Sky’s the Limit, with JetBlue and Social-Marketing

Dave Mazur    November 7, 2013

The sky is the limit with Social Media and JetBlue Airlines

Into the JetBlue Sky
Social Media darling JetBlue airlines has been at the forefront of social marketing since 2007. Ever since inclement weather grounded most of JetBlue’s planes and passengers were trapped in their seats for hours.  Then, social media was still in its infancy and it wasn’t used by companies to interact with their customers or to manage “image meltdowns”. Yet JetBlue engaged on YouTube as part of a major push to contain the situation. JetBlue joined Twitter a few months later and it now ranks among the top airlines on the platform. JetBlue now considers social media a vital tool for not only marketing its services, but also as a customer relationship management tool,
quickly responding to complaints or issues, sometimes immediately after the first tweet.


Staggering ROI reports
In the world of social marketing, the return on investment seems to be hard to define and calculating it’s true effectiveness has become somewhat elusive. New marketing tools are helping companies get a handle on their metrics, and truly measure their impact in the social realm. A prime example is JetBlue’s use of Saleforce’s newly acquired Buddy Media platform. By utilizing this social media publishing platform a recent report shows that JetBlue airlines has a whopping %140 return on their social marketing investment.

JetBlue prides itself on reaching both business and recreational travelers in unique ways. By using Buddy Media for all of our social promotions, we’ve increased productivity and seen direct cost savings.” -Sean Williams, analyst of consumer promotions at JetBlue

988v10-max-250x250 is a cloud computing and customer relationship management software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. The service acquired Buddy Media in May 2012 for $689 million. Buddy Media is software  that publishes campaigns across multiple social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) boasting “scalable and secure” architecture and “data-driven insights” and “metrics” from customers use of social media during a campaign.  It aslo boasts the ability to “engage your online community by presenting them with interactive content like polls, quizzes, puzzles, and more”. This results in narrowing social marketing focus, reducing costs, and improving productivity.

Some Buddy Media Stats

  • The New York-based company has 900 customers with 10,000 brand pages on Facebook and 900 million users.
  • Clients include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Taco Bell and Sony.
  • In the first quarter, Buddy Media managed 128 billion impressions across social networks, compared to 3 billion the same period last year.

The Metrics are the Key
By utilizing this online platform to publish multiple promotions, and standardize their message, JetBlue was able to manage the expense of creating and executing their social marketing. Utilizing the tools of this service, they were able to report their %140 return on social marketing investment. Buddy Media’s analytic tools allowed JetBlue to better understand the reach, volume and impact of campaigns, and how they lined up with demographic profiles of users.



“Buddy Media provides digital marketers like JetBlue’s promotions team the ability to scale campaign execution, reduce routine creative services costs, and track the impacts of multiple campaigns against each other in one place. “



 The Future of Social Metrics

“The ability to refine what we know about our service through surveys, emails, and social media monitoring is incredible. Particular to social, our ability to track how online sentiment and knowledge is changed depending on our ability to communicate with the online audience is incredibly useful.”

Other brands can learn a lesson from JetBlue. “Companies must take steps to both monitor and preserve their brand as it’s represented on social media and seek ways to maximize the value that can be derived from social media.” By embracing social media early, and engaging in new technologies and methods of broadcasting posts, as well as careful examination of the metrics of campaigns, organizations can reduce marketing costs and gain a better visibility across social channels. Metrics don’t just have to just be about clicks, likes and tweets but can be much more about efficient management of creative services, customer interaction and marketing costs.

Lessons for Others

  • Ebracing new technologies, and applications to target social marketing,
    can increase ROI
  • Analysis should go beyond just vanity metrics
  • Broadcasting a standardized message thru all channels improves productivity

Web References

Submitted by: Dave Mazur – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.