Social media rantings and brands

Unhappy customers taking their vent out on twitter is quite common, but a customer buying sponsored tweets to vent out the feeling…well, its something new.

That is exactly what a gentlemen flying the British Airways did. He was unsatisfied on the carrier’s indifference towards his lost luggage ( was actually his fathers) and decided to go ahead and actually purchase the 140 character service.     

The paid tweets are generally purchased by advertisers to reach a wider audience. The paid tweets are also given a higher prominence by twitter.He apparently paid $1000 for this. It took less than six hours for the tweets to get picked up by various media firms and garnered more than 25000+ impressions.

Ultimately, BA had to respond and sorted out the baggage issue the following morning. Readers might be aware that such ranting is not the first of it’s kind. Virgin atlantic had similar experience in 2009, with a customer sending out a complaint letter to Richard Branson on the poor food quality. Brnason himself had to intervene and invited the customer to select food and wines for future flights. 


This leaves us with few questions in our mind:-


—What are the response that a brand needs to respond to? I mean is it really worth for the brand to respond to someone with just about 6 followers?

—How does the brand ascertain that the person is a legimate guy and not a troll?

—Finally, for marketers, is social media really relevant as an interaction tool for brand and customers, rather than using the medium for advertising purposes?

What do you think?

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