Another week, another post! Welcome back my fellow readers to another stimulating instalment of my blog! This week I will be talking about the legal risks revolving around social media in the use of organizations. In particular, I will be focusing on the issues surround Qantas.
Qantas has grown to be Australia’s largest domestic and international airline employing over 33,000 people within Australia.
With an increased number of organizations jumping on the social media bandwagon, it is imperative that they implement a Social Media Policy (SMP) to mitigate and eliminate any associated risks. The purpose of an SMP is to successfully communicate what is acceptable and what is unacceptable conduct on social networking sites by employers and contractors.
Qantas has made its name known on a range of social networking sites from Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and most predominantly Twitter, resulting in enormous reputational risks for Australia’s top airline. Twitter being the “hotspot” for companies complaints and opinions, with customers from all over the world tweeting their Qantas experiences.
In 2011, social media erupted when the CEO of Qantas grounded the entire Qantas fleet stranding over 68,000 passengers across the globe. The Qantas website remained on-line but access to frequent flyer accounts were inaccessible, fuming customers took their anger and enquires through Facebook and Twitter. So the logical thing to do from a customers point of view would be to use the companies social networking sites for support, correct? This is a lot more efficient than sitting on the phone dialing a 13 000 number and waiting 20minutes for a useless response. This is where QANTAS made its mistake, by going against its customer service strategy and leaving complaints and questions unanswered. Below is some tweets from unhappy Qantas customers who were only looking for useful and real-time information! Resulting in its brand sinking to a new low!
Another blow to Qantas’s reputation occurred when a harmless tweeted competition turned into a social catastrophe attracting unhappy customers and internet trolls across the globe. The company tweeted a competition with a prize of Qantas first class pajamas and amenity kits, resulting in sarcastic tweets and disgruntled customers. Yes, another negative experience the company faced from Twitter.
So what did Qantas do to eliminate and mitigate the reputational risks involved in their social media voyage? A decision to hire 4 social media managers to represent Qantas’s was actioned by the CEO to solely manage the social networking sites of Qantas. Recently in early 2013, Qantas announced that it will no longer be using twitter and customers will be directed to their new website newsroom for updates and support.
That’s all folks! Another blog done and dusted! please post your thoughts and opinions! What do you think about Qantas’s social media fails? Before you go here is a parody I found in relation to the competition tweeted by Qantas, enjoy!