Todd Wasserman at Mashable does a great job of breaking down not only how effective Jet Blue’s social media campaign has been for them, but also why they have mastered what other companies are still struggling to figure out. As Wasserman points out, Jet Blue had a bit of an advantage since they came alive during the age of the Internet. it is easier to understand something you are born into than to try and grasp what comes along once your habits have already been formed. For those of us who were not fortunate enough to have been born into the digital age there certainly has been a bit of a learning curve. That doesn’t mean are totally out of the game, however, it just means we have to run a little faster to keep up with the changes.
JetBlue is one of the top airlines associated with the web. Partially, that’s because the brand is so new: Created just 10 years ago, JetBlue came of age when the Internet was already fairly developed. As Marty St. George, senior vice president of marketing for JetBlue explains, that means the company needs to do most of its outreach via digital media. Since the goal of most of that outreach is to get consumers to log on to jetblue.com, a lot of that buy revolves around search and banner ads.
When it comes to social media, it’s less about direct sales and more about brand building, and JetBlue has embraced it with gusto. St. George caused a stir last year when he challenged ad agencies interested in working with the brand to look him up on Twitter.
At this writing, JetBlue has 1.6 million followers on Twitter, which is more than any other airline, and about 500,000 fans on Facebook, which is the highest in the industry next to Southwest Airlines. Following its “go where your customers are” philosophy, JetBlue has recently tried its hand at location-based services and is planning to release a smartphone app this year. Mashable recently spoke with St. George about his views on social media, price-conscious customers and the airline’s handling of the very public meltdown of flight attendant Steven Slater last summer. Below are some excerpts of that conversation.
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