Saturday, May 17, 2008
Southwest Airlines is following me
Image courtesy of duesentrieb
Southwest Airlines is now following me on twitter.
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?