Thanks for the response (I think)

Social media seems like an overnight phenomenon, but it has actually been a long time coming.  For many businesses and organizations, social media has become one of the best tools in terms of communicating and building relationships with their publics.  Of course, it’s great to know that a brand is trying to reach out to you.  The conversation is happening on places like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instragram and more, but which brands are handling the conversation properly? Numerous brands pride themselves on their ability to respond to their customers quickly and efficiently.

The airline industry has quickly adapted their practices to the ways of the social media world.  Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) is an incredible example of how social media can do wonders for your business.  Something that many may not know is that Southwest has had a presence on Twitter since the social network was launched in 2006; before they had even established a formal policy for their company.  The formal policy was established this past year.

Southwest does a great job with responding to customers and making them feel like they are more than just a number.  They are of course not the only ones with so much excitement to interact with customers.  Delta Airlines (@DeltaAssist) is another airline that uses social media, namely Twitter, to communicate with it’s publics.

Personally, I have tweeted to both Southwest and Delta and gotten responses from both in a very timely manner.  Within a matter of minutes I received responses asking me to follow them and continue the conversation via direct message.  A question that comes to mind is

“How beneficial are the responses you get from these organizations?”

My interaction with Southwest was simple, my flight was delayed and they were able to switch a few things around for me and send me on my way on a better-timed flight.  Delta was not so helpful.  I traveled with my laptop in my bag, that I anticipated carrying on with me, which was later forced to go below the plane due to the size of the plane.

Without thinking about my laptop, I left it in my bag only to realize when I arrived at my destination that it was gone.  My bag had been unzipped and my computer had been stolen.  You can imagine the disappointment that goes along with losing three years worth of information, pictures and music.

So I did what I thought was best and used my social media know-how to get in contact with a Delta representative.  After the hullabaloo of speaking with countless people from the company I saw a glimmer of hope in the social media workers.  Only to have that glimmer quickly extinguished when the best response I could get was: “We are sorry for your lost item.”

After reading the previously linked article about the success of Southwest on social media, I think that Mike Brown, the author, is 100% on target with his closing remarks:

Lesson for everybody else: Fix your brand first, and then worry about fixing any inadequacies in your social media strategy.

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