Why Having A Social Media Strategy Matters

It’s been an interesting week for social media and brand promotion, with three significant events taking place in real time on Twitter and Facebook.

First there was #qantasluxury – in case you missed it, this week Qantas launched a new competition on twitter asking people to tweet their “dream luxury in flight experience”. Customers still incensed about the recent grounding of all Qantas planes quickly hijacked the hashtag making it a real time social media disaster. Much of the commentary surrounding this has picked up on the fact that Qantas failed to check or accurately gauge the sentiment of it’s brand online before launching this competition. From my perspective their other failure has been their silence; for goodness sake people, stop and apologise. You got it wrong, made a bad call but you know, continuing to run this without acknowledging what’s happening just makes it worse.

My advice? Once they’ve apologised, Qantas need to take serious steps to rebuild the trust that has been lost in their brand over the past month. They need to take the time to determine the best way forward and whatever strategy they decide on ought to include working with some existing brand advocates with personable and accessible reputations – don’t jump to celebrities because what a famous person has to say is not going to come across as credible in this climate; Qantas needs real Aussies, with real faces and stories talking about them in a positive way.

Then there was the Nissan debacle, where the “BFF” of one of the Nissan social media team won a Facebook competition for which the prize was a new car. The second prize was $1250 in fuel vouchers, won by another friend of the social media team member. From what I can tell it does seem that these people were the legitimate winners of the competition however, they have received some understandable backlash on their Facebook page.

Lastly, there is the Kyle & Jackie O scandal.

To read about the pivotal role twitter had in this whole event, have a read of Mumbrella’s latest article on it: How Kyle Sanidlands was Humbled By Twitter. What has been most interesting for me to watch is the reaction of the brands. One assumes that the target market of the Kyle & Jackie O show are not the people reading Mumbrella and joining in the #vilekyle chatter on twitter and so it will be interesting to see what kind of influence the widespread disdain for the show on that platform has when it comes to the future of the program.

Last night The Good Guys and Holden were the first to pull sponsorship of the show, followed by Vodafone who tweeted the following in response to a barrage of tweets directed toward them…


As I began this post Blackmores were facing a ongoing twitter onslaught and but had not pulled sponsorship. Half way through writing the follow tweet appeared…

At the time of writing the #vilekyle tag is still trending on twitter…and while I the Mumbrella article is fascinating, it remains to be seen just how humbled Kyle is – at the moment, it seems not much.I suspect that this won’t be the last we hear of this story.

For anyone still in doubt about the relevance of social media, perhaps it’s time to rethink that stance – can you really afford not to have a social media presence?





  1. Excellent post Louisa! the influence of twitter has definitely not escaped my attention this week, I was actually commenting to hubby about it this morning. Another one I noticed was how kmart removed a new line of underwear following twitter backlash. I see this is only the tip of the social media influence iceberg.

    Going forward brands are going to have to be much more careful about how they manage relationships in mainstream media otherwise they will often end up on the back foot if social media calls foul.


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  2. It is not just about being in social media though. Just because someone knows how to use twitter or set up a facebook page does not mean you should get them to be the social media manager.

    Social Media is just the same as your front window for a retail outlet or your brochure for a business. If the CEO signs off on these things they should also be fully aware of what is happening in social media.

    SM consultants should be a part of the executive team, or at least a senior member of a comms team, to minimise the above things occurring.

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  3. Hello Louisa,

    I didnt even know that the Kyle & Jackie O scandal was happening! I am so behind the times 🙂

    I stopped listening to the radio station after his behaviour with the young lady he was interviewing – that for me was enough to turn me off Kyle!! Its about time the brands listened to wait there loyal followers think – wonder what it will take for Kyle to say sorry?

    Too funny about Qantas – someone really needs to do their research (within their company) or hire a blogger who knows what to do to keep their customers happy!


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