Twitter: Relationship Marketing & Disaster Response Management in Volcanic Eruption

I spoke previously on the core elements and advantages of adopting relationship marketing as a strategy in building relationships and encouraging interaction with your customer base and also would be customers. In addition, it has also been effused the advantages of using Twitter within this strategic sphere in adopting a relationship marketing approach within a company. A company can use Twitter to:

  • raise brand awareness
  • increase interactivity with your customer base
  • raise discussion and positive talk on your brand and product/service offering
  • help create a tangible meaning of a brand in the mind of the customer
  • increase customer retention
  • help reduce the barriers to making a purchase online through ease of access and linking to products/services
  • direct the customer to where you want them to go on your website
  • build corporate and company reputation
  • as a internal marketing tool to employees based across the world and foster a positive, open and warm company ethos
  • act as a direct one-to-one customer service and technical support to company operations and updates
  • and act as a disaster response management tool

When carrying out a project on the merits and possible uses of Twitter with an airline, a use was unearthed not thought of as one of the main avenues of focus; disaster response management and a one-to-one customer service. The project just as it so happened to be was carried out during the eruption of the awkwardly named Eyjafjallajokull Icelandic volcano in 2010.


During this time the airline, as was nearly every airline operating within European airspace, was inundated with would be passengers venting their anger and dismay at the handling of the event and in essence the disaster response put in place. Twitter became the main avenue for passengers to communicate their thoughts and queries. Airlines had to delicately respond to these issues and hope to strengthen relationships and trust in the airline. Thus in every disaster there is an opportunity to strengthen trust in the airline and build up a strong bond with the customer who will be satisfied with the response that the airline gives.

Such is the nature with Twitter, it acts as an open forum for people to vent their frustration and try to find if their own flight is cancelled or not.  Everyone can see each others comments and most importantly how the airline deals with each comment and in what manner. This is why it is vital to remain detached from any personal or vitriol comments made and adopt clarity and brevity in responses made to passengers on Twitter. Undoubtedly this episode manifested how Twitter is a fantastic tool for airlines to utilize within the myriad of social media engagement channels on offer and one that is instant in its response to real time disasters and events.

Twitter can be used to build relationships and encourage interactivity with a customer base and ‘followers’. It can act as a source of real competitive advantage  over rivals in the ultra competitive airline sector through helping forge a social and monetary bond with customers.


Relationship Marketing in the 21st Century

  • Creating Profitable and Interactive Relationships with the Consumer
  • Core Areas for Consideration
    • Trust Management: The Customer is a Stakeholder Too
    • Loyalty Programs & Initiatives: Airlines and Frequent Flyer Clubs
    • Social Bond and Interactivity  in Online Relationship Marketing
    • Support Services & Complaint Management
  • Social Media and Connecting with the Masses
  • Social Media Engagement Activities as  a Platform for Creating Communities
    • Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube, Delicious, Buzz, Diggit, Stumble Upon, Blogs, SCVNGR, GetGlue