In order to stay ahead of the game in Social Media we need to guarantee that we have equal support in the three pillars that sustain Social Media: Communication, Marketing, and Customer Relations. Just Communicating online will not be enough in the next year. We need to make Social Media an integral part of each of these three groups and guarantee that the three embedded teams are working together. Social Media will change and evolve constantly, we must be nimble in responding to those changes.
First question: who makes up the Emerging Media Team? How are we divided? Answer. Southwest Airlines Emerging Media consists of 4 main members. 3 of us are responsible for 1 channel each. 1 person oversees us. That’s Brandy, my boss. The rest shakes out like this: Laurel covers Facebook, answering our Customers and measuring who’s talking and about what. Christi’s got Twitter on lockdown. She does the bulk of our monitoring. My mission is managing the Blog, which includes the Blog Team you learned about earlier, as well as comment moderation, and managing the editorial calendar.
A typical day at Southwest Airlines consists of the unpredictable. Yes, massive contradiction. Every day is different than the one before it. Especially when you’re going through the legal process of acquiring another major carrier. I do have daily and weekly goals, though. I do a daily social media newsletter, that gets sent out to a good chunk of Headquarters. I do it through Google Reader, aggregating aviation blogs and tech blogs into the top 5 articles. Any more than that and I don’t think anyone would read it. As mentioned before, I am constantly combing over blog articles and comment moderation. We travel frequently, and I can safely say every single trip I’ve made has been fun. Most trips involve supporting your teammates in their ideas, or seeing your ideas realized. We also have complete freedom to come up with new ideas.
You also wanna know how to create a communications plan, or creative. Of course, if you have an outline, but not an idea, a brainstorming session with your team is ideal. From there, account for everything. Know what you’re going to need, a timeline, available distribution channels, and everyone who going to be involved. It’s also important that you gather any materials you’re going to need to pull off communication, especially if you’re also planning for an event. Always develop a contingency plan, a backup in case something goes wrong. Don’t be afraid to delegate, either. If you have a team, use it. Lastly, benchmark. Set goals for when specific things are going to get done. If it’s a long-term plan, meet weekly, to stay on task. Don’t rely on the finish line, or your project will be a mess.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINESNUTS ABOUT COMMUNICATION Online July 2011 @brooksethomas #SWAManSays
Where We’ve Been 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 Oct. 09: Southwest Airlines streams a press conference announcing Panama City service LIVE within Facebook. July 09: The Social Media crisis response is tested when Flight 2294 makes an Emergency Landing with a hole in the fuselage. March 10: The Employee Blog is launched. February 07: A media buy is used to launch a Facebook page to host a basketball bracket game. April 06: The “Nuts About Southwest” Blog is launched, picking up where Airline left off. Feb 08: The PR team uses YouTube to respond to customers deemed by the media as “Too Pretty to Fly.” December 06: The Southwest Airlines Marketing Team uses YouTube to host a “Wanna Get Away”video submission contest Summer 07: Southwest begins a YouTube channel. And joins Twitter! Sept 09: The Emerging Media Team is converged with the PR and Employee Communication team Jan 09: The Social Media Council and The Rapid Response teams are created. Aug 08: The Emerging Media Team is developed within Communications and includes 4 full-time Social Media employees. May 08: The Nuts About Southwest Blog get a makeover, allowing users to access YouTube, Flickr, from the homepage. May 07: A Social Media integration team is created between Communications and Marketing.
Where We Are Now Social Media is thriving at Southwest Airlines! We continue to stay ahead of our competitors while still maintaining our unique sense of simplicity. Some of the sites we are actively participating in:
The Official Southwest Fan Page has more than 1.6 million Facebook fans, more than any other airline!
Twitter is a tool used to share short (140 character) updates to anyone who chooses to follow your updates. But you knew that… right? On Twitter, SouthwestAir has more than 1 million followers! However… Lady Gaga has the highest number of Twitter followers with 11.5 million!
The last time I did this presentation Lady Gaga had 10.8 million followers
Top 10 Things We Do on Twitter Monitor:We monitor keywords regarding the industry and Southwest. Respond: If necessary, we respond to questions and concerns.
Live Tweet Events/Create Buzz:From plane pulls to city openings – we provide real time updates to followers. Behind the Scenes Glimpse: Followers love to see what’s going on behind the scenes at SWA.
Connect with Reporters/Bloggers:We respond to media or put them in touch with a spokesperson.
Quickly Gain Insight:Our Twitter audience is quick to tell us if they like an idea or not. They dish out their thoughts and act as a virtual focus group. Emergency Notifications:we’ve used Twitter multiple times to share information regarding emergencies or incidents. Sharing our Story!Southwest has a long history or being FUN, friendly, and outgoing. Twitter takes that persona and brings it to the Internet. For example, singing flight attendants, LUV couples, and the best inflight/gate agent humor are all shared via Twitter.
24/7 Monitoring and Engagement Desktop Monitoring : Tweetdeck Mobile Interaction: Twitter App Measurement: Radian6 Content Management: CoTweet
How Can We Stay Ahead? To reshape our consumer-to-brand relationship, we should establish a new governance entity capable of:
Identifying and executing strategic opportunities.
Develop company-wide relationship building capability.
Scale the success without interrupting the well-earned equity and momentum.
Customers do not care about departments, silos or turf. They want answers and solutions. We must organize ourselves behind the scenes to provide these two things wherever our customers are. In turn, we will win, we will build reputation, and will create brand advocates. Responsibility:
and the online fans begin to overshadow some of the negativity surrounding Rapid Rewards.
Themes of “doing the right thing” and
“empowering Employees” stood out.
Captain Compassion 139 Broadcast clips 71 Print and Online news clips 1,780 Blog clips 2,925 Tweets 1,132 Facebook mentions To put the social media activity into perspective, the Kevin Smith situation resulted in more than 27,000 social media mentions and more than 3,400 comments to the Nuts Blog - compared RR 2.0 which has 2,400 social media mentions and 250 comments on the Nuts blog).
SWA Flight 812: Timeline of Events 6:30pm Incident occurs onboard Flight 812 6:39 @BlueStMuse sends out first tweet 6:58Dispatch ENS message is sent out 7:04 CBS 13 (Sacramento) Posts First Story 7:05 KTXL and CBS 13 (Sacramento) begin reaching out to @BlueStMuse 7:22 @BreakingNews sends first tweet: Southwest flight from Phoenix to Sacramento makes emergency landing in Ariz. after rapid cabin decompression CBS 13 http://bit.ly/gTr3rC 7:40 HECC is activated 7:45 Chatter across news outlets heightens 8:19 First Flight 812 Update Posts on Nuts 8:23 @SouthwestAir sends first tweet:Southwest Airlines responds to loss of pressurization event on flight from PHX to SMF: http://cot.ag/dHFVpJ 8:28 Airliners.net & FlyerTalk threads begin 8:44 SWALife Update #1 Posts Overnight Steady flow of chatter, mostly nuts and bolts, praise for SWA crew Picture Tweeted from @BluestMuse Views: 20,233 as of 4PM CT 4/2/11 Background: Flight 812 left from PHX bound for SMF, carrying 118 passengers. A short time into the flight, a loud explosion was heard, leaving a 3 ft. hole in the fuselage over Row 11. The plane diverted safely to a military airfield in Yuma, AZ.
Morning News Round-Up FOX: Fuselage Rupture, Hole Ripped in Plane's Roof Force Emergency Landing CNN: Southwest grounds 79 planes MSNBC: Southwest grounds 79 jets after hole mid-flight
Picked up by all major networks
Calm demeanor of @BlueStMuse greatly helped shape the discussion
Conclusions and Questions?
Emerging Media Team Consists of 8 People 3 People Responsible for 1 Channel Each 1 Person to Oversee (Brandy) How the Rest Shakes Out: Facebook (Laurel) Twitter (Christi) Nuts About Southwest Blog (Brooks) 4 Customer Relations Representatives
A Typical Day Doesn’t Exist, But… Day-to-Day Duties Include: Daily Social Media Newsletter to Comm. Dept. Daily Management/Editorial Process of Blog Team Daily Oversight of Station Fan Pages Frequent Travel Supporting Teammates Seeing Your Ideas Realized in the form of Real-life Events Freedom to Come Up With New Ideas
Crafting a Comm. Plan Be Creative Account for EVERYTHING, down to the minute Timeline Available Channels People involved Materials Needed Develop a Contingency Plan Don’t be afraid to delegate Benchmark – Don’t rely on the finish line to measure your success