The Role of Social in B2B and B2C

The Role of Social in B2B and B2C

In this special episode of the Social Pros Podcast, Jay and Adam speak with a wide range of guests to discuss the importance of social in B2B and B2C and where it might be heading in the coming year.

In This Episode:

Jay Baer

Convince & Convert

Adam Brown


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Full Episode Details

Social in B2B and B2C

Whether your business functions primarily as a B2B or a B2C company, it’s undeniable that social media plays an integral role in how you interact with your customers. Advertising, customer support, content marketing, and even recruiting have all become part of the modern business’ social media presence.

Now for over 300 episodes, the Social Pros Podcast has taken a deep dive into the world of social media marketing, investigating the successes, failures, and strategies of some of the world’s most successful companies. In this first of two special episodes, hear from multiple guests return and talk about how social has worked for them and where they plan to take it in the coming year.

In This Episode

  • Mark Josephson — CEO at Bitly
  • Kriti Kapoor — Head of Social Customer Care at Microsoft
  • Tim Washer — Keynote Speaker/Event Emcee/PowerPoint Comedian at Ridiculous Media
  • Kelley O’Brien — Director of Interactive, Digital, Social at Krispy Kreme
  • Laurie Meacham — Manager Customer Commitment at JetBlue Airways
  • Brooks Thomas — Social Business Advisor at Southwest Airlines

Quotes From This Episode

“I love so much about social media. It’s the ability to make very real connections, that are very granular and personalized.” — @markjosephson

“It’s not just about Twitter and Facebook, the real benefit that we get from social is where customers help each other.” — @Kriti_Kapoor

“Humor goes so much further than anything else you can do in socializing, certainly in a short 30 second, 60 second spot. You humanize the brand.” — @timwasher

“Our strategy is to be evergreen, to be always on. It’s a precision of paid, owned, and earned.” — @kelleyob

“Our employees are our celebrities, they’re our influencers.” — @brooksethomas


See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey everybody it's Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert. Welcome to the Social Pro's episode 300 reunion week, celebrating the 300th anniversary, 300th episode, of the Social Pro's Podcast. Going to the 8th year of this show, we have had an unbelievable time doing this show for all these years and we wanted to celebrate with you, fans and everybody in the digital community, the social media community, by bringing back a whole group of ... a cast of characters, it's a reunion tour Adam isn't it?
Adam:It is a cornucopia, a bonanza of guests from the past 300. Jay, it is great to see you in live, and in person with, your snazzy haberdasher jacket, it's great to see you.
Jay Baer:Oh, thank you so much. So many amazing, amazing guests from the past have come back to spread their time and their expertise here on the Social Pro's Reunion Tour. So we're gonna jump right in to it, our first guest here on the big reunion show was on Social Pro's episode 293, so not that long ago. On your screen now ladies and gentlemen it is Mark Josephson. Mark is the CEO of Bitly, the pioneering, massively important URL shortening and results tracking system. Mark, welcome back.
Mark Josephson:Thank you so much, second time, long time. Congratulations on getting to 300 guys, very exciting stuff.
Jay Baer:Oh, thank you that's very kind of you to say. And thank you for all the work that you do for the social community I mean there is ... It would be hard to imagine in a lot of ways, a social media ecosystem without Bitly. I mean it is so fundamental it's like a nerve system for the work that we all do. So thank you for making that, you know your mission. What would you say, Mark is kind of your favorite thing about social media today.
Mark Josephson:I love so much about social media. Everything from what it does for you personally to what it can do for you from a business perspective. But I'll just answer from the heart. It's the ability to connect with the things that matter most to me and make the very real connections in a very granular and personalized level. I have spent my career in media and life devouring just about anything with words on it and social has made it so much more personal and valuable to me on a minute by minute, day by day basis.
Jay Baer:If you had to pick one, if you had to have one thing on your phone Mark, what would it be?
Mark Josephson:I thought about this question and it depends on what I want to do and what time of day it is, right? At work, I'm Linkedin all day long and using that more and more. When I want to know what's happening up to date, it's Twitter, real time and live. And when I want to like talk about the Patriot's win and how they're gonna crush the Eagle's in the Superbowl, on Reddit, in the Patriot's sub-Reddit. So it's so personal, and not one does it all for me, right? And if I want to remember my mom who would've been 74 today, I'm on Facebook. There's no one social network that solves my problem or my needs, it's all different ones. Interestingly enough, Snapchat now letting you post to different platforms, might be headed in that direction.
Jay Baer:It's a really interesting point you mentioned about Snapchat. Do you think, I don't want to get to deep into the well here because we have so many guests to pull on but how do you ... what do you think about that?
Mark Josephson:Okay, so being the first stop for your customers is hugely valuable and one of the things that's so unique about Snapchat is their demographic and their audience does skew differently than the other networks. So being able to provide as that audience grows and changes, being able to grow and change with them, is really important. So, I think it's a really interesting development, you got to capture them and you got to keep them. I'm pro, thumbs up.
Jay Baer:There you go, good advice from the CEO of Bitly, Mark Josephson. Mark thanks for being here, thanks for being on Social Pro's, thanks for being on the reunion tour. Our next guest here on the Social Pro's 300 Reunion Tour, is our pal Kriti Kapoor. Kriti how are you?
Kriti Kapoor:I'm very well Jay, and Adam, hi.
Adam:It is great to see you. I'm curious, as you look towards this next year, so were on episode 301 and beyond, where is social customer care going? I know some of the things we talked to you on the show, earlier last year, were around how to measure the success there, how you're going from just being a customer care to marketing and customer care, kinda coming together. As you since ... and leading it at Microsoft, kind of what are your key objectives for 2018?
Kriti Kapoor:Yeah, great question. So, at Microsoft, you know, first of all I just want to lay out our mission and vision as a company. You know, our mission is really to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And what does that mean, right? So if you think about Microsoft as a company, we serve a large, diverse and growing in customer and partner base worldwide, right? So, from students to schools, from freelancers to financial institutions, from developers to development teams, and more, right?
So, just to give you some context around framing of the opportunity and with that, that the complexity that, that brings to our world, we have more than 600 million customers that are using Windows 10 today, over a billion customers that are using Microsoft Office, there's like 300 million active users of Skype. We've got XBOX and the gamers and as you're a cloud computing business, which continues to grow.
So when you ask me in terms of my priorities and what I need to do, it really is first of all, you know, what I've been looking at is, what does a true customer obsessed, customer centric, mindset and experience really look like? Across not just social media, but our online communities as well, because they play such a critical part of our total social customer care ecosystem. It's not just about Twitter and Facebook and the messaging apps, because the real benefit that we get is really from the one to many aspect of social, and the online communities, where customers help each other as well as advocates of our product, participate in dialogues and conversations and help customers out. And how can I grow in scale and amplify the impact of those experts and those advocates and contributing to the Microsoft. So the support ecosystem and putting in the building blocks in place to really empower our teams, right?
So there's, in the past year sort of, I've laid out three key priorities for us. One is to ... with the benchmarking work, as well as my experience at HP and learning from like the other social pro's that are part of my network, one ... the first priority was actually to develop a blueprint for what does world class social care look like?
The second one is what does community driven scale look like? And the opportunity is tremendous, you know, we have about 1,000 experts that volunteer their time and help our customers out, today in social care. But there are millions of people around the world who are experts and advocates for our product. So how do we bring them in to the fold?
And the third, which is like the critical piece of what we're working on right now. Is actually fixing the basics. And for that, its everything from KPI's, to operations, to looking at our cost pers, our agent training, our tools. So I've done a real detailed, sort of, audit assessment and we're chipping away at these things one at a time. Once we have the right foundation, we can then get to scale, that then gets us to world class. That's kind of how these three things are playing out.
Jay Baer:I love it. You heard it there folks. Secret shop all things Microsoft, Linkedin, Skype, and if you don't like the support you get on social media, you send Kriti a message on Linkedin and she'll, she's not kidding, she will get back to you and she will make changes. She's, she is no joke. Kriti thanks so much for being on the program and the great work that you do. And it's always a pleasure, to see you. Folks if you want to get a whole bunch more insights on social media customer care from Kriti, back when she was at HP, all the lessons still apply, trust me, she was the star of episode 182, which you can find of course at or in your podcast archives.
Our next guest is our friend Tim Washer, who is truly a memorable human being, in every way. Thanks for coming back again, Tim, for the big 300th episode celebration and reunion tour, nice to see you my friend. We've talked about this on the show in the past, do you feel like most businesses are not funny enough in social media, or trying too hard, to be funny?
Tim Washer:It's a combination of those things and one other. Rarely can a business, particularly like in the B2B space pull of funny. I think they don't know how to do it, for one, and it's not that difficult actually, you can find the right people, you can bring in an improv troop or you know just a comedy writer, freelance. They do try too hard, I think, because you get desperate and you feel like you have to use the team you have in place. Let's get Hazel from accounting to come in here and write some knock, knock jokes for us. They just don't think abut hiring a comedian. And then ... But I think what kills most comedy, in a large corporate bureaucracy is really the committee and just, even if you get a funny script, written, there is so many obstacles in the way, you know, a large committee of people who have no idea how a punch line works, that will want to put their two cents in, or make edits or notes, that kinda thing.
So there are a lot of challenges and the best way of doing it is to get somebody who knows what they're doing and let them go do it in a closet, let them just get it done and then test it, try it out internally and see if it works.
Adam:Tim, do you feel that companies and brands that you're working with now, are spending more or less time on that curation, that crafting of the content? Or is it now more of a volume play, you just got to get it out there and if it doesn't hit, we'll just try something else?
Tim Washer:Well, it's a mix of both, like when I was at Cisco, you know we have all these calendar tools and we need to schedule all this different types of content to get out on certain dates, certain times, that kind of thing. So there's a rush to just push content and I'm afraid quality gets lost in that, a lot of times. So, I really think there needs to be more of a focus of, okay we have all these tools, yep we got all these tracking tools, we know what the buyers journey is and all that but every now and then let's forget all that and let's just try something funny. You know, let's just create something that's gonna make people laugh and put it out there.
Jay Baer:What do you think is the best social network to try humor on? Is it Facebook because of memes or are there other platforms that you think might work better, especially for B2B, for humor?
Tim Washer:Yeah, well especially with what Facebook just recently did in pushing out companies from our news feeds. I think Facebook is kind of taking a step back to YouTube. So, I think comedy works best in video. It's very easy, don't forget the caption, you know Instagram accounts can be very successful because it's really simple to write a caption and it takes almost no budget to get it done. But I think comedy works best when you can bring in all the elements of video, and music, and sound effects, et cetera, to help deliver a punch and create a laugh. So I like YouTube much better, it's a lot easier to share for folks who may not be on Facebook and I think it's just easier.
Adam:Do you believe that one of the reasons for that is because, certainly a lot of humor revolves around sarcasm, and sarcasm as we know can go very South very quickly, but with that video you can kind of see the wink, you can kinda see that glance that tells you this is okay, this is sarcasm, this is not realism?
Tim Washer:Yeah, so you need to ... You know one of the rules of comedy is that it's not funny if somebody gets hurt. And a lot of comedy comes from pain and of course I'm speaking about kind of a high brow, literary crowd that follows Bugs Bunny. You know whenever somebody falls off a cliff, you know the coyotes gonna be okay and then we can laugh at it. Now it's the same thing with sarcasm. You know, it will seem mean spirited, unless the recipient of the sarcasm shows that it, it's kinda building the rapport between them, you know and he or she's not upset or angry or does not feel hurt, emotionally by that.
Adam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tim Washer:And so, you can do that with video, you can show that it's taken in fun and jest and its actually moving the relationship forward.
Jay Baer:Yeah, and its usually circumstantial right? It's like one ... There's a funny video or a funny bit, or a funny e-book, it's not a funny brand. You think about there's some irreverent brands, like MailChimp and things like that, but we wouldn't necessarily think that's a funny brand.
Tim Washer:Right.
Jay Baer:It's just more of a tone difference. I think it's kinda hard to be consistently funny in B2B because then people are like, "what's up with these guys," but certainly you can do individual funny executions as you of course known to do, my friend.
Tim Washer:Yeah, I think so and the thing is with humor it goes so much further than anything else you can do on social, I think. It's certainly like in a short 30 second, 60 second spot and you can really build strong rapport, you humanize the brand. You show that you're willing to poke fun at yourself you show that you're willing to not always be pitching and not always be pushing a call to action in front of somebody. And then I really think it does a lot for the long term brand equity and a halo effect is there as well.
Jay Baer:Next on the show.
Kelly I'm gonna ask you a question that's on everybody's lips, including some of our live viewers, right now, in fact I'll put it right up here on this screen. Finn asks, so far, everybody's talking about Facebook making changes and you know, tweaking the algorithm and punishing brands and now you got to buy even more ads and live video rules, all those things. What's your take on it are you making any changes to how Krispy Kreme addresses Facebook in the wake of these new announcements?
Kelley:You know, we are ... I mean we're not reacting to those announcements, we've been ahead of them all along. So our strategy is to be like evergreen and to be always on to see us like non stop doing paid. But also it's a precision of paid, owned, and earned. So, if we have something planned out and we know it's gonna be a big hit from a marketing perspective or from a PR perspective we're gonna make sure we have that all synced up right and then also, our posts, you know, we're not robotic and in the sense that we're gonna have things planned out that make sense when people are craving our products, that are top of mind, and of course we're gonna break through because of the engagements.
And we're still reaching outstanding organic reach, and so from that it's a precision of kind of breaking the platform, you're showing fans what they want, and we're keeping them very in tuned and keeping conversations going all the time. So, you know, we're ahead of the game I would say and we're not necessarily behind, but we have had paid going for a while, and for a long while, and there's times we do have to break through. There are times, as well ... it's kind of like you know what, we're just gonna step back, in this time, in this conversation. You know, we'll be there, we'll have a presence, we're your friend, you know we're there for that moment but we're not necessarily gonna try to break through something that's impossible at a moment or a time.
Now, when it comes to our live strategy, you know, it's very well planned. You know, were protected more of a brand that in a sense it's like, you know, we could have a live streaming donut glazer all the time, and you could imagine. But, you know, if you imagine a lot of things that we think about and a lot of things that we talk about and the way our brand is you don't have a lot of spokes people behind our brand. You don't see a lot of faces, you know and things like that. It's not because we don't want to put faces there, but our center point is our experience and our shops, the experience with our donuts, and it's less about us and it's more about them so it's finding that right harmony of what makes sense via live broadcast. So, you know we think about it, we talk about it, we have one of our partners in Guatemala, or Guam I mean, that they just have so much fun and they just go on live broadcasts all the time but it's doing it with a purpose. So, it's being very well planned.
Jay Baer:If you ever change that strategy and you need a host for the donut glazing Facebook Live show I'm, you know, people say I'm okay at this, I'd be delighted to pitch in.
Jay Baer:Just let me know. Kelly, because you were talking about the focus being more on the products and the brand, does that also mean that you do less influencer marketing and kind of influencer outreach than what might be typically expected, at this point for a major consumer brand like yours?
Kelley:Yeah, so in the past we have done less with it, or we've done very select influencers. And a lot we're more in kind, we'll use like, we like dozens, so for instance we pick like a dozen favorite fans the either we know almost personally at my social team, just because we see them interacting so much or based upon their influence level, or they're just so enthusiastic about what we're talking about at the moment. But we have looked at and we are using more of a stronger influence to our program. If you see our vote for the glaze, you'll see people using hashtag sponsor and the one that I can not forget to mention the most, is Shaquille O'Neal and you see him as a major influencer and he's also our franchisee. And so again we take advantage of the opportunities that we have that makes sense we use Shaq and to partner with Shaq but again he's a little bit of a different category of course because he is a franchisee.
But, when it comes to our other influencers, yeah, we have fun ones that we'll pick out that make sense. Sometimes it's about flavors, if it makes sense about being more like foodie style and those that are, like for our recipes. I don't know if you saw this recipe campaign we did. It was pretty much on from November until December and for the first time in Krispy Kreme's history we launched recipes that were from our calendar and our calendar that's out in shops et cetera right now.
And those recipes ... It was fun to see these foodie influencers that have just been doing marvelous like donut hacks and breakfast hacks and things like that, because it's like we've opened up the door for that and we know that our fans waffle or donuts so why not embrace it? Why not waffle or donuts too? And have fun with that. So again you can see some of these great videos that come out of that and conversations so we use them but use them with a purpose, and where it makes the most sense too because you know if it's somewhere where people love our brand or they love the flavor, or you know their audience just make sense. Then it definitely makes sense to engage with them and use them at the right time, the right place. But its very authentic and its pretty selective at this point.
Jay Baer:Okay so now, Adam, that was pretty great. We're going from donuts to [crosstalk 00:18:33] friend from JetBlue, one of the worlds leading experts on social care and taking care of customers, online. Laurie how are you?
Laurie:Hey, good, how are you?
Jay Baer:Fantastic, what is new?
Laurie:Well, I want a donut now.
Adam:Don't we all.
Jay Baer:Yes, I understand that. Since we talked to you for the book, which was probably, I don't know 18 months ago, maybe a little longer, couple years ago. How has social care shifted in your program since last time we saw you?
Laurie:Well, it's interesting, I was actually just looking at some of our year over year statistics and something that I think we were sort of predicting might happen, has actually happened, which is that more of our customers are using social genuinely for customer service issues. We had seen a lot of engagement and our response rates were really, about ...around 15% because everything else was just chatter and just mentions and not really people that wanted to talk to us, were asking direct questions. So we're actually seeing some of our total volume, decreasing a little bit but we're seeing our response rate, increasing. So, even just like the flat numbers, the total volume of what came in and what went out, year over year, the incoming is slightly down, but the outgoing, or the response rate, is actually remarkably up.
So that is an interesting trend and is something that we're looking into right now and trying to understand a little bit more maybe dive in a little bit deeper. People are, maybe becoming a little bit more mainstream and that's really speaking about ... particularly Twitter, and Facebook Messenger, definitely. Instagram, we're on Instagram, we have a good presence, we engage there by liking other users photos, we're really not using that as a customer service channel, at the moment. We find that a lot of times our customers are reaching out to us across multiple channels and that really isn't the one where we have the most opportunity, so we're trying to focus and maximize our resources and do things where we're most needed.
Adam:Laurie, I know one of the things that companies and brands in the hospitality and travel industries are trying to do, is kind of associate their customers with their social accounts, kind of go from unknown, to known. So for you, its kinda knowing that @adamcb on Twitter is mosaic or your loyalty program or TrueBlue. How is that working, is that something that you guys are interested in and there's obviously a lot of art and science to make something like that come through?
Laurie:Yeah. Definitely something we're interested in. There's a lot of rich data, there's a lot of fun stuff we can do once we have that total view of who our customers are and we know that, right off the bat. Right now with the tools we're using, we're able to have that information, but we don't really have it all integrated in to a central place right now. It's something we're working on, it's something we've been working on for a few years, there's so much data to put together.
I mean not only that but what kind of experiences have you had on your past flights. You might be mosaic, you might have a flight coming up tomorrow, you might've had one last week. And then we also want to know like, was your flight delayed last week? Did something happen? What can we do in the future to make that a better experience and to kind of understand you and let you know that we understand that. So that's what we're working on as more like 360 degree of our customers and it's a lot of work, it's a huge project, we have a lot of people on it, some really bright people on it and I'm excited for what that's gonna allow us to do all across the board, not just on social media but I mean at the airport, onboard the airplanes, it's gonna be fun.
Adam:Laurie, as you look towards 2008 and I know this is a question I was just asking Kelley from Krispy Kreme, what are the things that really interest you? Is it looking towards more social media channels, we talked a lot about Instagram, you have such an edgy brand, it's got a lot of personality and visual flare as is so there. Are you looking more kind of gonna become a deeper relationship with your existing fans and followers, kind of what's 2008 look like, or 18 excuse me, look like for you?
Laurie:Yeah, 2018. So, a few things, I mean really on the social side we have a lot of focus on what we're doing on the marketing side and how we're engaging our customers there and how we're encouraging them to have experiences of their own, but as far as like the social customer care, a lot of those interactions are really being handled on private channels, through direct message. We're seeing so many more customers reach out to us first, through direct message. Where I think it used to start publicly and then move to direct message if we needed information that they really shouldn't share publicly.
So that's really interesting and what we're looking at for 2018 is, what other channels do we add, and they're not necessarily social ones, although, I wouldn't say that they're not social. I mean there's still people connecting with people and being really human and having fun with our brand voice and letting our crew members, which is what we call all of our employees, have a little fun with that, and really get to know our customers, but we're looking at other channels like you know messaging channels that aren't publicly socializing let's say, but we don't wanna lose that social aspect. I think that's one great gift that social media has given us, is that ability to connect on kinda such an informal, and fun, and personable level and that's something we want to take into other channels as we add them.
Jay Baer:Laurie, how much do you get involved with employee advocacy in social? So, when the brand has something to celebrate, are you, as a team member at Jet Blue, and the folks who work on your care team, are you amplifying those messages? Is there somebody on staff that's kind of doing that sort of advocacy and employee enablement program, or are you staying away from that a little bit?
Laurie:So, we do a couple of things, but not ... I wouldn't say very formally, they're not super structured. I mean we do definitely amplify that internally in many ways. We do a lot of internal shout outs when somebody has done something, and then externally we actually have quite a few crew members in different parts of the company. We actually have a director at one of our airports whose super engaged in watching all of the mentions and he'll retweet or like things and with the way Twitter is now and your timeline, you'll see a lot of those likes and so it's getting a lot more exposure but really in a more organic way and these aren't things that were ... we have metrics around that were having a kind of process for. They're just things that are happening organically.
And I think that's pretty awesome also because it's giving ... It's putting those kudos in front of a lot more eyeballs and it's done in a really natural way and I think it's connecting with more people and it's not ... it doesn't feel as contrived it just feels like something that, that's what Twitter is, that's what Twitter does, and that's what's kinda cool about it.
Jay Baer:We just talked to Laurie, okay at Jet Blue-
Adam:Okay, yep.
Jay Baer:Next, on the show, our friend, Brooks Thomas, from sworn enemy Southwest Airlines. So, we tried to not do that, and it's ... We certainly were not gonna bring you on the show at the same time and have like a low fare carrier shoot out, but I know Brooks, you have great respect for Laurie and the folks at Jet Blue and vice versa. My friend, welcome back to Social Pro's, good to see you.
Brooks Thomas:Yes, thank you. Laurie and I have broken bread, so have I ... I've broken bread with many of the Jet Blue employee from the social sphere so thanks for having me.
Adam:I wanna speak probably for a lot of the people watching our show or listening to this podcast, they aspire to do kind of what you've done. If you look at the evolution of social, we start out in marketing communications maybe fairly tactical, but what you have done is really made and thanks to, I think, the foresight of Southwest Airlines, you have social truly embedded into the fabric of your organization. Talk a little bit about how you kind of motivated and encouraged the organization and the executive leadership to make that change because that is ... that's quite progressive.
Brooks Thomas:You know it's funny that we're harpooning back to the first time I was on the Social Pro's podcast with y'all and talking about the evolution that was going on at that time. It had to buy in to the leadership and so this was just a more formalization, in terms of the structure and the evolved structure of social and where it needed to become a little bit more bone fied in its business structure and of course in the past few years we've been able to see that come to fruition in terms of otherwise not so difficult to prove any longer. It's not as nebulous. What we're trying to accomplish, we are able to go and actually make the case for that in terms of measurement in a way that isn't abstract.
And I think our leadership from a very early stage got it and that was huge for us. Of course, we did a bunch of work with the altimeter group when we were going and looking at that formalized structure and so working with Charlene Li was a big part of having that third party validation to do a lot of things that we already thought we should do and then also get a lot of great expertise in areas that were blind spots for us and then going and making it happen after we had successfully sold it in to the c-suite.
Jay Baer:And Brooks, what was the time horizon for that metamorphosis, was that ... when you worked with Charlene and the team at altimeter, in fact, Brian Solis will be on the show tomorrow, so also part of that group, what was that a five year plan, a three year plan, a 12 month plan, or a plan that had to happen without an end date?
Brooks Thomas:Yeah, it was originally a three year road map and it remains a three year road map, it's just that we're now the ones that are iterating that year out so every year we go and we look at the road map, we look at the vision, our mission, our strategies, our objectives and tactics underneath those strategies and we refine them, we see where are we, have we accomplished what we had set out to accomplish. There are certain areas that have ... that bear more fruit than others, and is it because of areas of the business that weren't right for it or is it because, simply it's just not going to work, or we need to look at it and approach it in a different way and sometimes we get completely surprised by a new area of the business, or not a new area of business, but an area of the business that we didn't think was going to even be a factor for one, two, three years, that again comes and surprises us and all of a sudden we're working with them closest.
And I would ... when I say that, cargo and charters was never on our radar, or hasn't been, it's been on our ... you know we look at things and we think about, we assess them and we think okay is this ... where should we go next and we had always talked about cargo and charters and I just, a year and a half ago started working with them and they're killing it in commodity story telling now. There's a lot of work to do there and we've got kind of a road map off shoot to kind of on board them on a spoke in our hub and spoke model, but we've made a lot of strides there. So, yeah the work started with a three year road map and it's evolved since and it still serves as a very foundational element.
Adam:So obviously Brooks, you've had success in betting social media, as you've said cargo, charter and all those other places and those people sit in different parts of the organization. I'm curious where your kind of social strategy or advisor team sits in the organization? Do you sit kind of in marketing, do you sit in operations, do you report to an entirely different type of structure?
Brooks Thomas:So, we report up through communication and outreach and that is, in many ways only because we needed a sponsor and they weren't ready to make a Switzerland in our own department. But, everybody who sits on that social business team, alongside me, so I liaise with communication and outreach as an advisor to them. I also work with cargo and charters as I mentioned before. I also do a lot of work with our SWA University, which is our training, to create social training and also integrate it so it's not siloed as just social curriculum, it needs to be integrated throughout our training. But then we also have advisors who are working with those other areas of the business and we have specialists who are actually going and, you know, doing the work to test out and iterate upon a lot of these strategies that the advisors are building out. So you have marketing, you have customer relations, you have corporate sales, you have our people department, which is hiring, all of those are represented through our advisors and kind of our round table of our hub.
Jay Baer:I want to ask you a little bit more about that people department. How critical is social now, as a recruiting tool? I mean you obviously have a lot of employees, you're legendary for your screening process and sort of that Southwest attitude. Is social and sort of employee story telling if you will, is that a larger part of the recruiting system than it has been in the past, and if so what really works there?
Brooks Thomas:So, it's funny, it's always been a big part of it, every bit of story telling that we do in some way shape or form involves our employees going the extra mile. They're empowered to do that and that's why we love them. It's funny how it's kind of changed though, because now we're not looking at our employer brand and looking at our marketing or traditional advertising and things like that separately, we're starting to think of our ... you know, we've always thought that every one of our employees, they're our celebrities, they're our influencers and so we've started to activate them a little bit more, but the recruiting aspect of it is kind of layered, because it's layered at it's most granular level on the employees and what they do and what they're talking about and what they're social presence looks like from the outset and then you have the different areas bubble up in terms of where our needs are.
So, you know, if we're going to go and have Baltimore ramp recruit a bunch, then we're gonna try and activate one of our employees and start to get the word out with a groundswell of kind of a grassrootsy effort but then we're also gonna look for all the great stories that are happening out there and were gonna feature them as something a little bit more prominent.So then we're talking about getting one of our videographers to go out and shoot something or getting our agency resources in to incorporate somebody in an ad campaign. It's a lot more serendipitous because our content strategy is a lot more enterprise level than it used to be.
Jay Baer:So, if you needed Baltimore ramp, you would actually go out and try and tell a Baltimore ramp story first, because the assumption is that birds of a feather and those folks are gonna then kinda pull along people that they might know in the local market?
Brooks Thomas:Yeah, or we might go into an internal group and seed that we're looking for really cool stories and somebody who goes the extra mile or somebody who has a really nice interesting off the clock quirk, different ways to leverage the value that the Southwest job brings. Flexibility and traveling, flexibility if you're working part-time or you're working a certain schedule and you're able to go and be in the circus for the rest of it, that's a personal story. But all these different things that were able to then go and figure out because we have such a well connected network of employees that, you know, previous to even four or five years ago wasn't nearly as connected, it was more of a specialized group of content contributors and bloggers and now it's everybody.
Jay Baer:There's all these sort of points of light and how do those get found and collected and distributed to story tellers inside the organization?
Brooks Thomas:You know, its interesting, it comes from so many different areas, but how we've tried to organize it is, we have a sequence of meetings, we have a quarterly strategy meeting, we've got monthly planning meetings, we've get a weekly news meeting and we've got a daily stand up meeting. All of those are trying to, all the time, better thread together. Because that takes our big initiatives, were able to kind of look at things thematically and then we're able to go by month, source different stories, figure out how they ladder up or play a role and then also put kind of the call out to our different communicators. The value of it being within communication and outreach is that it is also an arm that represents the entire company because you've got communicators for every line of our business, which allows them to be really kind of what we are, liaise with those areas and figure out and source through those areas.
But then there's this other organic and it's funny too, when we were working on employee [inaudible 00:35:27] stuff and Charlene was also involved in that. I thought that the second they came in that it was like, I was waiting for them to say, well this is ... you're gonna go and have to find an advocacy app like a[inaudible 00:35:40] dynamic singular, or what have you, and they never did that. They said that would be interesting for you guys for specialization but your employees are so individual and they are so personal, that they can't have a pre written message given to them because it's disingenuous to our mission, they won't receive it well, and it won't advance what were trying to do.
And I thought that ... I took that to heart immediately and I, like I said, I regurgitated it and it was a year and a half or two years ago when I even heard it. So it's interesting that we're trying to keep cultivating ... we kind of intentionally have certain spaces that are grassroots where stories just bubble up and we might go out and seed stories or ask and cultivate the call to action, but they're very intentionally grassroots because that's the authenticity of Southwest.
Jay Baer:Adam, fantastic job today, as always, thanks so much.
Adam:Thank you.
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