Some call it a new trend, others just a lone payback story – yet a privately bought promoted tweet of a disgruntled passenger of British Airways proved the power a single consumer has gained with the help of Social Media (and granted – some budget to buy a promoted tweet). The customer using the Twitter name @hvsvn seemed to have been disgruntled by BA’s missing service mentality over his lost luggage and has taken his frustration online.
To quote one of his tweets “I was about to send them a telegram but then I realised Twitter was faster”, a new area of customer complaints has begun. What started years ago with a United Airlines breaks guitars song, has gone to a new level which should be ringing all alarm bells for brand managers and general managers to check upon their delivered market performance. It also shows how important a working social media crisis management is – besides the basic lesson that a top down communication approach is long gone. It took BA almost 4 hours to react on this tweet, long enough for Mashable to get wind of it and the tweet going viral and even being reported in the news (tv). Although the damage to the brand will be hard to quantify in real terms, it is indisputable that BA’s brand has taken its toll over the last 22 hours – more can only be expected to come.