having it all together.

There are always those few vendors at a Farmer’s Market that seem to have it all together – MORE than all together. The products are great, the people are helpful, and their business seems to be booming. They are an essential presence at the market, and it wouldn’t feel right without them there.

My classmates and I have similarly been discussing examples of brands in the “marketplace” that epitomize the successful integration of digital media. Amazon, Target, Joel Osteen Ministries, Samsung, Disney…all of these brands (and numerous others) have exemplified the trending belief that new and emerging media should be incorporated into marketing campaigns. These organizations hold a powerful presence online, through social sites, blogs, video/photo marketing channels, email marketing campaigns, and variations of each.

Let’s take a look at Southwest Airlines. This brand has received awards for such impeccable and substantial digital integration. With particular regard to Facebook and Twitter, Southwest holds its own, with over 1.5 million Twitter followers, and almost 4 million followers on Facebook. The brand operates a blog called Nuts About Southwest, and is thoroughly integrated across all channels. The following infographic compares Southwest to several domestic and international carriers, and claims that Southwest prevails when it comes to engagement:

Social-Airline-New

Ramon Van Meer, the marketing director at Let’s Fly Cheaper, an online travel agency, stated the “Use of social media marketing demonstrates innovation born out of the simple need to do more with less. The social atmosphere is today’s cutting-edge low-cost/no-cost marketing environment…It’s no surprise to find Southwest at the forefront of social media marketing. Southwest was founded on ingenuity and has always been a leader in passenger and public engagement. Social media fits the Southwest culture perfectly, where older airlines seem to be playing catch-up in this powerful modern marketing arena.”

The Twitter site is one “that is customer-service driven and reactive to people posting their comments regarding Southwest Experiences” and the blog is all about ” improving connections between the Southwest Airlines Team and its clients.” All in all, Southwest strives to enhance its goal of superb customer satisfaction through its integration of various digital media. Needless to say, this brand is one of those marketplace “vendors” that just has it all together.

Pohlman, B. (15 April, 2012). Southwest Airlines Blog and Social Media Use. Retrieved from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/southwest-airlines-blog-and-social-media-use-0160248#M3wpcYohyG8QKZDd.99

Rice, C. (27 May, 2012). When it comes to Facebook and Twitter engagement, which airline is first class? Retrieved from: http://www.examiner.com/article/when-it-comes-to-facebook-and-twitter-engagement-which-airline-is-first-class

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4 thoughts on “having it all together.

  1. Lindsay,

    These are some fascinating info graphics! What surprised me was under the “Talking About This” section where it said that Emirates has 39,290 people talking about it!

    A few years ago, I flew Emirates from Los Angeles to Nairobi, and I noticed that Emirates has mastered the art of experience. Upon boarding, Emirates passes out warm, moist, lemon-scented handkerchiefs and special activity kits or cribs for parents traveling with young ones. Their food is delicious and custom dietary orders are available over the phone the week before the flight. And, the airplane is programmed to simulate the time of day that it is in your travel destination. So, at night time, the ceiling of the airplane is a dark blue color with white illuminated lights to look like stars. Then, during the day, a warm orange hue displays on the ceiling. In addition to mastering the flying experience, Emirates has mastered its staffing systems. Intentionally and unabashedly selecting young, attractive, worldly flight attendants, Emirates’ airplanes are full of staff members willing to have a little fun. (The ones on my flight set up a hang-out in the back of the plane, and they took my picture wearing one of the flight attendant hats.)

    Because of this intentionality with human resources and experiences, I am not surprised that Emirates is second only to Southwest in the amount of online conversation generated – everything they does stands out!

    What airline(s) have you flown that you would find worth talking about on your social media channels?

    • Amy,

      I have never flown Emirates, but if I got the chance, I certainly would! These are the experiences that I feel are the most valuable. The steps brands take to connect with their consumers, and go beyond a typical relationship to include excitement and build buzz over their products or services are what differentiate the good from the great. This is a brand that I would consider flying with, simply because they go to such lengths to authentically provide an experience, not just a service. It’s more than that, which is exactly how I view Southwest.

      I honestly have never flown an airline that I think does as great a job as what Southwest and Emirates seem to do. I have flown United Airlines and Delta, both of which were typical flights. Nothing extravagant or impressive. I felt more comfortable on my Delta flight, but still, I didn’t feel there was any effort on the part of the brand or staff to make my experience special.

  2. I loved the infographic it really shows which Airlines are most popular and which ones are engaging online with there customers and which ones aren’t. Great blog post, I enjoyed reading it.

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