A while ago I posted a video interview with Paula Berg, Manager of Emerging Media at Southwest that proved very popular on this blog. Yesterday I saw a good write up of a recent presentation she gave about “how Southwest has learned to leverage social media tools with its award-winning blog, as well as tools including Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.” It is well worth a read, even if only for the funny anecdotes about the scantily dressed or the too pretty to travel episodes. I really liked the part in her quote below about joining the conversation.

“Make it personal, act fast, don’t rely on numbers alone, don’t be afraid to join the conversation, make it personal, educate employees, live and breath social media, and have fun – it’s not a burden, it’s a gift!”

The reason why I relate to her quote about joining the conversation is because I heard someone talking about social media recently and he was saying that everyone needs to become a blogger if a company is to embrace Web 2.0. I totally disagree, as “joining the conversation” is equally valid through comments online, as I mentioned once before when praising Qantas. There is no use having everyone writing content if no-one is reading it or if staff feel they are being forced to do something they don’t enjoy, but dipping your toe into the social media pool through non-anonymous online comments is a great way to show that companies are empowering their employees to engage with a wider audience. Commenting is just one option, as is blogging, but there are plently more, so to just mention blogs is a massive oversimplification of what social media really is all about.

If you are interestered in corporate blogging, then here is another great article to read. It is titled 3 Lessons Learned From Successful Corporate Blogging and even though it is aimed at B2B blogging, it is quite a comprehensive piece and contains some lessons for any type of company looking at engaging with customers through social media.