When Travel Social Media Strikes Back

Social Media has taken the travel industry by storm – blasting into Marketing and Technology groups just like the web did in the late 90’s.  Just like any storm, social media interactions are often a fast and furious ride through changing Customer sentiment.
That desire to be the first brand with a a million Facebook followers or the the first to offer coupons via Foursqaure is truly exciting.   Though, the thrill can turn into a nightmare when the brand is threatened, attacked or taken hostage by those followers your team worked so hard to gain.
Jake Hird from eConsultancy has written “Social Media Failures: examples from the Travel Industry” about how a lack of control over social media spin can damage a brand.  He cites the examples of flight attendants speaking out of turn at Virgin Arilines, the guitar-crushing United Airlines anthem viewed by over 8 million YouTubers, and the tweet heard round the world when Southwest Airlines and Kevin Smith tussled in February.  A great article indeed, with links back to the original incidents.
Hurd’s summation of social media tragedies in travel proves that preparedness is key.  Having a well defined Social Media policy that is visible to your team can help prepare for the unforeseen and allow your team to quickly make a course correction.  Check Forrester’s own Melissa Parrish’s Community Management Checklist for help navigating the currents and good luck out there.

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