Air New Zealand bursts a tyre before the start #socialmedia

AirNZ

Tonight over 45,000 Air New Zealand Facebook fans sat in excitement waiting for the first 1HR Fares, a special Facebook only promotion to launch.  

Unfortunately for Air New Zealand on Queens Birthday there is not much happening and either their Facebook App or their website could not cope. In 30 minuets they had received 1,576 comments and by 30 minuets after it was all over they had received over 1500 post LIKES; that's a huge level of engagement.

However the response came too late and 100's of people commented.

 

And it wasn't just on Facebook either. On Twitter @FlyAirNZ was mentioned over 100 times

 

If you spend some time reading through all the posts you'll see that Air New Zealand's customer are a passionate bunch, loving and cruel. It's quite shocking to see the amount of brand damage Air New Zealand suffered in such a short space of time. Yes OK so Air New Zealand should have ensured that their website and the Facebook Tab could handle the pressure but the public has totally over reacted.

I mean common guys this is the first time in NZ that a major corporate has tested this sort of campaign on such a scale. Boohoo some of you tried the site and could not get in, you probably didn't want the deal anyway. It was an experiment, and now Air New Zealand know just how popular Facebook could be as a marketing channel. I'd expect Air New Zealand to run a similar campaign again with a better offer in the not so distant future.

I think the public over reacted BUT this is the social space we live in; people will jump at first chance on a mistake like it's the worst catastrophe ever. Within two or three minuets it was quite clear reading the Facebook Comments that it was failing. Air New Zealand didn't seem to have a backup plan like a replacement "we're overloaded" tab. But their updates were kept positive and acknowledged that they had experienced some problems.

 

So overall a false start from Air New Zealand but a stark reminder to everyone who manages a Facebook Brand page that the slightest error can seriously compromise your brand reputation and trust online. It will be interesting to watch the analytics and see if the Air New Zealand Facebook page drops in fans over night and how long it takes them to recover