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Archive for April, 2011

Southwest Airlines Affected By Social Media

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 @ 04:04 PM
Stella Oefinger
Stella Oefinger & Colleen Barrett

Me and President Emeritus, Colleen Barrett, Southwest Airlines

Today I had the privilege to hear President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, Colleen Barrett, speak at Success North Dallas’ networking group.  She had a group of about 200 people captivated by her humility and insight about running one of the most successful businesses in town.   Colleen proved to have a real down-home charm and Wall Street business sense.

When asked about the recent incident that Southwest faced a few days ago about flight 2294 which was forced to do an emergency landing at Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV, she expressed that the employees were devastated.  Of course the story went viral.  Colleen stated how social media often plays a role in a company’s brand reputation, “There no way to inform the public about anything anymore because the public has already done it.”

Fortunately, for Southwest Airlines, their brand of excellence allows them to take a beating now and then without too much reputation damage.  Often their team does so much more that sets them apart from not only other airlines but also other companies. Colleen used an example regarding the story that went viral about the grandfather who needed to get from Los Angeles to Denver to be with his dying grandson that was being taken off life support.  Within 60 minutes, team Southwest scheduled the trip, (personally) purchased the ticket, rushed the man through the airport and held the plane for 12 minutes.  At Southwest, holding a plane up for anyone is rare.  The story was published initially on a travel writer’s blog and went super viral.

All this to say the internet is such a powerful tool and shapes our reputation.  Word of mouth is still a valid way to get your name out…but do not dismiss how the internet can shape your online (and offline) reputation.

Reference:  http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/01/act-of-kindness-by-southwest-a.html

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Best Reasons for Internal Web Site Linking

Sunday, April 17, 2011 @ 12:04 AM
Stella Oefinger

When you construct a Web site many issues have to be taken into account – one of which is internal linking.

By definition, internal linking is providing a connection from an anchor tag to another page on your Web site. For instance, if you click on the anchor tag “social media post” you go to another place on my Web site (my blog).  The phrase ‘social media post’ is internally linked and allows the viewer to get more information about that word or term.

Internal Web site linking has a couple of valuable benefits:

User value.
It will help your audience find what they want easily within your Web site.  Remember, in our gotta-have-it-now-society users want to get where they need to be quickly.  Don’t give them an excuse to find another site that gives them what they want. 

Search engine value.
The technical value is that the search engines, like Google and Yahoo, will ensure your site gets properly spidered and found.  This will also help the page rank of the internal page. And finally, it will build the relevancy of that page to the keyword phrase. 

Essentially, search engines like to promote Web sites that are well-designed and are relevant to what users want.  If your site has good internal links, everyone wins.

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A LinkedIn Success Story

Sunday, April 3, 2011 @ 03:04 AM
Stella Oefinger

Last week, at a chamber of commerce networking event in McKinney, Texas, I met Brian Padden with HxP and Associates, Inc.  We  discussed social media and how it really does work at all levels of business.   He shared his story with me about how an individual reached out to her contacts on LinkedIn to find a telecom consultant in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Out of 13 replies, 5 of them recommended Brian.

The local individual worked for a CEO in California.  Several months later, after the company did their due diligence on their telecom dilemma, Brian won the bid.  This extensive project spanned the globe covering three states and Latin America.  With his expertise, Brian was able to save his new client $50,000/annually.

I am always inspired when someone gives testimony to social media.  Obviously, Brian’s reputation as an expert played a key role, but LinkedIn was the catalyst to getting and winning the deal.

  In the words of my new friend, Brian Padden, “Social media marketing works!”

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