Timeliness: JetBlue for #2

According to technology writer Elizabeth Harper, quick response is also a key to a successful social media campaign. In her article “Which Airline is the Quickest to Respond to Customers on Twitter,” she says that frustrated customers are more likely than ever to turn to Twitter and Facebook with their problems, especially when stuck at an airport with only a smartphone. The more time it takes to respond to customers, the more they complain for all to see and the less relevant the eventual help becomes.

Harper pulls data from a study by Skift that rated airline response times to customers. JetBlue came in second with an average of 15 minutes to respond to customers (following American Airlines, who got back to customers in 12 minutes).

This again ties into my original blog post. For one, it shows that JetBlue exercises persistency, one of Costa’s marketing principles. Secondly it enforces Njamfa’s idea that if a company establishes an online presence, they need to be prepared to commit to nourishing their customer relationships.

Advertisements

Hint Hint: Create Incentives

One thing I’ve always admired about Kilroy’s Twitter campaign is their weekly trivia and t-shirt hints. Wednesday at Kilroy’s is trivia night and Thursday is free t-shirt night. Trivia and especially t-shirt night are well known and enjoyed traditions amongst of-age IU students. The hints have been an effective way for Kilroy’s utilize Costa’s relevancy and consistency in their social media. Relevancy because the hints are something their followers want. It’s insider information. It’s a reward for being a loyal fan and follower. The hints exercise consistency because Kilroy’s posts them on a weekly basis. Their followers know they can count on the information being there every week and they’ll often actively seek out Kilroy’s feed to obtain it. Not only do their followers seek out the info, they interact with Kilroy’s, especially on the t-shirt Thursdays. There’s always a long list of replies to the t-shirt hints taking guesses about what the shirt will be or expressing excitement. The t-shirt hints also often get a lot of favorites and retweets compared to others.

To me this shows that a good social media strategy is to offer followers something they can’t get elsewhere. Why else would they want to follow? Kilroy’s often encourages followers to head over for their $2 Tuesdays or .50 cent breadsticks on Mondays, but that’s information that doesn’t change and can be found on their website. You wouldn’t need to follow them for that. Social media campaigns should offer something different and desired. The Wednesday and Thursday hints act as an incentive. Following Kilroy’s on Twitter is like being in on the secret.

Jersey Valentine Cubs

 

Authenticity, Relevancy, Persistency, Consistency

Before I delved into Kilroy’s and Jet Blue’s social media strategies, I thought it would be a good idea to see what experts were saying about what companies should do. That way I could see if Kilroys and Jet Blue were following those guidelines and whether or not they seemed to be working.

 

In his Huffington Post article, MAACO president and marketing specialist Jose Costa says social media allows companies to do something that no other marketing method in the past has: to build relationships directly with customers. “But it has to be real,” Costa says. “It has to be done right, with a genuineness of purpose if it is truly to be a two-way communication and not merely another brand monologue.”

 

Costa recommends that businesses follow four principles when it comes to their social media communications: be authentic, remain relevant, be persistent, and be consistent. Here are a few summarized definitions of his principles:

 

Authenticity: To be original and genuine in the personality behind the “handle.”

Relevancy: Be aware of current trends, culture and happenings, and stay in touch with what your specific consumers want and need.

Persistency: Be sure to have an appropriate frequency of outbound messages

Consistency: Have a continuous perspective and tone that align with the company’s values.

 

On the flip side, the Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study showed that joining the social media world can backfire if company’s don’t pay attention to the consumers once they’re out there. This Real Business article quotes Eptica CEO Olivier Njamfa on the issue: “In particular, when it comes to Twitter companies are playing a dangerous game by establishing a presence and then failing to engage with customers. This could well backfire, leading to negative feedback spreading through the social network and damaging their overall brand.”

 

All in all, it seems that Twitter can be a beneficial and effective method for businesses to connect with their consumers, but it has a cost. If you want to reap the benefits of communication and exposure you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.