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Using social for real time conversations & why Jetstar FAILS!

There are plenty of articles available on Google that share tips and tactics on what businesses should be doing with social media and in the importance of using it for real time conversations. Social is about two way conversation and not pushing sales and products onto your communities and fans. One of the things I love about Social media is its immediacy and ability to share information instantaneously and immediately. I get more news faster looking at Twitter than I do watching any TV channel or news program.

So the question I ask, particularly of large organisations is why do you find it so hard to use it effectively.  This blog was prompted by a recent and very negative experience with Australian budget airline carrier Jetstar.

It’s common sense that in times when there is a natural disaster like a cyclone people naturally want information that will affect their movements over the coming days. Can someone please explain this basic human nature to Jetstar.

I had to take an unexpected trip from Brisbane to Newcastle to visit my father who had recently been diagnosed with Leukemia. Issues to schedules and availability of flights meant I had no choice but to book Jetstar flights, despite being an avid traveller with Virgin.  The difference in service between the two carriers is massive. Virgin = positive. Jetstar = don’t even start me…!

Unfortunately my trip coincided with a cyclone hitting the QLD coastline which could affect my return flights. During the weekend myself and hundreds of other people Tweeted Jetstar and posted on their Facebook page and the lack of response was appalling. Here are my top 3 tips if you want to avoid a digital disaster as well as a natural one:

In real time social media tips:

  1. If you not going to monitor and respond on your social channels, don’t use them. It reflects badly on your brand and leads to negative customer experience and will spread like wildfire. I made close to 12 posts on Twitter and got one form response that didn’t address my complaint at all. Also multiple Facebook posts which got no response at all. And I wasn’t alone.
  2. Don’t post form responses. After not responding to clients for hours, Jetstar posted a form response which gave no update of information to their Facebook page. Causing yet more negative reaction from angry customers. You have an opportunity to share timely and relevant information, be empathetic and put yourself in your customers shoes so use this and win yourself raving fans.
  3. Understand the importance of social media during crucial times. If a natural disaster or huge event impacts your brand schedule staff to cover the increased enquiry. We live in a digital world which operates 24/7 not Mon-Fri 9-5. The small cost to add extra staff will well and truly pay for itself with increased engagement levels with customers and repeat business.

Social media 101. Jetstar needs to learn how to use social media in real time and give their current team some serious training. Better yet they should review what Virgin do and try taking a page from their book.  FYI, I did try to reach out to Jetstar execs for comment but got none which further adds to my already low opinion of them.

realtime social