Friday, 21 March 2014

How to avoid multiple personality brand disorder: a look at Virgin Trains

This blog post was originally published on Discoverage - The Precise Brand Insight Blog.

During last month’s stormy weather, Virgin Trains tweeted a message to its customers to “ABANDON ALL TRAVEL”. This didn’t just get the attention of its followers who re-tweeted and replied in considerable numbers, it also led to a huge variety of spoofs and comments filled with dry humour and feigned panic. Newspapers and media picked up on the Twitter trend, leading to prime-time interviews and mainstream media coverage. By posting an overly dramatic but tongue-in-cheek tweet, the reach and impact of Virgin Trains’ message was increased easily tenfold compared to more ordinary updates.

There is an important lesson here for businesses using social media channels for their communications. Many businesses have a strict separation between their marketing communications, corporate communications and customer relations; and they are often not quite sure how social media fits in to that mix.