JetBlue Airways Makes Social Media Friends, Then Sales
JetBlue Airways' Marty St. George doesn't like the "media" part of social media. Instead, he emphasizes the "social" aspect, which is about building relationships with customers and prospects that then lead to sales opportunities.
As the airline's senior vice president, marketing and commercial strategy, St. George has learned a thing or two about successful social media programs. He shared these insights, as well as details on the inner workings of JetBlue's social media efforts with attendees at last week's TWTRCON NY conference:
- Customers turn to social media for explanations, transactions and interactions.
- Flickr and YouTube have proven to be great sites for sharing fun and informational glimpses of behind-the-scenes activities at the airline.
- The goals for JetBlue's social media are to monitor, engage, inform and humanize the airline to build connections with the customer base.
- JetBlue uses direct tweets to respond to followers and public tweets for updates.
- The airline's most popular tweets involve operations details; to serve up promotions to only the audience segment that wants this information, JetBlue created a separate account (JetBlueCheeps).
- To take Twitter interaction to another level, JetBlue hosted a tweetup/scavenger hunt promotion for its 10-year anniversary. A street team tweeted messages about free airline tickets to those people who brought a birthday card for JetBlue to a mystery location. Response was tremendous—and the airline's street team videotaped winners, who then helped spread the word about their winnings.
- Social media support is not a full-time job for anyone at JetBlue; seven employees do it as part of their overall jobs.
- The company started with a Twitter account, and then created a Facebook brand page once it had experience with how to interact in the social media space. Because JetBlue established its Twitter account as such a strong customer service channel, its Facebook presence didn't need to emphasize this business aspect. Thus, the company is able to be more promotional and brand-oriented on Facebook.