Southwest Airlines Knows Me. I’m Kind of a Big Deal
Josh Chambers, Former Viget
It feels like Southwest has popped up as a case study of some sort or another in every blog and book I've read in the last year. The most popular example has to be how it engages in social media. Why is it such a solid case study? Is it because of Southwest's cheap fares? Partially ... but that's definitely not all.
Most of you know that the people behind Southwest Airlines have a blog, "Nuts About Southwest," and some of you may also know they're avid Twitter users. They'll Tweet about new airfare deals, recent blog entries, and special promotions. But, if all they tweet about is themselves, doesn't that go against social media 101? Good news! That's actually not all they tweet about. They actually do care about their customers (take some notes, NWA), and I can prove it.
I was recently the recipient of their awesomeness. They tweeted about a special deal, and their link was broken. So, being the faithful citizen that I am, I tweeted back that their link was broken. Within a short period of time, they tweeted back to me that the link was fixed! I think I blushed.
Imagine, the big bad corporate industry actually talking to me like a normal human being (I realize some might argue that tweeting doesn't constitute "talking," but I assure you, it does). It's small, but those are the little things that build up credibility, which -- in turn -- builds brand loyalty. I mean it.
I know it sounds weird, but I now love Southwest a little bit more. It's not just the massive campaigns that make the difference; it's the incremental positive experiences and the interactions on my "level" that all add up to create brand loyalty.
So, I guess I've officially joined the Southwest bandwagon ... I'm expecting a call to be an honorary board member. It's going to happen.