Greensboro Social Media Club
What Is The New Reality In Social Media?

JetBlue's Corporate Social Media Structure

JetBlue's Corporate Social Media Structure Marty St. George is the Vice President of Marketing and Commercial at JetBlue Airways and he has been with the company since 2006 when he joined as Vice President of Planning. He was recently featured in an advertising age interview.

What interested me about the interview was one question about how JetBlue has built its corporate social media structure. Here's Marty's answer:

"Our Twitter desk is a much more economical way to communicate with customers than handling emails or phone calls; you can handle for our five Twitter streams at a time vs. taking one phone call at a time. Normally we have seven people who spend time on the Twitter feed, and none of them full time. And we have multiple disciplines [participating], someone from TrueBlue, someone from corporate communications, etc; it's all people who have different skills.

We built a database of most common questions and answers and it's not often that people have to make a phone call to someone else within company and say "hey we got this tweet, what do we do with it?" People call it social media but we actually see it as the opposite of media; it's direct communication with the brand on a one-to-one level."

Here are my takeaways from this snippet on corporate social media process:
  • At JetBlue Twitter is seen very much as a communications helping to handle a variety of consumer and I suspect journalist inquiries.
  • Twitter can be more efficient than the telephone or email in handling communications issues.
  • No one person is dedicated to handling JetBlue's Twitter feed. People from different disciplines participate.
  • The Twitter team has developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers so that it is easier for everyone to answer questions within recourse to questioning another employee at JetBlue.
I found Marty's description of using Twitter over and above email and the telephone interesting. Frank Eliason at Comcast has previously told me he'd rather talk directly with a customer to solve customer service issues, he believes the telephone is a faster way to communicate and resolve issues over social media. I'm wondering if the majority of JefBlue's inquiries are customer service related or communications?

It was interesting to hear about the use of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. I think that if you move to a multi-discipline approach, something you almost have to do in social media, process becomes even more important, because your experts in one discipline all of a sudden have to answer questions across disciplines. For example PR people have to answer customer service questions or relay answers. In a way social media makes everyone in your organization a customer service and communications professional.