The Business Journals Social Madness contest has been interesting to watch. In the Dallas – Fort Worth Area, the small business category is being dominated by Texas Motor Speedway, medium companies it’s Chacon Autos, and in the large company category Southwest Airlines is flying away with it. (By the way, you can still cast your vote, including for yours truly in the small business category!)
Reviewing the companies has also proved interesting. Let’s look at Southwest Airlines. First, the entire company adopted a culture and voice early on (even before it became “vogue” for online marketing). They make a point to support flight attendants in making each flight a little more fun. I’ve personally witnessed signing, joke telling, rapping and of course, amazing customer service.
Second, Southwest Airlines does a really nice job with their social media presence. They make sure you know how they intend to use social media by plainly stating so on each platform. They give you a way to contact customer support, and finally they communicate in a manner appropriate with each social media channel.
Let’s take a look…
With Father’s Day coming up, SW Air made a point of putting a timely and amusing post. They utilize Facebook for interesting stories and customer focused information. However, they do not take complaints here. Rather, they provide you with information on how to reach the appropriate group for customer issues.
On Twitter, Southwest let’s you know who is handling the Tweets, and gives you her handle. Additionally, they provide an official concerns URL for you to file complaints. On Twitter, they provide promotions, new company information, updates and interact with individual followers on their questions.
What Can We Learn?
What we can all learn from Southwest Airlines, or Texas Motor Speedway, is they focus on what their target audience wants from them, and they are committed to providing that information based on the parameters of each channel. Additionally, they are consistent in this information, ensuring that the readers not only get good information, but also are able to interact easily with the company.
The most important lesson here is they use social media as a component of an overall strategy, not as an add on or the only strategy. Southwest Airlines has always made a point to have a unique voice. Whether it’s a commercial on television or a social media post or their website, they have the same unique tone. People count on them for that and know they will receive good customer service.
Bottom line – have a social media strategy, be consistent, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through!