When using social media, it is often difficult for companies to make sure that they are reaching the audience they wish to target. Companies are constantly forced with the struggle of making their interaction with consumers one that is memorable and effective.
The article titled, Southwest Airlines Offers Treats for Tweets, highlights how Southwest Airlines is rising to this challenge through their Twitter and Facebook interactions with customers. The article explains that Southwest Airlines launched a Twitter promotion in which they would give giftpacks out to customers. Theses giftpacks not only got consumers and Twitter followers talking about the company but it also raised awareness because all of the merchandise in the giftpack was branded with the Southwest Air logo.
Christie Day, a representative for Southwest Airlines said that the company was looking for a “fun and energetic way to reach customers.” Taking their interactive efforts to new heights, the company expanded their social media promotions to include Facebook. They gave prizes to consumers who answered Facebook trivia questions correctly. This not only increased the customer interaction aspect that the company was striving for, but it also taught people more about Southwest Airlines through the trivia questions that were asked.
Most companies may shy away from promotional giveaways because purchasing all of the merchandise can sometimes be expensive. Day mentions that Southwest Airlines didn’t need to purchase much for their promotion. She laughingly recalled “raiding the closets” and picking out their favorite promotional products for the gift-packs. Not only did this save money for the company, but most of the products tied in to the theme of the company. For example, the gift-packs included branded baggage tags and other items a person might need when traveling.
By using travel related items, they are further reinforcing their brand, as well as appealing to people who typically travel. Most of the people answering the trivia questions or “retweeting” something for a Twitter gift-pack, are probably aware that the promotional products are travel related and probably want to win them to use when they travel.
Overall, Christie Day said that the promotional giveaways gave Southwest Airlines a lot of publicity and raised awareness among social media consumers. She even said that since they launched the promotion, Southwest Airlines has received more followers than they could imagine, most of which had no idea that Southwest Airlines had a Twitter before the giveaway promotions. They are clearly doing something right when it comes to reaching a travel related audience and when it comes to staging meaningful interactions and promotions.
In this interview video with Christie Day herself, she talks about how Southwest Airlines started integrating the different platforms of social media into their corporate strategy. Start watching at 1:03 to hear about this integration. If you watch further on, Day gives advice to companies that aspire to use social media in a similar way that Southwest Air has.
By: Gina Mogavero