Measuring Social Media ROI Takes Off for Virgin America

The airline, using Sprinklr and other tools, is seeking hard-dollar returns from conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, among other social networks.

Tony Amrich, manager of social media guest service at Virgin America, wanted insight into the current buzz his company was getting online.

He quickly pulled up a stat: 706 social posts about the airline in the prior 24 hours. He could see where those messages were posted--Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Google+--and track when someone from Virgin America responded.

Amrich and two colleagues, who together are the 6-year-old airline's social media team, use social media management software from Sprinklr to tally activity, schedule posts and engage with customers posting messages.

He sets up searches for keywords, such as "@VirginAmerica" and "Virgin Airlines," whether they're separate words or run together. Sometimes the team is responding to everyday issues, such as someone tweeting about an item left on a plane or a tag on Facebook praising the company.

Other times, the team must deal with situations with larger implications for the airline, which is part of Richard Branson's Virgin empire. For example, when filmmaker Kevin Smith tweeted and blogged a complaint about missing his flight due to the poor timing of the airline's concierge service, the team leapt into action.

Using Sprinklr's real-time monitoring, dashboard and email alert capabilities, Virgin was able to send an email to Smith's assistant to resolve the problem--a customer service coup that Smith praised in a follow-up tweet.

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