Last week I had the pleasure of hearing Paula Berg, Manager of Emerging Media for Southwest Airlines, speak at a Nashville Chamber Small Business Breakfast as part of the Informed and Inspired series. Paula was terrific. She was engaging, honest, and approachable. But most importantly she was informed. I loved learning what she had to say about Southwest’s “wild ride” in the blogosphere.
Here are just a few things that she shared that surprised me:
- Southwest Airlines began their blog, Nuts About Southwest, as a means of filling the gap that was left by the end of the short-lived reality show, “Airline.” The show appealed to abroad audience by allowing viewers an inside the heart of the airline. They surprisingly found that the show lead to increased brand engagement, job applicants, and even revenue. And with its cancellation, they needed to find another way to authentically engage their customers. Enter blog.
- Nuts About Southwest is written by a broad mix of employees who have only 3 simples rules to stick to: 1. Write about things they are passionate about. 2. Write when they feel like it. 3. Make it personal.
- Nuts About Southwest is the anchor of all Southwest’s social media efforts. It is a hub for their other social media channels, You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Linked In.
- Southwest’s Emerging Media Team consists of 7 employees, each of which acts as a “Channel Owner” focusing primarily on what is happening within that Social Media channel.
- Southwest has a rapping flight attendant. Seriously, have you seen this?
And here are Paula’s ten takeaways for social media success:
- Don’t be afraid.
- Make it personal.
- Engage the positive.
- Establish channels BEFORE a crisis.
- Act fast.
- Don’t rely on numbers alone.
- Find an executive to represent you as a social media advocate.
- Educate employees and leaders alike.
- Live and breathe social media.
- Remember to have fun with it.
Paula Berg’s presentation reminded me of why I love Southwest Airlines. They are not afraid to break the mold, try new things, and reinvent their business. This is why I am “Nuts About Southwest.”
Are you nuts about Southwest Airlines? Why?