Trial By Twitter, #NUGSFORCARTER, Snapchat Politics And More In This Week’s Friday Download
April 13, 2017
By FTI Consulting
Trial by Twitter
In case you missed it – though I’m sure you didn’t – United Airlines have this week been embroiled in something of a PR nightmare after a video showing the forcible removal of a paying customer from a flight was posted online and went viral. The company faced mass criticism from social media and the press, which it responded to with several clumsy responses via Twitter and Facebook, and a flippant statement by CEO Oscar Munoz. This – along with the revelation that Munoz had referred to the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent” in an internal email to staff – caused #NewUnitedAirlinesMotto to trend on Twitter, and United’s share price fell by as much as 4%.
I’m betting United hadn’t considered that every passenger on the aircraft was a potential citizen journalist. But what’s more bewildering is that the company responded so poorly to a predictable reputational risk, leaving it open to trial by Twitter. It’s a reminder for brands of the importance of issuing a timely response on social media that acknowledges the error and shows remorse.
Last week Carter Wilkerson – a teenager with a self-professed love for chicken nuggets – tweeted American fast food chain Wendy’s to ask how many retweets he’d need for a year’s supply of the fried meat. They replied “18 Million” and he accepted the challenge. Fast-forward 7 days and Wilkerson’s on track to set a new world record for retweets after celebrities and big brands like Apple, Google and Microsoft stepped in to help – whilst gaining some publicity of their own, of course! United Airlines even got involved shortly before they had more pressing matters to deal with.
Wilkerson’s tweet has been shared 2.8M times, and he’s less than 500K away from breaking the all-time record for retweets of 3.3M achieved by Ellen DeGenres in 2014. The real winner here though is Wendy’s. One short, sardonic reply has reached millions of people at the potential cost of around $600 to cover one year of nuggets.
Snapchat is the place to reach young audiences who are shying away from Facebook and Twitter, so it will come as no surprise that the Electoral Commission has partnered with the platform to create a voter registration Geofilter which reminds teens to register for the 4 May vote. The US election saw several politicians buying space on the platform – including Hilary Clinton who had her own interactive Lens imploring citizens to vote for her – but the move marks a UK first for Snapchat. With more than 10M active daily users in the UK, I expect this won’t be the last UK politics hears from the platform.
Also This Week
More than 5M businesses are now advertising on Facebook each month [REUTERS]
McDonald’s invites job applications on Snapchat [DIGITAL TRENDS]
Marriott uses Snapchat influencer campaign to target millennials [ECONSULTANCY]
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.