Sunday, 3 February 2013

Angry Customer Twitter Campaign #Fail

Have you seen @lostbag
There comes a time in every customer's life when they are served injustice. This dish comes from all industries and in all forms and leaves its victims with raised blood pressure and the acidic burn of righteous indignation.  I recently was a victim and the perpetrator was Lufthansa Airlines WHO LOST MY BAG AND STILL HAVEN'T GIVEN ME MONEY BACK FOR IT!!!!!

(Breathe)

So, I went on a business trip and Lufthansa lost my bag on the return leg. After a painful journey back home and trying to get into my house (my bag had my keys and my wife was away) I began the process of trying to get my bag back. After a few weeks of unsuccessful bag finding I realised that I was in a Kafka'esque world of bizarre bureaucracy where no one knew anything and nothing made sense.

Living in the 21st Century with social networking and Apps, I realised I could challenge the status quo. I was an empowered consumer! Their inefficient call centres and surly staff could do nothing to stop what was to become the greatest social media campaign the airline industry had witnessed since that guy made a song about an airline which broke his guitar and went, like, totally viral on YouTube.


119 tweets and about two months later I had 10 followers. Sadly, my @LufthansaBad campaign never went viral and MY BAG IS STILL LOST AND THEY STILL HAVEN'T GIVEN ME MONEY BACK FOR IT!!!!!


(Breathe)

But this post is not to teach you about success. It is to teach you about failure. My failure. I give all future angry and righteous customers a playbook on how not to run a Twitter Campaign.

Play 1: Don't set up a new twitter account as you will start with 0 followers. 


I decided not to use my personal twitter account to rant against @Lufthansa_DE so as not to pollute my twitter stream with bile so I set up a new Twitter account @LufthansaBad. I had to work very hard to get 10 followers.

Play 2: Humour doesn't work unless it's funny

At the time I thought my series of tweets about how 'poor' Lufthansa Service was was inspired and witty. I thought it would tap into the millions of angry customers who also had a wry sense of humour. In retrospect, I think this section made me look like an arse.

Play 3: Tweeting a companies inefficiencies is probably a bit boring

Having spent many hours on the phone with the Lufthansa Cape Town call center I was fascinated how inefficient and disconnected they were from what actually went on with flying people around in the sky. I tweeted my learnings but sadly I lost two of my 8 followers during this spree.

Play 4: BBC Watchdog doesn't really care


Play 5: There is a @handle for everything, but that doesn't mean d!ck


I decided to create a new Twitter user @lostbag so I could have a conversation with it thereby creating tension, drama and human emotion in my twitter stream. That would undoubtedly attract the masses. I was very excited to see that there was already a @lostbag registered so there were people who thought like me. I would find these people and they would join my incredible campaign. @lostbag still only has 2 followers, one of which is @LufthansaBad.

Play 6: Hash tags are useful only if they belong to a bigger conversation


Realising that I hadn't used many hashtags I decided to push the #haveyouseenthisbag hash tag. It was catchy and no doubt would soon be trending on Twitter once I had repeated it six or seven times. The thing I learnt about hash tags is they are a good way of latching onto an existing conversation not necessarily a great way of starting one.

Play 7: Mocking PR twitter announcements makes you look alone and miserable

My next strategy was to monitor the Lufthansa announcement stream and reply to their tweets with my own agenda. Surely, the execs would see these replies and take pity on poor @lostbag and its tired and key less owner?

No such luck.

Play 8: Don't get too excited if you get a bite. It probably means nothing.


At about tweet 65 someone in the Lufthansa Marketing department got in contact. I felt like I changed the world when I received this and incorrectly thought I was on my way to a massive compensation payout and maybe a lifetime of free flights to Frankfurt.

What I soon learnt was that the Lufthansa Marketing department don't have much influence or interaction with the Lufthansa Lost Baggage department.

Play 9: Not many people know about Kafka 


Getting desperate I came up with what I thought an ingenious idea. My campaign was too specific. It was about Me, @lostbag and @Lufthansa_DE. I needed to tap into the deeper and wider sentiment of consumer anger against faceless confused bureaucracies. If I did this, then my bloody campaign would go viral.

Enter @KafkaService.

12 Tweets. 3 Followers.

Play 10: Learn from your mistakes. 



I could go on with the major failures and mistakes of my Lufthansa Campaign but there isn't enough room on Google Bloggs. It is worth while mentioning a couple other trends such as tweeting pictures of derelict and lost bags to @Lufthanse_De and scanning Twitter for more airline woes and trying to connect with those people. None of those yielded any value at all.

I think the final sign of a failed campaign is best described in this last Play.

Play 11: Starting to send emails after months of campaigning means you've lost. Big Time.




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