One of the most noteworthy hijackings of corporate social media we’ve seen has unfolded in Australia over the last 24 hours and become news around the world. For the last several months, Qantas Airways has been in a nasty dispute with its unionized staff. The dispute peaked on October 29 when CEO Alan Joyce grounded the airline’s entire fleet for 24 hours, stranding Qantas passengers in airports across the continent and around the globe.
Yesterday the embattled company looked to its social media team to brighten the mood and create goodwill with its customers. They tweeted out a new contest with hashtag #qantasluxury: “What is your dream in-flight luxury experience? (Be creative!)” Winners were to receive Qantas-branded pyjamas and an amenities kit.
Qantas misjudged the public sentiment – and its creativity in airing it. Since yesterday there have been over 14,000 tweets using the #QantasLuxury hashtag (over 96% from inside Australia) generating an overwhelming lambasting of the company and its CEO. Compounding the problem, satirical accounts have popped up at @QantasPR and @QantasLuxury.
We collected a few of the most interesting tweets with the #QantasLuxury hashtag. You can see them in the slides at the top of this post or on Slideshare.
Qantas appears to have a sense of humor if the tweets below are any indication. To turn around public opinion, we’ve recommended that Mr. Joyce hold a press conference in a pair of the infamous pyjamas.