Managing your social-media presence can be a full-time job. And in a pair of videos embedded at the HubSpot blog, Mike Volpe interviews Paula Bergs about Southwest's Emerging Media team, which oversees the airline's participation in social media. Here are some of the conversation's key takeaways:

It's important to recruit a team that is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and articulate. A high-caliber group not only contributes to good customer relations but also helps prevent legal problems that a less-sophisticated team might inadvertently create. "They know what they can and can't say," says Bergs of the Emerging Media team. "We've chosen people that we trust, and we've empowered them to communicate [with customers]."

Give team members ownership of specific social-media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. "You know, the Southwest message never changes," explains Bergs. "It's always going to be low fares, it's always going to be great customer service. How they choose to articulate that on their different sites is really up to them. They … translate those messages into the right voice and fit with their audience."

When good customer-generated material is going viral, give it your support. A customer shot footage of flight attendant David Holmes as he put a rapping spin on the usual safety instructions, uploaded the video to YouTube and used Twitter to tell people about it. "It was organic," says Bergs, "and then we gave it the little push it needed to get going." As of writing, the video has over 1.7 million views, and Holmes has been a guest of Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno.

Southwest delivers Marketing Inspiration by inhabiting our sometimes-uncertain social-media landscape in a smart, authentic way.

More Inspiration:
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Beth Harte: Community Matters

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