Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, PR 20, Social Media Marketing

Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons

social media lessons 300x225 Panic in the Aisles   Airborne Social Media LessonsI was on a flight home from Kansas City last week when a bit of condensation apparently emitted from the air conditioning as we were preparing for take-off. A passenger shouted “there’s smoke in the plane” followed by a second passenger, then a third, etc.

The flight attendants were a bit stunned and immediately got on the phone to the flight deck (I was in 1D so I literally had a front row seat for this whole epic mishap). As they were talking to the captain, passengers kept shouting frantically, not realizing that the flight attendants had already heard them.

SOCIAL MEDIA LESSON: Even if you know you’re doing the right thing, if you don’t acknowledge a customer with a problem, they think you’re doing the wrong thing.

Finally, a flight attendant screamed “we hear you” and then evidently misconstrued the captain’s remarks too, because she stated on the public address system that a warning was going off in the cockpit, as well.

SOCIAL MEDIA LESSON: The “fog” of social media is real. It moves fast. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on around you. Communication can break down.

This of course created a bit of a panic (especially since we were already delayed leaving due to a broken navigation system). Captain Wilson stopped the takeoff, and we returned to the gate. Eventually, the captain explained that it was a false alarm, just condensation. But, nearly 20% of the entire plane grabbed their belongings and left.

SOCIAL MEDIA LESSON: I’m not sure about the “wisdom” of crowds, but people influence the behavior of their peers. What customers say about your company (regardless of how un/informed they are, or how unique their circumstance is), impacts potential customers’ perceptions more than anything you can ever do or say.

Ouch.

(photo by aralbalkan)

Related
  • HuebnerPetersen

    Word of mouth "impacts potential customers’ perceptions more than anything you can ever do or say." http://j.mp/GqyZk (via @jaybaer)

  • http://www.steigmancommunications.com/ Daria Steigman

    I’m not sure what was worse: being on a plane with hysterical fellow passengers or having a flight crew that didn’t know how to handle them. Of course, I was once in mid-air when a flight attendant ran down the aisle shouting “don’t panic.” We looked around and wondered, why not? (To be fair, it turned out that one of the engines on the other side of the plane was spectacularly on fire. Good thing big planes have 4 engines and apparently only need 1 or 2 to stay aloft.)
    .-= Daria Steigman´s last blog ..Second Look: Talent Innovation, Blogging Tips, Value Propositions =-.

  • http://www.steigmancommunications.com Daria Steigman

    I’m not sure what was worse: being on a plane with hysterical fellow passengers or having a flight crew that didn’t know how to handle them. Of course, I was once in mid-air when a flight attendant ran down the aisle shouting “don’t panic.” We looked around and wondered, why not? (To be fair, it turned out that one of the engines on the other side of the plane was spectacularly on fire. Good thing big planes have 4 engines and apparently only need 1 or 2 to stay aloft.)
    .-= Daria Steigman´s last blog ..Second Look: Talent Innovation, Blogging Tips, Value Propositions =-.

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com/ Robert Wheatley

    Perception indeed informs reality. Fear drives perception. Messages promulgate fear. It’s a circle. recently did a presentation on crisis communication in the social media era. Jason, you were very instrumental in helping me assemble the key points. I can’t begin to thank you enough for your ideas and thoughts. here’s a blog post on what happened: http://www.wheatleytimmons.com/blog/crisis-response-speed-light

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com Robert Wheatley

    Perception indeed informs reality. Fear drives perception. Messages promulgate fear. It’s a circle. recently did a presentation on crisis communication in the social media era. Jason, you were very instrumental in helping me assemble the key points. I can’t begin to thank you enough for your ideas and thoughts. here’s a blog post on what happened: http://www.wheatleytimmons.com/blog/crisis-response-speed-light

  • Martha

    Sheesh, people are dumb aren’t they? There’s no trust in figures of authority any more. The economic crash may be part of it. There’s no respect for public figures, either.

  • http://YourWebsite Martha

    Sheesh, people are dumb aren’t they? There’s no trust in figures of authority any more. The economic crash may be part of it. There’s no respect for public figures, either.

  • http://www.buzzmarketingaz.com/ Leslie Sonnenklar

    Very cleverly put. I loved how you connected that real live situation to social media! And great points made!
    .-= Leslie Sonnenklar´s last blog ..Do’s and Don’ts of publicity and interviews =-.

  • http://www.buzzmarketingaz.com Leslie Sonnenklar

    Very cleverly put. I loved how you connected that real live situation to social media! And great points made!
    .-= Leslie Sonnenklar´s last blog ..Do’s and Don’ts of publicity and interviews =-.

  • http://www.nosmokeandmirrors.com/ Mark Allen Roberts

    “The Fog of social media is real”…great quote I plan to use…

    Social media, Social marketing can create sales velocity, or run your out of business overnight.

    Market leaders understand the power of social marketing.

    Mark Allen Roberts
    http://www.outbsolutions.com
    .-= Mark Allen Roberts´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Best Practice; #5 Tailor Questions for your buyers that Illustrate your Expertise and Prepare you to Serve their Needs =-.

  • http://www.nosmokeandmirrors.com Mark Allen Roberts

    “The Fog of social media is real”…great quote I plan to use…

    Social media, Social marketing can create sales velocity, or run your out of business overnight.

    Market leaders understand the power of social marketing.

    Mark Allen Roberts
    http://www.outbsolutions.com
    .-= Mark Allen Roberts´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Best Practice; #5 Tailor Questions for your buyers that Illustrate your Expertise and Prepare you to Serve their Needs =-.

  • http://writingblog.ventajamarketing.com/ John White

    Jay: There’s an art to getting a socmed post out of an incident like that. I tip my hat.
    .-= John White´s last blog ..“It’s a Good Outline, But I Hate It.” – Making Outlines Work =-.

  • http://writingblog.ventajamarketing.com John White

    Jay: There’s an art to getting a socmed post out of an incident like that. I tip my hat.
    .-= John White´s last blog ..“It’s a Good Outline, But I Hate It.” – Making Outlines Work =-.

  • http://strategyweb.wordpress.com/ Oscar Del Santo

    The parallelisms are striking and I see some very important points about monitorization and ‘engaging’ in the conversation made in this post.

    Most definitely there are lessons to be extracted from this otherwise scary experience!
    .-= Oscar Del Santo´s last blog ..ORM and the Dark Side =-.

  • http://strategyweb.wordpress.com/ Oscar Del Santo

    The parallelisms are striking and I see some very important points about monitorization and ‘engaging’ in the conversation made in this post.

    Most definitely there are lessons to be extracted from this otherwise scary experience!
    .-= Oscar Del Santo´s last blog ..ORM and the Dark Side =-.

  • http://twitter.com/kellymullaney/status/4297598251 Kelly Mullaney

    RT @jaybaer Look around. There are social media lessons (and horror stories) everywhere. In an airplane, for example… http://bit.ly/YJVoV

  • http://twitter.com/karpo/status/4297634859 {Karla}

    RT @jaybaer: Look around. There are social media lessons (and horror stories) everywhere. In an airplane, for example… http://bit.ly/YJVoV

  • http://twitter.com/debdobson/status/4297681702 DebDobson

    RT @jaybaer: Look around. There are social media lessons (and horror stories) everywhere. In an airplane, for example… http://bit.ly/YJVoV

  • http://twitter.com/bnash972/status/4298859996 Brad Nash

    Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons http://tinyurl.com/kqksq7 by @jaybaer Convince & Convert

  • http://twitter.com/hdopson/status/4300066157 Heather Dopson

    rt @jaybaer There are social media lessons (and horror stories) everywhere. In an airplane, for example… http://bit.ly/YJVoV

  • http://twitter.com/tysoncrosbie/status/4300384540 tyson crosbie

    Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons http://bit.ly/wQaYT
    #reader

  • http://twitter.com/randylewiskemp/status/4301341087 Randy Kemp

    Article: "Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons" http://is.gd/3zRnO

  • http://twitter.com/jlysne/status/4303186680 Josh Lysne

    Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons – Sounds like an interesting flight @jaybaer http://ow.ly/qB6o

  • http://twitter.com/monica_voon/status/4312202673 Monica Voon

    Nice airline analogy on social media from @Jay Baer l Panic in the aisles l http://bit.ly/NHN9p

  • http://twitter.com/janishall/status/4315868867 Janis Hall

    RT @MetrostarSystem: Panic in the Aisles – Airborne Social Media Lessons http://bit.ly/4DsMGF #socialmedia -> wow, good quick ex of SM works

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