By Murray Newlands on August 10th, 2012 | 28694Comment on this postHow+Southwest+Airlines+bounced+back+from+a+social+media+snag2012-08-10+12%3A06%3A47Murray+Newlandshttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D28694
Frequent flyers, you missed out if you did not catch the 50% off fall-flights deal that Southwest Airlines offered via Twitter, Facebook or Mashable if you booked Aug. 3. To celebrate an important milestone on Facebook, reaching the remarkable number of 3 million fans on Facebook, the airlines company organized a promotional deal for fans as a thank-you if they booked that Friday.
Fans were given the promotional code “LUV2LIKE” to use for certain “Wanna Get Away” round-trip flights Sept. 5, 11, 18 and 25; Oct. 2 and 3; and Nov. 6. The deal would work only if fans booked before midnight Aug. 3 at Southwest.com.
There are several lessons to learn from Southwest and apply to your company. First, this is a great way to promote your brand, create engagement and generate sales from a social media success. Southwest celebrated an important milestone for the company, but it also made sure to thank fans and generate sales at the same time. Second, with the overwhelming response of fans and new customers trying to use the promotional code, Southwest suffered website-performance issues and had some customers mistakenly get charged multiple times for their bookings. Rather than seeing this as a failure, Southwest held its composure and used its problems as a way to show fans it could be transparent and maintain an open conversation with customers throughout the process. The company even acquired almost 150,000 fans after the promotion.
So what can you take away from Southwest Airlines to help your business? Always celebrate social media successes, get your customers involved and create a promotion that drives sales as well as buzz to deliver return on investment from your successes.
In this week’s episode of “Future of Engagement,” Murray Newlands further discusses Southwest’s successful marketing campaign and what you can learn from its example for your brand.
Social media monitoring tool Alerti was used to make this graph, which shows the peak in conversation about Southwest with its promotional code.
If you are interested in social media monitoring, check out my white paper.
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