A New Trend: Sponsored Tweets by CUSTOMERS to Trash an Airline??

BA Baggage Handling

For those few airlines that walk the cutting edge in employing a social strategy for interacting with key customers, the dreaded era or Twitter and Facebook actually trying to monetize is well into maturity. Indeed, the days of a company broadcasting its message to every one of its social followers for free have long passed, as sponsored ads have become the only way to reach beyond a random smattering of folks.

So for an individual to cough up his own cash to ensure his message goes to his entire network, the message must be pretty serious, right? Apparently, Hasan Syed thought so.

Syed wasn’t too happy that British Airways lost his luggage on a recent trip, and so he Tweeted about it. When the airline didn’t acknowledge him, he upped the ante and purchased sponsored messages via Twitter, attempting to reach BA’s entire following. And he threatened to continue running the sponsored messages until he got his luggage back.

BA 7 Hours

BA Twitter Faster

BA Refuse to Stop

A mere 72 hours later, BA had apparently appeased Syed’s concerns, but not until he reached 76,000 people directly on Twitter with his message, and countless others who caught wind of his story in the media (yes, his antics actually earned him an interview on CNN).

BA Have Been Following

BA Final Spend

By now we have all have the tune to “United Breaks Guitars” etched in our memory (if you click the link, look at the number of views—well over 13 million now). Let this tale be another caution to the industry to keep tabs on your social media channels, now that there’s proof that customers will actually put their money behind their message.

BA 9 to 5 Social

BA I Win

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Customer Engagement Strategy for the Airline Industry