The Importance of Taking Social Media Seriously
The Super Bowl is a great time for social media engagement. Millions of people are following along and watching the game, and interacting on Twitter. It is not a great time to offer free things if you can’t follow through, because people will expect that if you offer them free things, you will give them free things. The PR team behind the popular cheap travel website Secret Flying just made this mistake. They made a tweet that stated if the New England Patriots came back to win the game, they would pay for people’s flight bookings. Now it seemed highly unlikely at the time that Tom Brady could lead the Pats back from 25 points down with just 18 minutes left in the game. In fact, I lost $50 myself by making a bet that the Patriots wouldn’t come back at that point. The difference of course is that I followed through and had to pay up. (I dislike you more than ever Tom Brady, but mad respect)
Once the Patriots won, Twitter fans went crazy thinking that Secret Flying would now be paying for all those flights that they promised. Secret Flying was mum on the topic for a couple of hours, but then deleted the original tweet and replaced it with one that claimed they “were talking about in regulation” regarding.
This didn’t fly, however, as many were quick to point out that this was never a stipulation of the original Tweet. A win is a win right? Seems most people were in agreement on that one. I personally wish my own bet didn’t include overtime…
I decided to weigh in on the topic myself, and quickly found out how the Secret Flying team was dealing with the backlash when I was promptly blocked by them on Twitter. Instead of replying and addressing the situation, they decided it would be better to try to silence me. I’m guessing I probably caught their eye when I started promoting competing companies that I happen to like for those who clearly weren’t happy with Secret Flying’s bait-and-switch-like tactics.
So what do you think? Was this a harmless joke or a a bait-and-switch technique to gain thousands of retweets and followers in a short period of time only to renege on the offer? Either way, it doesn’t appear to be a popular move.