SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo

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Southwest Airlines Expects Record Number of Holiday Travel Social Conversations

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) expects social media conversations to skyrocket this holiday season, as a record number of travelers are predicted to turn to Facebook and Twitter to interact with the airline.

The airline saw social conversations in November and December 2012 surge 75.4 percent over the same period in 2011, and with the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, the company is well positioned to manage the expected record growth predicted for this year.

“At Southwest Airlines, our purpose is to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel and helpful travel guidance. That purpose is most meaningful during the holidays, when many of our Customers are traveling to connect with friends and family,” said Christi McNeill, Project Lead, Social Business & Listening for Southwest Airlines. “As we enter the most connected holiday season in history, we will rely on our dedicated staff, which is our single greatest strength and most enduring long term competitive advantage, to predict needs and assist Customers in real time over social.”

Using insights from its record-setting 2012 social media holiday program, the Southwest Airlines team has identified the most frequently asked questions and is prepared to quickly respond to travel-related inquiries throughout the holidays.

“Southwest listens to their customers’ needs and connects with them in real time through social media to provide advice and help,” said Michael Lazerow, chief marketing officer, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. “The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud makes it possible for Southwest to connect 1:1 with their customers to deliver a world-class customer experience.”

Southwest will continue growing its strength in social media with the construction of a revolutionary new Listening Center, powered by Salesforce Radian6. Slated to begin construction in January 2014, the center will provide a collaborative workspace where the airline can, in real time, listen to, engage with, and analyze social conversation among Customers, news media, and Employees.

About ExactTarget, a salesforce.com Company

ExactTarget is a leading global provider of cross-channel digital marketing software-as-a-service solutions that empower organizations of all sizes to communicate with their customers through email, mobile, social media, Web and marketing automation. ExactTarget's suite of integrated applications enables marketers to plan, automate, deliver and optimize data-driven digital marketing and real-time communications to drive customer engagement, increase sales and improve return on marketing investment. ExactTarget is a salesforce.com company. For more information, visit www.ExactTarget.com.

About Southwest Airlines Co.

In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report(TM) can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.

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