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O2 Shines On Twitter
By: Steve on July 25, 2012
Earlier this month, one third of O2 experienced a 24-hour network outage and, as is becoming the norm during problems like these, their customers took to twitter in order to vent their outrage.
In response, the community manager responsible for the O2 Twitter account opted to handle the complaints in a manner that deviated spectacularly from the typical copy+paste response that consumers expect from big brand service providers:
It would be easy to criticise O2 for the risk it took in responding to tweets in such an informal style. Indeed a sentiment analysis conducted by Wired of the tweets directed at O2 during the service outage illustrates a rising wave of negativity:
But that wave is dwarfed by the enormously positive change of sentiment that occurs once O2 joins the conversation:
O2 were able to demonstrate that the human approach can work wonders when social media is approached with a social disposiiton, and were able to leverage a lot of love for the company. That’s gold medal branding, if you ask me!
Wired praised the panache of O2′s social media response, calling it a Masterclass in dealing with ‘outage outrage’:
“O2 took the Twitter crisis management handbook and threw it out of the window… A trusted and experienced community manager has been given free reign to respond to tweets in a human and personal way, lending their personality and good humor to that of the brand. A somewhat risky strategy, but in this case one that has paid dividends.”
O2 have since made a public apology and offered all customers who were affected by the outage the equivalent of three days off of their bill for this month.
All of which reaffirms in my mind that the key skill for any brand engaging with social media is the ability to socialise.