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 the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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