The dramatic landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson River last Thursday captivated people worldwide. The skill displayed by pilot C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger saved lives and rightfully earned him the label “hero.” His heroism took on an added dimension when a Facebook page recognizing his efforts appeared within hours of the incident. Fans of Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger now number nearly 370,000. The page has an unintended effect of creating positive word-of-mouth communication for US Airways.
The event and ensuing communications online demonstrate the power of social networking. People are eager to share opinions and emotions. Thousands of people who were not impacted first-hand by the US Airways incident were moved by it. There is a marketing lesson to be learned here. Companies must explore ways to get their stakeholders involved in discussions about their needs, problems, dreams, or any other relevant topic. Customers are empowered to talk more than they have ever been; marketers would be wise to listen and join the conversation. While there is a great deal of interest in trying to figure out how to utilize social networking web sites as an advertising medium, there is perhaps greater value in shutting up and listening, for a change!
Link: Online Media Daily – “US Airways Social Media Index Soars”