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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Southwest Airlines Soars on Facebook

Audience Honor in Facebook Presence


Southwest Airlines’ vision to be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline extends throughout the Company in many ways, including our approach to social media strategy. 

Facebook is Southwest’s leading social media channel and, in fact, one of the travel industry’s leading social media brand channels. This success is attributed to a winning strategy and clear objectives.  


Our objectives include:  



Strategy and Execution

We use our Facebook page as a platform to bring our brand to life through organic storytelling, entertainment, community engagement, education, inspiration, and lead generation. With over 6 million followers, we know our posts are seen by not only Customers, but also Employees, shareholders, Brand fans, and others on Facebook who may be unfamiliar with our brand. With this in mind, we keep our Heart at the forefront of our Facebook page while avoiding overproduced, corporate-leaning content. 

Southwest’s Facebook strategy centers around authentic storytelling, relevant user-generated content (UGC) sourcing, and user engagement. 

Authentic Storytelling: Using an organic, people-first approach to storytelling, Southwest tells stories that highlight how we have the best Employees and Customers. Some of these stories we find organically, but many of these stories are curated by our social media managers to create uplifting and inspiring moments for our Customers that they will never forget.  

Relevant UGC Sourcing: Using a strong community of plane spotters, Customers who tag Southwest, Employee Facebook groups, and connections with Employees from across the Company, our social media managers source pictures, stories, and content from a variety of sources. This large community of brand fans helps us share a large volume of high-quality posts.  

User Engagement: Using engagement prompts, we encourage our followers to engage with our posts in a fun and relatable way. This gets our followers excited about the idea of traveling and booking flights in an organic, social-forward way without making them feel pummeled with corporate advertising.  


Our social media managers do not work with an agency and handle all creative development, content curation, and scheduling in-house. While there are larger Company announcements and goals to promote different initiatives, we take a People-first approach to create a more personal and human feel to our content. Here are some examples of the type of content we share:  


2023 KPIs: 


Top performing posts:  


In Comparison to Our Competitors  

*Looking at 7 other major US-based airlines   


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Southwest Airlines


Entry Credits