Using Twitter to get a company’s attention

ディスプレイ前にジンベイ親分が睨みきかせてる。ハンコック様がよかったなBillie Joe Armstrong used Twitter to make a lot of noise over the Internet about his latest experience on Southwest Airlines when he was recently kicked off because his pants were too low.

@BJA official (Twitter)

Billie Joe Armstrong

Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the (expletive)! No joke!

Supposedly the story centered around a flight attendant who told Billie Jo to lift up his pants. The flight was preparing to leave when the popular entertainer asked the flight attendant if she had better things to do than to worry about his low slung trousers. The attendant asked him again, and then kicked Billie Joe and his traveling companion off of that flight.

After Armstrong tweeted about his experience, a Southwest Airlines customer service representative contacted him and arranged to get the couple on the next flight out, and in their public statement said:

“We reached out to apologize for this Customer’s experience.”

Armstrong is famous, and the combination of  high-profile plus Twitter and arbitrary reasons to kick people off of planes, surely becomes a public relations nightmare. Many might remember another Southwest Airlines debacle when”portly” celebrity screenwriter and actor Kevin Smith was kicked off a Southwest flight from Oakland to Burbank because he was too fat.

@That Kevin Smith’s (Twitter)

Dear @Southwest Air-I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?”

And of course Southwest had to think fast and reply since Smith has 1.6 million Twitter followers, and Southwest didn’t want this embarrassing  failure pointed out so publicly on social forums.  But even if you’re not famous, you can still share your problems and more than likely get better results than trying to call on the phone or any other methods of communication.

Here are some suggestions:

Share your problem and tag the company’s Twitter account publicly which means you should include the Twitter handle within your message so all of your followers can see it. We’re finding out that most companies are very serious about Twitter now and have special services employed to track and respond to customers tweeting about their particular organization. Someone tweeting about an embarrassing policy or situation can quickly become an Internet firestorm – not a positive public message any company wants out there.

Google the company’s Twitter account. You can search “company name + Twitter.” And remember, you may have to be consistent. Whereas celebrities with huge followings like Billie Joe and Kevin Smith command a quicker response just because tweets get ugly when there are millions commenting out of anger, rage, and sarcasm – results do happen quickly using the fastest forms of communication known.

Tweets don’t necessarily always have to be nasty or negative. If a customer experience was especially pleasing, or an organization stepped out of the box to be of extraordinary help, why not Twitter and give a company credit when credit is due?

photo credit: gabuken