Friday, 25 September 2009

The power of facebook

Here at eskimosoup we have long understood the power of social media marketing (SMM). With the existence of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc people are now able to form communities over the Internet and possess the power to influence large organisations, a good example is a u-turn made by British Airways.

A campaign on the social media site Facebook has caused one of the world’s largest airlines to do a partial u-turn over a policy it instigated without prior consultation to its surfing customers.

British Airways has decided to reverse a two-year ban on carrying surfboards and allow surfboards up to 6ft 3in on their flights but surfers say the new limit is not long enough to be of any use as most surfers use boards up to 7ft long.

Over 14,000 joined the campaign on Facebook, called Protest British Airways' Surfboard Ban, surfing websites were also flooded with messages from appalled surfers vowing never to fly BA again, and subsequently BA lifted the ban.

Rival airline Virgin Atlantic capitalised on the increasing publicity created by the social networking sites with a tongue-in-cheek advertisement proclaiming how they flew boards for free, which read 'No Sex Wax please, we're British Airways'. (Sex Wax is a brand of wax rubbed on the board for grip).

This u-turn is one of many, which are being facilitated by the increasing power of social media marketing. More people are joining the social networking sites such as Facebook – who now has over 300m users worldwide - and are finding that they have a powerful collective voice to aid their disagreements.

By Tony Towle.

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