Qantas Gets Its Twitter Wings

    Sam Mutimer

    For a long time Qantas has had no online social media presence, yet around a week ago, Qantas launched its first official Twitter accounts. Yes that’s right, two accounts @QantasMedia and @Qantas_Airways! The first account is self described as, “The official Qantas Twitter account for breaking news,” whilst the other seems to be an outlet for the company to direct people to appropriate areas within the company regarding their concerns.
    Both accounts are presented in a consistent & professional manner with the signature red background, as well as matching Qantas avatars. Interestingly, at a follower level, @QantasMedia follows 67 users and has smashed the 1,000 follower-mark, whilst @Qantas_Airways has just reached 400 followers, but isn’t following anyone at all! Oddly, the two accounts aren’t even following each other!
    The question of a follower strategy is one that is often debated in the thinktank media office. There are those who believe that Qantas should follow everyone that mentions the brand; a way of acknowledging all us mere mortals on Twitter. Whilst others here believe that Qantas should follow just those who are regular flyers & industry heavyweights who offer great content to share with everyone via retweet. This is all dependent on what Qantas decide their strategy to be, and I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section at the end!
    Many companies have embraced Twitter to respond directly to customer concerns/praise and ask their followers what they want from their brand. One noteworthy company which excels at this is Vodafone Australia with their @VodafoneAU_Help account. They are quick & efficient in responding to customer concerns and actively invite and participate in Twitter discussions.
    @Qantas_Airways is beginning to reply to fellow tweeters, which is encouraging. It’ll be exciting to see how this account learns & develops its interaction moving forward. Hopefully the account begins to follow others, therefore acknowledging other accounts as worthy of listening to.
    @QantasMedia, at this stage, is on the polar end of this scale of engagement, seemingly directing most customer concerns to the Qantas website, rather than responding on Twitter. Social media forces a level of transparency onto participating brands. So it’s important for companies who choose Twitter, to listen, openly acknowledge customer issues, thank customers when thanks are due and shift the spotlight to being seen as actively listening, engaging and providing solutions.
    It’s definitely a brave step into the spotlight for Qantas, and it has opened itself up to a huge opportunity. We are hopeful for the travel giant to develop & expand its strategy and use it to its advantage. It’s important for Qantas to define a following strategy and work out the balance of its content. Here are a few points that I personally believe Qantas could take on-board:
    1.    Follow select industry relevant professionals,
    2.    Respond via Twitter, rather than directing people to a general website,
    3.    Become a news aggregator for the industry,
    4.    Cross-promote with industry partners for value-adding to their community,
    5.    Re-tweet comments from their followers, acknowledging their value & presence,
    6.    Decide whether news aggregation & community interaction truly requires two separate accounts.
    Are you excited by Qantas joining the Twitter world? Do you love what the brand is so far doing? Or what are your concerns for the Qantas Twitter accounts?
    It’s an exciting time for the Aussie brand and all of us jet-setters! We wish Qantas the best of luck & happy tweeting!