Disgruntled consumer uses Twitter's promoted tweet feature to embarrass British Airways

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Disgruntled consumer uses Twitter's promoted tweet feature to embarrass British Airways
With the rising popularity of social networks, brands started hopping on to them to grab the attention of their target consumers. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook started leveraging this with ad products like promoted tweets and sponsored posts, putting promotional messages right in between user-generated content.

It's also widely known that a number of consumers use Twitter as a platform for raising their voice against brands and bringing their grievances to the notice of not just the brand but also to their followers and subsequently, their followers. In an interesting move, a disgruntled consumer used Twitter's promoted tweets to spread the word against a brand to express his dissatisfaction after suffering at its hand, and grab the brand's attention.

Businessman Hasan Syed bought promoted tweets to express his anger against British Airways after his parents who flew Business class on British Airways, lost their luggage while travelling from Chicago to Paris.

After not getting any response from British Airways, Syed decided to use Twitter to get the attention of the airlines and bought promoted tweets "Don't fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous," targeting the UK and New York markets, as per a report by the BBC.

British Airways noticed the tweet after 10 hours of it going live and asked Syed to DM (direct message) the baggage reference number. The BBC reports that the airlines has apologised and would be delivering the missing piece of luggage.

A limited number of brands use Twitter as a customer service platform, registering complaints and offering a resolution. However, most think of it as a broadcasting platform spamming users with product related information and running contests with an intent to 'trend,' which some feel is a measure of success on social media platforms. With promoted tweets and sponsored posts, it's easy to reach a big audience. This incident proves that even consumers can use this tool to make their angst against a brand go viral.
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