The corporation whose social media presence I chose to take a closer look at is Southwest Airlines (SW). After researching more about this airline company, I came to realize that they have a very strong social media presence. One area where they are really popular is on Twitter, with over 1.65 million followers, and have sent out nearly 17,000 tweets. On this site they share giveaways, charity events they are involved in, specials, fun facts, participate in “Throwback Thursdays”, and announce the winners for any contests they are holding. SW also has their own Facebook page, and have accumulated 4.2 million likes. They have almost all the exact same information on FB that they do on Twitter. Finally, they have a blog called “Nuts about Southwest”. “The Nuts About Southwest blog is mostly the result of employee posts-writing about their life at SW, issues, people, etc. There are about 30 regular bloggers, but more appear to jump in on occasion-such as the recent 40 year anniversary campaign” (Ivey, Mark, 2011). On this blog they share some of the same information as they do on the other social media sites, expect there are more in-depth pieces by many different authors. The blog also has links to the other sites they are on.
Recently, a video went viral on YouTube that showed a SW flight attendant using her sense of humor to make passengers laugh, while she was reading the safety procedures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07LFBydGjaM The company took this opportunity to plaster the video on their FB page, Twitter feed, and website. This lead to comments by thousands of people who said they had the same “awesome experience” with their SW flight attendants, and other people who said they “now want to fly Southwest” because of the video. This was a good way/opportunity to self-advertise. SW is also good at giving back and holding contests for people to win free flights, money, etc. This looks really good for the company, and encourages people to interact with them more.
The one area where I think the company could improve in social media, is how often they respond to complaints, compliments, and suggestions. The only site I noticed that they responded to a couple people, over a month timespan, was on Facebook. Customers want to know they are valued and using social media is the quickest and most effective way to do so. “Consumers are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to be heard by the companies they do business with and to share their experiences with others” (Postman, 2009, p.11).I think responding to more than a handful of people would be very beneficial for the company.
Overall, I think SW is doing a wonderful job with their social media presence.
Ivey, Mark. Southwest Airlines and Social Media Strategy. 5 Lessons for Marketers. Social Media Explorer, 30 June. 2011. Web. 4 May. 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/southwest-airlines-strategy/
Postman, J. (2009). SocialCorp: Social media goes corporate. Berkeley, CA: New Riders Press.