Lesson in Reputation Management from Southwest Airlines | Haley Marketing Group

I’m writing this from 24,000ft and 104 miles from Buffalo, NY.

I’ve said it before in my article, 5 Business Lessons I Learned During My First Visit to Disney World, content ideas come to me at very random times and I’ve learned that if I don’t write those thoughts down as I have them, they disappear into a group of the ones that got away.

I’m coming back from Dallas, Texas and a 10-hour layover in Baltimore.

See the problem with traveling back to Buffalo in February is that snow can come at any time..and, this time, our connecting flight got canceled as we were traveling from Dallas to Baltimore. Not the best news to get as you land.

*Writer’s Note: This article was initially stopped at this point. The pilot came over the radio saying we had to buckle up early and put everything away due to the snowstorm we were about to land in.

Anyway, after landing in Baltimore and finding out that our connecting flight was canceled, we ventured to the Southwest desk and managed to get on the 10:20 pm flight to Buffalo.

Being an avid social media user, my first instinct was to hop on Twitter and see what I could do about getting some free drink vouchers. After all, 8 hours in an airport is a long time!

A Lesson in Reputation Management from Southwest Airlines

Below is the Twitter exchange that I had with Southwest Airlines.

No harm in trying right? I had an honest question and their social media team handled it perfectly.

What Does This Mean for Staffing Firms?

When people are upset they are going to get on social media and lash out.

While I certainly wasn’t overly aggressive or angry with Southwest (it was technically my fault for trying to fly in February and they have zero control over the weather) I took to Twitter to try to get something positive out of an otherwise lousy situation.

Disgruntled job seekers, people that weren’t selected for an open opportunity and people that are otherwise frustrated with their extended job search are going to use any public means of communication with friends, family, and connections to amplify their outrage.

Be like Southwest Airlines in the example above. Remain professional, address the situation and move forward.

If the individual remains disgruntled or their mood worsens, reply and ask that they take the message offline, contacting you directly via phone or email so that the problem can be resolved.

The worst possible outcome is that your company and an upset candidate get into a heated argument on Twitter for the world to see.

As I said, remain professional and diffuse the situation.

A Second Lesson in Reputation Management From Southwest Airlines

When I initially started writing this article I intended on writing solely on the way the Southwest social team handled my negative social post.

However, as our plane touched down during wind and snow conditions, another great lesson was presented to me.

The Takeaway for Staffing Firms

Monitoring your social mentions is essential for future success. People are continuing to talk about you and your company in both negative and positive ways.

You need to be listening…and responding.

Don’t take the easy way out and simply like a positive comment about your company. Reply. Show your audience that you’re listening and most off all appreciate their kind words!

Looking for a Solution to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation?

Haley Marketing Group has two.

With Social Pro by Haley Marketing, one of our skilled Social Media Marketing Advisors will take responsibility for developing your organization’s voice on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. This includes the monitoring of what is being said about your company across social media.

Our Reputation Management platform will determine who is most happy with your services, and we’ll get them to share testimonials and leave online reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Glassdoor, Facebook and more.

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