Ed gave a great presentation on Storytelling through Social Media (The Modern Narrative Defined) at SchipulCon. Great points on using traditional Storytelling elements for modern day online branding and Storytelling.
Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines shared some really great stories of online outreach through Social Media and community building.
Several years back SWA A&E gave Southwest their own show – Airline – about their employees and culture . Airline (‘we all have our baggage’) was great, but nerve wracking – they had no control over the content and had to trust their employees to do the right thing. Aired on Monday nights and on Tuesdays job applications skyrocketed – AND revenue rose on 9% on Tuesdays too! After show went off air, they wanted to keep the momentum going and looked to the Blogosphere.
There are 30 employee Bloggers with only 3 rules to guide them: 1. Write what you’re passionate about 2. Write when you feel like it 3. Be passionate
The focus of the blog has shifted from culture oriented to very news-focused. In 2008 launched a new Social Media-focused blog site — great user generated Flickr feed, podcasts, photo galleries, blog posts and lots of personalization and sharing options. A great investment – visits up 25%, page view up 40% and visits last way longer.
Southwest Air believe in going where their customers are – not just on the Blog but in ALL places possible that they can connect with customers. There are dedicated team members that spend time on just a single network to understand the rhythms and nuances of these channels. There are TONS of aviation travel Blogs and forums (ie: Cranky Flier, Sky Talk, Today in the Sky, etc.).
Bloggers are credible and intelligent people – they are treated as friends, customers and traditional media all at once.
Some great case studies
Open Season on Assigned Seating
Their CEO wrote a Blog post on ‘Open Season on Assigned Seating’ and received 700 comments – most defending the policy. These comments influenced executives and sparked internal debate — it was a virtual focus group that helped greatly change the internal debate. Immediate and passionate feedback at no cost – Blogs were now
A Story with Legs
A customer was asked to alter her attire after receiving customer complaints on some things that were showing — appeared in San Diego Tribune and the customer then appeared on the Today Show. It blew up! With the Blog post, they received a flood of negative comments that were all posted (which added credibility). The conversation kept going and going and Southwest was too slow to respond and missed opportunities
Too Pretty to Fly
Two girls were acting out on a Southwest flight, customers were livid and the attendants called the police upon landing and refused them boarding for threatening behavior. The girls claimed it was because they were ‘too pretty fly’ and mainstream media covered only their version of the story.
Southwest took these steps:
- Online spokespeople were sent out to the Blogosphere – leaving comments on BLogs on the topic stating their stance and opinions. The response to these candid comments were tremendously great. Now these ‘micro interactions’ have helped to build strong supporters in the online world.
- Had a spokesperson from Southwest sit down without a script to record a response and post on YouTube – currently has 250,000 views (not groundbreaking – but great!)
There are many ‘white knuckle’ moments, especially when a company puts themselves out in the Blogosphere. But Paula finds that those moments – as terrifying as they were – have been the most rewarding by far. Beware of timing to launch Social Media tools – NEVER do it during a time of crisis. Build your community base first and get credibility beforehand.
SWA gets crazy innovative with as many mediums as possible – their YouTube channel is well trafficked, but has no real strategy. They are just trying things out, having a good time and watching what people like and don’t like. They focus the majority of their energy on the positive by engaging and building relationships with customers, but they also monitor negative conversations and engage when appropriate.
Paula says to avoid the ‘faux personal’, make it ACTUALLY personal – be friendly and fun. Tomorrow is too late – work on your problems immediately. Don’t focus on the numbers alone, a lot of Social Media projects are slow growth. Keep an eye on trends and move from there. Live and breathe Social Media – you have to be gutsy or find someone internally that can be. Social Media is not a burden, rather it’s a gift.
How time flies – one day we’re ringing in the new year, sweating out summer heat and now we are looking right into the face of Fall with a great year under our belts!
But even more exciting than that is the quick arrival of SchipulCon this week – October 15th and 16th at the Houston Zoo! We have some wonderful speakers headed in to town to share their knowledge, tips and strategies with eager Web-enthused attendees and Schipulites. Still not signed up yet? NO PROBLEM!
In addition to our brilliant speakers from both near and far, here are some of the goodies we have in store for you (drumroll please…):
Houston Zoo adventures with a photo walking tour and some surprises!
As a SchipulCon attendee, you’ll also have a free pass to the lovely Houston Zoo – so grab your camera and walking shoes to visit some of your favorite animals after our conference sessions. The Schipul team will be leading some Zoo tours on Friday afternoon as well, so you’ll have lots of time to play.
A gaggle of coolness from our great SchipulCon sponsors!
We can’t wait to see you at the Houston Zoo for one heck of a great SchipulCon! There’s still time to get in on the action, so register today! We’ll be sending out a jam-packed email full of all sorts of great details to attendees today, so be on the lookout!
In the meantime, you can find parking and directions to the Houston Zoo here, make last minute hotel reservations through this page and figure out where to eat in the nearby area here (we will be providing lunch both days!) if you need a place for a cozy dinner afterwards.
SchipulCon09 is all about telling your story online. We’ll be talking everything from this magical “Social Media” thing that everyone from Oprah and everyone else is talking about to managing online conversation with your audiences using your Tendenci, WordPress or Drupal powered websites.
Since there is so much to share, we needed someone super passionate and super smart to kick off SchipulCon09 and get that knowledge ball rolling.
Drum roll please….
Deirdre is the President of PFS Marketwyse and is the author of three Financial Times business books that focus on Public Relations 2.0. Most recently she co-authored Putting the Public Back in Public Relations with fellow PR guru, Brian Solis and she has spoken on the topic of Public Relations all over the nation.
At SchipulCon Deirdre will be dishing on the convergence of marketing and Public Relations and how they mesh with our online world. She’ll also talk about how to facilitate conversations in this crazy new “Social Media” landscape using applications like as Facebook, Twitter and blogging. It’s out with the old and in with the new and Deirdre will be our guide.
What a great way to get SchipulCon09 started!!
For more information on and writing by Deirdre, check out her PR 2.0 Strategies Blog and watch this video!
For great savings on SchipulCon09 you should definitely register now. We’ve got an early-bird special running this month. From now until July31, you’ll be able to sign up for SchipulCon09 for only $49!! Starting August 1, prices will go up to $99 so why wait?
We’ve got SchipulCon badges!! And now you can too.
Simply head over to our Conference Site, grab some code, and post one of our super neat SchipulCon Badges on your site, blog or twitter background to show your love.
That is not all though!! We want to give some of you a free pass to the conference.
Send us the URL (communications@schipul dot com) to your site showing some SchipulCon love and you could win a free pass to the conference! We’ll be giving away random free passes from now until day one of SchipulCom and it’s so easy to win one! Show some love + Win a free pass! That’s it.
We’ve been busy as bees here in the Schipul office planning something super special for you guys and it’s time to let the cat out of the bag!
So save the date!!
Over the next couple of months we will be filling you in on all of the details including a super speaker lineup and all kinds of other awesomeness you’ve come to expect from the Schipul Crew.
We’ll be covering everything from the Web Marketing Fundamentals to how to execute a successful marketing campaign using your Tendenci Software. We’ll dish on social media and we’ll get wild about WordPress. If it has to do with teaching you how to tell your organizations story, we’ll be covering it!
We’ll be mad as wet hens if we leave something out SO WE NEED YOU! What do you want to learn at SchipulCon that we haven’t thought of yet? Visit our Tendenci Forums and drop us a line or a question. We couldn’t do what we do without YOU!
Keep your eye on the Blog Ladies and Gentleman, because pre-registration will be opening soon and we’ll announce it here first!