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QANTAS’ social media disaster… or was it?

By November 27, 2011October 27th, 2021No Comments

If you are a regular user of Twitter I’m sure you would have heard about the Twitter disaster with QANTAS and their #qantasluxury campaign. If you didn’t here is a brief summary…

QANTAS decided to run a Twitter competition, they asked their followers to post their definition of QANTAS luxury. However, the response wasn’t exactly ideal. Instead of posting the positives, there was a backlash with many negative comments – as bad as it was for the company, some of them were pretty funny!

Here are some of my favorites:

#QantasLuxury is that safe feeling that comes from knowing your pilots are wearing the correct colored ties

Can’t wait to see the Air Crash Investigations episode on the #qantasluxury hashtag disaster.

New expression for marketing fail: “Pulling a Qantas” – Harvard Business School #QantasLuxury

A number of news articles were written that day, highlighting the social media disaster. Many say it would be used as a ‘what not to do’ for future university textbooks… But was it actually all bad?

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Yes, they made a mistake. You need to be really careful with any social media campaign. The timing needs to be right. The idea needs to suit your market and there are so many other factors. Where they went wrong is clear, they didn’t factor in that the public was already upset, and that is never a good time to try and get customers to provide marketing material for you through testimonials – Which was the point of the campaign.

Is there a silver lining to this ‘Social Media Disaster’? I think there might be (or could have been if it was dealt with properly.) It gave people the opportunity to vent their frustrations, it was an outlet – given, it was a very public (and poorly planned) outlet. But people did get the chance to express their anger, which in the long run, could be beneficial to QANTAS if they use that to their advantage. Imagine if they had responded to each and every Twitter post? Although it made a trending topic, there weren’t actually that many posts – not for a company like QANTAS anyway. Would that have improved their social standing? Maybe not totally, but it certainly would have helped!

The moral of the story – make sure you really, REALLY think through your social media strategy and tactics, but if it all blows up – it isn’t the end of the world – The upside/downside to social media is it’s fleeting – The trending topic lasted just over 24 hours, and as a percentage of the population – there aren’t a great number of people on Twitter – so it isn’t brand destroying, its why companies spend so much time trying to build up their presence because you have to be active, constantly – Apparently we all have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to social media marketing…

What do you think? Was it actually a disaster? Or is there a silver lining? Have you ever had a social media failure?

Dahna Borg

Author Dahna Borg

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