My Twitter timeline has been buzzing this morning with praise from Digital Marketers for Lowcostholidays.com who have pulled off a social media coup over their more famous rivals, Thomas Cook. I’m not convinced that we should be celebrating so much…
You can read about it here, but in summary:
A Facebook user called Thomas Cook tried to blag a free holiday from the travel agents of the same name by claiming “compensation” for being “ridiculed” about his name. Thomas Cook (the company) didn’t respond, but an enterprising Marketing Manager at Lowcostholidays.com personally replied to the message and offered Thomas Cook (the person) a free holiday – which they took, as a picture of the man and his friend grinning at the Eiffel Tower proved.
This is all fantastic publicity for Lowcostholidays.com! As well as the news littering my Twitter feed, the story has been the most read news item on Reddit.
And of course, commentators agree it is bad news for Thomas Cook who have FAILED by not using Social Media properly.
It is very true that they have been too passive and maybe a tad old-fashioned in their use of Facebook, not realising how important the two-way communication between brands and customers can be.
It is reported that Thomas Cook’s PR team are “panicking”, they have been forced to issue a statement about why they ignored the original message from Mr Thomas Cook, while Lowcostholidays.com sit back, watch the new visitors come to their site and bask in adoration.
Well bully for them. I’m not going to heap them with praise. It’s great that they are using Social Media monitoring tools so efficiently and it’s wonderful that they are being so dynamic.
But there’s a but.
Take a look at the message Charlotte Hunt posted on behalf of Lowcostholidays.com
I’ve picked out this quote:
“So in Thomas Cook’s time of crisis we thought it was about time we stepped in to offer a helping had to customers like yourself who have found themselves, as we like to say “Thomas Crooked”.
And here’s a quote from Tnooz (the article I linked to earlier)
“The initiative last November came just a few weeks after Lowcostholidays was forced to withdraw an online ad campaign that invited consumers to say if they had ever been “Thomas Crooked”.
So, bottom line: That “Thomas Crooked” line is getting another airing, nearly a year after they withdrew it with a public apology – fancy that?!
Not so nice. Not so impressive.