Saturday, May 17, 2008

Southwest Airlines is following me


Image courtesy of duesentrieb

Southwest Airlines is now following me on twitter.

I'll explain...

While I don't really use twitter much, I set up an account out of curiosity and picked a few random people or brands to follow. Southwest was one of them.

Several colleagues have asked me recently about twitter - what's it all about? The idea of following the musings of a celebrity, an industry expert or journalist makes sense to me.

But a brand following me? Now this is interesting.

So what is going on here? Southwest have 1,212 followers (like me) on twitter. While I've never actually flown with them, I suspect most of these people are Southwest customers. The interesting bit is they follow anybody that follows them. Yes, they follow the daily thoughts, ramblings and rants of these individuals - most of which have nothing to do with Southwest.

This sounds like a lot of effort, so why do it? Well, firstly it is a commitment to their customers. They are essentially saying "You are interested enough to follow us, then we are interested in you". But this is also an excellent way to get under the skin of their customers and of course have a dialogue with them.

Does it work? I'd say so. I read a post (tweet) today from one of their followers which simply said "I hate Southwest". They responded within a day on their page with the following "I'm sorry to hear that! What did we do, and how can we make it better?"

This is a extremely customer-centric brand that is using technology to get closer to customers and helping them serve them better.

Can you imagine an Irish bank, retailer or airline doing something like this?

I can.

104 comments:

RedCardinal said...

So when will O2 Ireland set up their twitter feed?

Now why do I think that might take a while, and that if it did appear it might not contain a whole lot of evangelist commentary...

Am I a sceptic, or just a realist?

Paul. said...

Hi Richard, I'm staying away from blogging about my work,since this is just a personal blog. Hope you understand

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Yep - understand completely. More a rhetorical question than anything else.

So you seem to be really taking to the blogging. One word of advice since you have some great content - get your own domain and set up your own site. If you need some help with that I'm happy to give you a hand.

Paul. said...

cheers Richard. Why you suggest move?Do you mean move from blogger itself? I'm fond of blogger. Nice and easy. Is there a risk of losing info?

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'd say at least get your own domain - you can build up a lot of authority in that and do what you wish with it. Blogspot has some good pros, but longer term it would be better for you to build some equity in your own domain.

Wordpress is my personal favourite, but there are other options. You can migrate everything over very easily, and you can even redirect the old blogger domain to your own new domain. No risk of loss.

If you're bothered let me know and I'll help you move. Very good move to build up brand 'pauldervan'. Head over to godaddy and secure a few domains asap ;)

Paul. said...

cheers Richard. I've actually switched to pauldervan.com which redirects to this. Piaras suggested it a while back to me. Are you in Dublin these days?

daksh said...

Glad to discover your blog :)

Encouraging that you're now being followed by southwestairlines.

Paul, primarily I am trying to understand your blog's focus. Is it more centred towards the advertisements by various brands?

Paul. said...

hello, thanks for the comment. The focus is broadly marketing. I love advertising so tend to post or show ads that I like. But also interested in what brands do, say and act.

Debby Phillips said...

Twitter is becoming an excellent way to provide customer service. A company can now search Twitter to see if someone has made a post about them. If the company isn't "following" someone that posts about them they won't see it unless they do a search. http://search.twitter.com

Paul. said...

thanks Debbie.

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Southwest Air lines are always running with a rule that following the followers of them.What you experienced in the social communication media 'twitter' was an example of that.i also experienced like you too.

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