What if a Promoted Tweet Were Used Against Your Brand? Are You Ready?

british-airways-logoConsumers are getting clever. They’re becoming aware of the impact of their voice, individually and collectively, and they’re utilizing social media to extend their discontent with organizations as far as it will reach – which as we know, can be quite far.

I’ve written about organization’s purchasing promoted tweets to help amplify the reach of their crisis communications, but this week we’ve seen the promoted tweet strategy actually used against a brand – for what I believe to be the first time ever!

British Airways gets bashed with a promoted tweet

Twitter user, Hasan Syed, purchased a promoted tweet to express his discontent with British Airways after they lost his father’s luggage. Targeted for New York City and UK Twitter users, Syed’s promoted tweet read:

“Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.”

As time goes on and social media becomes second nature to people of all ages, organizations need to be on the ball and just as clever. You basically need to be ready for anything and everything. It may be the first time a consumer uses a promoted tweet to voice negativity about a brand, but had British Airways done a thorough risk assessment this scenario would have been thought of and prepared for in advance.

If you can think it, so can someone else

Social media is here to stay and your consumers are getting savvier and savvier. It’s up to your organization to be adequately prepared and trained in both crisis prevention and crisis management. No matter where a crisis strikes these days, it will end up on social media. Don’t let your team be caught by surprise when they could have been prepared.

Melissa Agnes is an international crisis management keynote speaker and consultant. President of the crisis management firm Agnes + Day, Melissa has developed a worldwide reputation for crisis management, planning and training by helping global brands and government agencies prevent and manage a wide range of issues and crises. She is also the editor of The Crisis Intelligence Blog and host of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast.

3 Comments. Leave new

As a long suffering customer of a certain company here in Canada that rhymes with Hell, I love how social media has leveled the playing field between consumers and (at times) tone deaf organizations. Not sure I would pay to vent my frustrations but it's good to know the option is open.

Do you happen to know whether British Airways responded to this, or was it left unaddressed?



Good question, Brett… Stay tuned for tomorrow's post for the answer (unless you want to Google it now, of course!) But their response merited a post of its own!


I hope Seyd got his $1000 worth of revenge because that's what he paid to get done that which would have been done anyway. But it does make me want to take another look at what value there could be to my clients in Twitter, so Twitter should definitely thank Seyd for spending his thousand bucks.


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