3 Social Media Tips From Southwest Airlines and T-Mobile
About our guest blogger: Jessica Oaks is a freelance writer who loves to cover technology, finance, fashion, travel and more. She especially loves covering how technology can make life easier for people. Jessica is also the associate editor at FreshlyTechy, a fresh blog that puts a sassy twist on technology. Follow Jessica on Twitter @TechyJessy. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.
Used correctly, social media can be a tremendously powerful tool for brands looking to form a relationship with customers. The various social platforms not only provide brands with an opportunity and a means to communicate directly with their most vocal and loyal fans, but they can be leveraged for wider marketing purposes as well.
Social media is a two-way relationship; brands must make their social platforms interesting and engaging to followers. Otherwise, the relationship is destined to be one-way and short-lived. Here are two great examples of companies that seem to have mastered it and 3 social media tips we can learn from them.[su_spacer size="1"]
T-Mobile – Relating to Customers with Social Media
It's easier for companies like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Levis to leverage social media to their advantage; they have rabid followings and their products are desirable. How can a wireless carrier engage with customers online in the same manner as a traditional (and well loved) consumer goods brand? Well, ask T-Mobile, because that's exactly what they've done.
T-Mobile has repurposed social media to turn it into the ultimate customer relations platform. Led by CEO, John Legere, who has built a reputation for being vocal and engaged on Twitter, T-Mobile is leading the way among wireless carriers in the social sphere. Often responding to customers within an hour of them posting questions on Twitter and Facebook, T-Mobile takes social media seriously.
T-Mobile has repurposed social media to turn it into the ultimate customer relations platform.
This commitment to making social media a two-way means for communication – has become a big part of the brand's online identity. T-Mobile is also great at social contests, which further engenders customer loyalty. When the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge came out, T-Mobile ran a month-long giveaway up until the release date.
T-Mobile is engaged, funny, even bombastic at times. Who knew a wireless carrier could make social media so interesting?
Southwest – Good Listening Skills
If there's one industry that might have a harder time winning over customers than telecommunications, it's the airline industry. Suffice to say, the golden age of air travel is well behind us, and now, people tend to associate air travel more with public transportation (with added security measures) than anything remotely glamorous. This is the reputation that Southwest Airlines has to contend with on its social platforms. And it seems to be doing a pretty good job.
Taking a cue from your Grandmother, Southwest has made a point of placing a large priority on good listening skills and support with its social platforms. If people mention Southwest Airlines on Twitter or Facebook, the company does not want those mentions to go unanswered.
If people mention Southwest Airlines on social media, the company doesn't want those mentions to go unanswered.
To accomplish this, it employs a dedicated team which works 18 hours per day, seven days per week. Complaints are addressed promptly, compliments are given special attention, and questions are answered. Southwest wants its customers to know that it is listening, available, and always thinking of their best interests.
Is it working? Well, Southwest Airlines was recently listed as the 7th most admired company in the world by Fortune magazine, so clearly they are doing something right.
So, What Can Brands Take Away from This?
Here are 3 Social Media Tips From Southwest Airlines and T-Mobile
When looking at T-Mobile and Southwest Airlines, one similarity becomes immediately evident: the two companies actively engage with their users online. Whether reaching out via Facebook, Twitter, or another social platform, T-Mobile and Southwest Airlines treat social media as a two-way relationship. Bearing this in mind, companies should consider the following before embarking on a social media campaign:
- Choose the Right Platform
- Publish Engaging and Interesting Content
- Interact with Customers
Finding the proper outlet is key to starting a social media campaign.
Fashion designers, and brands in the travel industry might find that Instagram and Flickr provide the best way to interact with fans and customers. After all, those industries beg for visual representation. But what if your product is a service? What if your product isn't glamorous? Perhaps Twitter is the better bet. Finding the proper outlet is key to starting a social media campaign.
Always be mindful of the content that your company is publishing on its social platforms.
It is imperative that brands give their followers a reason to come back. Don't abuse your fans' interest in your company. There is no guarantee that this relationship will continue, unless you provide them with a reason. Always be mindful of the content that your company is publishing on its social platforms. If you were a third-party or non-biased follower, would you be interested in what your brand posts?
Engaging with customers and fans on social media platforms should be organic and genuine.
Social media platforms provide a direct means of communication with customers, which is good, but also a very public one. In the past, it was easy to bury customer complaints and ignore questions and concerns. Now, such complaints are made out in the open. Engaging with customers and fans on social media platforms should be organic and genuine. If someone poses a question or makes a complaint (legitimate or not), answer truthfully and promptly. To do otherwise could leave you with egg on your face.
These social media tips can work in almost any industry
T-Mobile and Southwest Airlines are just two of many unlikely success stories on social media. For every Starbucks or Coca-Cola, which own social media thanks to a worldwide following of devoted fans, there are many less obvious stars. If your brand is looking to start its own social media campaign, look to T-Mobile for inspiration.