In January 2007 British Airways threatened to strike causing the airline to cancel departing flights for two days.
In 2008, United Airlines damaged a passenger’s guitar. When he inquired about reimbursement the airline gave him the runaround. Finally, he was able to get their attention through the creation of a YouTube video.
British Airways needs to heed the strides United Airlines has made in order to ensure the satisfaction of its customers as well as its employees. Utilizing social media to listen to your audience is important in order to intersect any potential problems.
I don’t think customers should have to go to such great lengths like writing a song and posting the video to YouTube in order to secure proper customer service. Everyone should know by now that engaging in customers online has proven to be a success as long as the company is secure enough with its product that they can relinquish control of the conversation.
Social media in the United Kingdom is very influential. Robin Goade found that “The successes of Facebook and YouTube, along with similar sites, meant that social networks accounted for 1 in every 10 UK Internet visits during Christmas week. For the week ending 27/12/08, our Computers and Internet – Social Networking and Forums category accounted for 10.09% of all UK Internet visits, the first ever time it has passed the 10% threshold.”
Social Networks continue to dominate online activity and usage across the globe and this is no more evident than here in the UK. A recent report from ComScore reveals some very interesting UK Social Media Stats. Of the 36.9 million UK internet users in May 2009, 29.4 million visited at least one social networking website.
These are not statistics companies should ignore.