Post-Qantas crisis – the social media aftermath
While Qantas has faced criticism for the way in which it handled its social media response to the customer chaos that ensued when its fleet was grounded earlier this week, its customers took to Facebook and Twitter to exchange information and share their frustrations about their travel troubles.
The airline faced heavy criticism from customers and industry for its initial social media approach to the lockout, with complaints highlighting Qantas' wooden and unsympathetic tone.
One digital marketing expert, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Qantas' initial approach "sounds like it's read from a script and is very mechanical".
The executive added: "It's a shame, because Qantas has some very good people who would be great at talking to their customers on Twitter, but they've been gagged by senior Qantas people who don't understand how to make the best use of Twitter yet."
While there was obviously no way for Qantas to respond to each individual treat directed at the airline, experts agree that withdrawing into a completely one-sided method of communication was ineffective – particularly when customers did not know where to seek out the latest updates.
Others observed that by making better use of Facebook or Twitter as a method of customer service, Qantas could have actually saved money by giving customers a way to get in touch other than via telephone.
Over the past 48 hours, trending topics on Twitter included Anthony Albanese, Alan Joyce and Qantas – not only in Australia, but worldwide as well.
Speaking on the Twitter trends, independent social media analyst Thomas Tudehope remarked that this highlights the frequency at which Twitter users turned to the web to vent their frustration.
"This is particularly remarkable given that Australia only has an estimated two million Twitter accounts compared to a global audience pushing towards 250 million accounts," he stated.
Posted by Kaitlyn Critchley