X Marks the Spot

Flying. Depending on the passenger and the destination, the act of flying can be seen as a regular thing, a dreaded event or an eagerly anticipated adventure. Much depends on your purpose for flying, and the airline you are flying.

Known for their customer service and low fares, Southwest Airlines effectively uses social media tools to deliver useful content to its stakeholders, enabling its corporate culture and particular personality to shine through.

Southwest uses various social media channels, not just one, as part of that strategy. These include Nuts About Southwest blog and LinkedIn, along with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter while at the same time providing information through traditional means. Southwest understands that although many of its customers have embraced social media, they also rely on print and online media to obtain information and purchase goods and services like airplane tickets. They have found a way to target their message to stakeholders and deliver it consistently and effectively through multiple channels, effectively hitting its mark.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some companies seem to ignore social media altogether. Last year, Target got into a tussle with bloggers after the retailer refused to acknowledge blogs as a legitimate media outlet. According to a story published in The New York Times (“Target Tells Blogger to Go Away”), a Target rep refused to respond to a blogger’s complaint about one of its ads because Target does not participate in non-traditional media. The paper stated that “Target’s policy is to focus limited resources on the big media outlets, like television stations and newspapers, which reach large numbers of shoppers.” Although the retailer has a robust information section on its website, over a year later it still seems to have no other online presence and does not seem to be incorporating social media into its overall strategy.

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One Response to X Marks the Spot

  1. Southwest is a great example and I was happy to see you choose it for your positive company. I like the writing style of your post as well. You do seem to just touch the surface of what Southwest is doing without delving into many of the specifics. What do you think about their “ding” desktop fare tool that got tons of buzz for example? On your negative example, you’re right to point out this issue that Target had, but what about their huge Facebook presence and success when it comes to targeting college students? They are still held up as one of the big Facebook advertising success stories, so you need to be careful when you share broad points about them not doing anything larger online or with social media unless you can find the right proof points to back up what you’re sharing. Final point is that I loved your title but intuitively I didn’t see the connection to the content and main point you were making in the post. (2)

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