me no, or you shouldn’t do that, it’s dangerous. But when I got to Harv’s Air it was the most encouraging and positive environment I’ve ever been in.”

These testimonials are better than four-star Yelp reviews. The pilots talk about how great flying is, how it has improved their lives, and they rave about Harv’s Air. The photo album had lots of women pilots, which demonstrates to prospective customers that this is not a boys’ club. Best of all, each photo is tagged with the pilot’s name on Facebook. That means the pilot’s friends (who may or may not be pilots) can comment and see their friend doing something cool, and it may spark a conversation about learning to fly or drive additional traffic to your page or website.

If you’ve been wondering what to put on your flight school’s Facebook page besides milestones and changes in operating hours, take a leaf from Harv’s Air. https://www.facebook.com/harvsair

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.

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