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JetBlue Flies a Successful Twitter Promo

In the social media world, it is so important to try to do things that haven’t been done before. Why? Well, since social media is so new and the applications of it have not even begun to be thought of yet, you must be a risk taker by default to see if it will work for you and your business. We hear more about social media flame-outs, which I attribute to our human nature to feel that news is mostly negative. Fortunately, there have been some risk takers that have had success worth discussing.

jetBlue Airways

Image by matt.hintsa via Flickr

This week, JetBlue ran a very successful campaign in New York City. How do we know it was successful? No one was hurt, no one is really complaining, and it got some press. While many in the social media world would use other metrics, I think these are pretty darn good.
So what did they do? They gave away 1000 round trip tickets in three locations that required people to follow their “guidance” on Twitter to know where to go and what to show up with. This is where the “no one got hurt” part makes sense, huh?
CNET reported:

It was apparently one step short of a cattle stampede when low-cost airline JetBlue used its Twitter account to announce that, as part of its 10th anniversary celebration, it would be giving out about a thousand free round-trip tickets at three undisclosed locations in Manhattan on Wednesday.
“One of the things we knew was that people were just going to follow us,” JetBlue public relations representative Morgan Johnston told CNET, relating anecdotes about one woman who claimed she sprinted in heels from midtown to the Financial District (one of the giveaway spots), people chasing the JetBlue team in taxis as they left one location to head to the next, entire offices clearing out when they heard that one of the ticket giveaways was nearby, and a cab driver who left his passenger behind in order to get out and claim a ticket. “It was like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.”

Once again I reiterate: no one got hurt. I have to admit that if I was responsible for this kind of promotion that caused mini-panics in offices and a run on taxi cab fares in NYC, I would have some concerns. Fortunately for JetBlue, this one worked well, and I tip my cap to them.
So, would you have the confidence to give something like this a shot? Of course, it would be best if your business lends itself to this kind of reaction. If you are selling pipe fittings in Peoria, you will need to tweak the concept considerably.
This is the fun of social media, though. There is a chance to do things that have never been done before. As people begin to experiment more and more, it is likely that those with jangly nerves need not apply.
What do you think about JetBlue’s “event?” What could you do that would cause a stir and make the cash register ring?

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