Industrial Disputes? Use Social Media

Posted by | March 17, 2010 | Business Articles, Social Media | No Comments

British Airways are in the middle of a dispute. Cabin staff are unhappy and have decided to have a series of strikes. This upsets us all of course – as all selfish strikes do – but more importantly gives BA a headache. How to manage such a situation.
The problem is complex and I would not presume to understand any or all of it. But I have suggestions on how to make the most of the social media at our disposal in order to take advantage of the situation.
There is a tendency to shy away from anything other than formal and orchestrated exposure. That is wrong – in these sorts of situations your clients and customers are having conversations about you and the predicament that they are in. If you are not there when they are discussing you then how can you expect people to understand your side of the argument? You can’t of course. So why rely on soundbites on the TV and radio?
A better course of action would surely be to monitor the conversations that are being had about your company and your performance. Evangelists should be identified and captured whilst detractors should be challenged and corrected. Being a part of these conversations allows you to be seen to care, take a positive stance on the relevant issues affecting your company and pre-empt likely changes to your messages.
In fact, you can usefully use your social interactions to instruct your customers, lead them to additional resources and modify your marketing stance along with the flavor and flow of the responses you receive.
BA have already started to do this with a video posted online. It’s a step in the right direction.

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