I’m currently one of thousands of Australian’s and New Zealanders affected by the Chilean volcano ash cloud (check out the hashtag #ashcloud on Twitter for background). It’s not too serious for me, a bit of inconvenience, a few more dollars spent (at a nice hotel).
Being a keen social media observer I’ve been watching a number of companies such as the airlines, hotels, rental car companies to see how they’re reacting and how they’re using social channels like Facebook and Twitter to communicate and engage (follow up post coming tomorrow). Qantas Airways are working really hard at the moment to deal with hundreds of cancelled flights and thousands of affected customers. Being a legacy airline (i.e. not a LCC or a “cool” brand like Virgin or SouthWest) means they are often the target of social media experts who want to pick on them over their old habits. But lately they’ve been doing a pretty good job of engaging customers and the public via social channels.
But this stunned me this afternoon:
Hang on a sec. We’re in the middle of a pretty significant southern hemisphere event impacting millions, one of Australia’s largest enterprises is working hard to communicate with customers and Twitter imposes a limit on how many tweets they can send out? Are the lights on at Twitter and no ones home?
The Very Unsocial Actions of Twitter
The implications of this are very significant. Twitter wants enterprise customers like Qantas hooked on their channel, as they’ve been very clear that they see them as a revenue source in the future. So why destroy corporate good will by allowing something like this to happen? If you’re in charge of corporate comms and you see this, what faith/reliance are you going to put in Twitter? How is Twitter going to deal with the fact that Qantas built an expectation that you could engage via Twitter and then the account stops engaging – Is Twitter going to come out and admit they let Qantas down?
Whilst I’m not a fan of Google, I will say one thing, Google would never allow something like this to happen.
Pay attention Twitter or pay a heavy price