May 22, 2009

Awesome Use of Twitter

I am a HUGE fan of Southwest Airlines, as if you couldn't tell by this post. Not only is their company culture a beacon for people who love to be in a fun and exciting workplace that fosters innovation (see the rapping SWA flight attendant on YouTube), but the company also really gets social media.

They have an awesome blog called Nuts About Southwest, and I just noticed that they have created an "Emerging Media" department with the company. Awesomesauce.

They also regularly use Twitter with the name @southwestair, and recently in conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week, did a photo hunt in which they used Twitter's photo site Twitpic to solicit photos of travelers with very specific things. One day they requested a photo of someone with a SWA flight attendant in uniform. Another day, it was someone next to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.

They awarded two free airline tickets to the first person who sent a photo to Twitpic using the #SWAPhoto hashtag with the very specific thing. It was SUCH a great way to involve their followers in something fun, and provide them with rewards for doing so. I know I was always watching for the request to see if I could win. They always tweeted the winner's name to give them the recognition, and are always interacting with their followers and non-followers who post about the company in Twitter.

I guess the moral to this story is that when you can create an experience using Twitter or other social media tools where your followers are engaged, excited, and know that you're authentic, you have created something with stickiness that you may not be able to get in the offline world. Social media tools make interacting with your public so much easier, and companies like Southwest have really taken that to heart by creating engaging and exciting ways for people to connect with them.

How is your association going to follow this lead?

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