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May 29, 2009

Managing Social Media and Encouraging Employee Individuality with Southwest Airlines

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This past week, HubSpot was in Dallas sponsoring and speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit . There were many impressive speakers throughout the event, including an inspiring presentation by Paula Bergs, Manager of Emerging Media at Southwest Airlines .

Southwest is a fantastic example of a company that does not limit its social media activity and community engagement, regardless of the company's large size. (You can follow Southwest on Twitter @ southwestair .)

VP of Inbound Marketing Mike Volpe sat down with Paula after her session to ask her a few questions. Below is her interview.

At Southwest, the Emerging Media team manages the company's social media presence. Each person owns a particular channel and decides how they can best vocalize Southwest's messaging to fit the channel. 

Nothing is regulated by the corporate legal sector. Instead of discouraging employees with rules and regulations, Southwest  empowers employees to represent the company well.

Southwest encourages emoployees to be creative! David Holmes, Southwest's famous rapping flight attendant became famous after rapping the safety instructions one day. A customer filmed David and put it on YouTube. Southwest thought it was fun as well as a good branding opportunity, so it promoted the video on its traditional and social media channels. 

Since the video was published, David has been on Oprah and Leno, representing Southwest. Here's the original rap:

 

What do you think ? Does your company empower its to be creative on social media channels? How?

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Topics: Social Media Video

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