Southwest Airlines’ success secrets on social media revealed by Paula Berg

When it comes to social media branding, Southwest Airlines has been the trendsetter for quite some time, and is looked upon by competition and even other industries. From their very successful blog, “Nuts about Southwest” to its over 700,000 followers on Twitter – they’ve got their act together. And behind these efforts is a very hardworking team led by Paula Berg. I had the pleasure of meeting Paula at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, where she delivered a keynote on Southwest’s social media branding strategy and I led a session for airlines/airports in social media.

What makes Southwest Airlines so successful on social media?

In this interview by, Paula, who’s the Manager of Emerging Media at Southwest Airlines, reveals what makes Southwest Airlines successful on social media. From her journey as a one-lady show, to the sizeable social media team she now manages, Paula shares how challenges were overcome, disasters averted and successes rewarded. It’s the Southwest culture in full show. She shares her thoughts on the importance of “white-knuckle moments” as well as how to overcome them.

Watch the interview with Paula (6:03 mins) to hear her explain:

  • Why social media is a perfect fit for Southwest Airlines (1:22)
  • How they dealt with the setbacks well (2:25)
  • What’s next for Southwest Airlines on social media (3:09)
  • How a passionate base of employees will be served (3:55)
  • Dealing with negative tweets and blog comments (4:09)
  • The next exciting thing Southwest is doing (5:00)
  • How to tame the social media beast (5:30)

So, what do you think about Southwest Airlines’ efforts on social media? Isn’t it refreshing to learn about such a visionary team in gloomy times? How can others replicate Paula’s success? Let’s discuss in the comments or over on Twitter (@simpliflying)

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Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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