Southwest Airlines New Facebook Contest – Fans Fly Free With Some Turbulance (TO OTHER AIRLINES!)

Southwest Airlines Fans Fly Free on Facebook

Southwest Airlines Fans Fly Free on Facebook

I love to start my morning with a soy latte and Facebook.  The 10 plus farmers, artists and dreamers who meet at the local Rexville Grocery (small town hang-out) every morning feel the same way about their morning ritual.  Good friends…good coffee.  Facebook has become my morning community.  I can get together with my community of friends and family in my pajamas in the comfort of my home before I head off to work.  I can also enter to win contests and giveaways.  Now mind you, I’m not one to buy lottery tickets or fill out contest forms.  However, in one click and two seconds I have no problem becoming a fan on a Facebook fanpage to possibly win something I could use. 

Southwest Airlines announced a contest yesterday at 4:00 PM to build up their fan base (which needs building!).  Fans Fly Free! boasts the advertisement to the right of my Facebook wall.  At the time of  joining Southwest Airlines Facebook fanpage this morning, Southwest had 177,756 fans.  I predict the fan base will be a crazy different number at the end of the contest (December 31st)  When clicking on the ad, I was directed to the Southwest Fans Fly Free tab.   Hey Fans! Check out our fancy schmancy new tab: Fans Fly Free. Enter for a chance to win a pair of roundtrip tickets on us! Thanks for being our fan :)”  is their latest post 17 hours ago.  Southwest Airlines is giving 100 pairs of roundrip tickets anywhere they fly – as a “thank you for our fans”, says the tab. 


As a person who is always curious about the fine print, I click on the official rules.    Sweepstakes runs December 9, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. CST through December 31, 2009 11:00 a.m. CST.  Wait a minute!  I became a fan this morning, December 9th, BEFORE 4:00 p.m. CST.  Does that mean I don’t qualify?  SIGH.  I thought this was going to be easy!  THEN, I read further…To enter without purchase, visit Once you are a fan of Southwest Airlines Facebook page, you must complete the contact and personal information in the registration form within the sweepstakes tab. 

I’m not going to “click to enter” this morning, as I don’t believe it will officially count.  So…I will update you on any further turbulance I encounter.  “Julie, What is your prediction of fans by 12/31/2009?” you ask.  Well, all of the major airlines are a bit slow on the Facebook uptake with Southwest Airlines leading the pack with the most fans.  To be perfectly honest,  the advertisement got my attention because I thought I could win 100 tickets (I can’t believe I just admitted that…but I was only half way through my latte).  I’m thinking about 2 million fans by 12/31/2009.  

12/10 UPDATE:   WOW…excellent Facebook customer service example:

  • Julie Burgmeier   I just became a fan. The Fans Fly Free rules state the contest doesn’t start until 4:00 CST today. Does this mean I need to wait until after 4 to officially enter?

  • Hi Julie,The contest started on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m., so go ahead and enter any time! The Official Rules have been updated to reflect the correct sweepstakes start time. Thanks!
  • Yesterday at 1:45pm · Report
I clicked to enter the Fans Fly Free contest this morning and enjoyed their clever “Where will you go if you win?” question which will post to your Facebook wall if you so choose.  Southwest Airlines will gain millions of Facebook Fans, positive brand awareness, and build their E-newsletter with the Fans Fly Free contest.  Looks like the turbulence has dissipated and we are in for a smooth Southwest Airlines flight.  Not so smooth for their competitors…
I am AMAZED at how poorly the other United States airlines utilize Facebook.  It actually blows my mind.  What are their marketing directors doing???
American Airlines – 38,035 Fans and no mention of the upcoming movie Up In The Air (George Clooney)
Alaska Airlines – 6,000 Fans
Delta Airlines – 11,254 Fans.  Landing page is a blank info tab and there are is no recent activity.
United Airlines – 12,099 Fans.  Landing page is a blank info tab and there is no recent activity. 
Continental – 292 Fans and no recent activity.
US Airways – 4,004 Fans.  AND a great example of what NOT to do on a Facebook fan page.   
WOW…what customer service.  PERHAPS STAY IN CANADA AND FLY YOUR LOCAL AIRLINES.  Sure makes us Americans look  friendly to our Canadian friends.  Hence I added the addition (TO OTHER AIRLINES) to the title of this blog.  And the turbulance will continue if the other US Airlines continue to not incorporate Social Media into their overall marketing strategy.
What NOT to do on a Facebook fan page.
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