Given that the company is located in Silicon Valley and started operations in 2007 it seems only logical they would have a good grasp of the importance of social media. But this alone is not enough to explain why they have done such a damn good job putting social media tools to use in their company.
I believe it is their willingness to try new things and their unwillingness to accept the status quo. Virgin is nothing if not cutting edge. When Sir Richard Branson started his airline most everyone else was predicting the end of commercial airlines as we knew them.
Branson believed the problems had more to do with the people who led those companies being unwilling to innovate.
It seems he still feels the same way.
Check out this article by Lauren Drell, "Flying Social: How Virgin America’s First-Class Marketing Fuels Brand Awareness" to learn more about Virgin's social media success:
In May 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer Wi-Fi fleetwide, in addition to outlets near every seat, so you can actually get work done on a cross-country flight without your laptop dying.
“A lot of our first support was from the tech community, and everything has stemmed from that,” Lunardini adds. In fact, the airline partnered with Klout last year to provide free flights to Twitter influencers, people who were bound to share their Virgin America experiences with their social networks.
Virgin’s proximity to tech giants like Google and Twitter has enabled the airline to forge strong partnerships within the tech space. These partnerships allowed the airline to team up with Google to offer free inflight Wi-Fi over the holidays, and to partner with Twitter for Promoted Tweets, as discussed below.
Aside from its location, though, part of the brand’s success is that, like other Virgin companies, the brand voice is cheeky, sassy and irreverent — a welcome change for passengers who are used to the grind of air travel. “In everything we do, we try to maintain that enthusiasm and tone,” says Jill Fletcher, who manages the content calendar and makes sure the brand is consistently active across all social media platforms.
Click here to read the rest of Drell's article.