Twitter Experiment: How will brands respond?


In the past week, I ran a little experiment. I didn’t necessarily intend to, but it seemed like a good opportunity. I tried to engage three brands on Twitter. Only one responded, although late. So what does this say about all the consensus out there in social media marketing that Twitter is a great place to serve customers? Well, first, I think there are many brands out there that do a great job of engaging followers on Twitter. Hubspot wrote a great blog with some examples. The examples were wide ranging from consumer goods to a university to a research company.

My tweets to these brands were not negative or combative. I was trying to start a conversation. Maybe these brands don’t have a plan to respond or are too afraid. Here’s a look at my experiment.

Southwest Airlines

I wrote a blog recently about a trip on Southwest that turned into a nightmare. I wanted them to read it. I posted it with a call out of their handle on January 9.


No response so I retweeted on January 12, calling them out for not using Twitter as a customer service channel. They replied, and we had a conversation via DM. I can report that I did receive a refund for the canceled flight, which was approximately what the rental car cost. But they did not make any attempt to further compensate me. They did apologize. I still am not overly impressed with their Twitter responsiveness, but it was better than the other two!



I don’t follow L’Oreal on Twitter, but I do use their products. Not really makeup, but shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products. A promoted tweet came up on my feed. Promoted means well they paid for it, and they must have the goal to increase followers. I didn’t think the tweet really answered what the value is for me to follow them, so I let them know this.


Again, not I’m not trying to drag them in any way. Just trying to start a conversation. Tell me why I should follow you, and be more specific than news and updates. They could have responded and shown how powerful social media can be but instead just crickets.


I love iced tea. It’s the most southern thing about me. I don’t have a brand preference for tea bags, buying typically what is on sale or what I have a coupon for, so I go back and forth between Lipton and Luzianne.

So I came to the end of a 24 count box of Luzianne, only to be left with only three tea bags instead of four. It takes four tea bags to make a gallon, thus I should be able to make six gallons. Yet, for the third time, I seem to have been missing a tea bag. So I though Luzianne should know.


Luzianne did not respond at all. I am thinking maybe this is something they should look into – I could’ve provided where I purchased the boxes because obviously, they are only putting 23 in there! No response to me means they either don’t care, aren’t aware or don’t know how to respond – which are all extremely concerning. So Luzianne, I can’t buy your teabags anymore.

I’d love to hear what you think about these Twitter fails. Tweet me, and let’s have a conversation!


At least we have a story (Thanks Southwest)


From the So This Happened Files

Of course we have lots of stories. And our honeymoon was full of wonderful moments until the end. Everyone has survived some sort of travel nightmare. This is ours; it’s based on a true story. And maybe in a few years we can look back and laugh. Who knew it would take over 24 hours to get home from Jamaica. And no boats were involved.

We chose to fly Southwest. I’ve been a raving fan of theirs for many years. I studied them in business school as a company built on values and taking care of employees and customers. I really thought they were different. I didn’t really start flying Southwest until a few years ago when they finally arrived at the Charlotte airport after their acquisition of AirTran. I liked what I believed them to be as a company. And their flight attendants always seemed to be genuine and happy, unlike other airlines, where I thought the people might jump off the plane at any moment.

I understand that flights get canceled. I was a constant traveler for five and a half years. I get it. I know weather can’t be controlled. But this experience was the absolute worst I’ve ever been involved regarding a canceled flight. We arrived from Jamaica to Baltimore. Our flight to Charlotte was scheduled for 8:40 p.m. We get through customs, and the flight is on time. Then it was delayed two hours. Okay, we can deal with that. Lots of delays and canceled flights light up the screen. Then we are delayed another hour – waiting for the aircraft. Our plan arrives, and we are advised that after the passengers deplane, we will be on our way.

But we aren’t. The new message is that we need a first officer. Again, I understand that pilots can only fly a certain number of hours and that all commercial flights require two pilots. But they board us anyway. We’re on the plane. It’s now midnight. The first officer has landed in the B gates, and he’s on his way to our gate in A. Passengers are getting restless and start saying that we’re not going anywhere; that this is all a lie. And they are right. The next announcement is that there is no first officer; the flight has been canceled. I can only assume that the first officer fell into a black hole on his way to the gate. Someone should really report him missing.

After the cancellation, we are given no further instruction on how to get our bags or what to do. There’s one service desk and 100 plus angry and tired people. All the flights for Sunday are booked. Justin suggests we can just live in the airport like Tom Hanks did (and I’m not laughing). But we’ve got to get home. The dogs need to be picked up in the morning. We are six and a half hours from home. We can drive. The car rental is 24 hours at BWI. But we need our luggage. We ask how to find our checked baggage. “Just go to baggage claim,” we are instructed. Baggage claim is a nightmare. Our bags are nowhere to be found. Then we are advised that our baggage is in a “secure area.” We have to get in another line. While in said line, Justin keeps looking around. The luggage is found. It’s about 1:30 a.m. at this point.

We go to pick up the rental car, but I don’t have my driver’s license. I only have my Passport. I try to keep what I have to take with me minimal when traveling, but note to self – take your damn license! Justin has his license but no credit card. I have credit cards. Hertz says no – driver and credit card have to be the same. Not sure why – and we are married. Avis accepts his license and my credit card. We get on the road. It’s 2:30 a.m.

We make our way through D.C. in the middle of the night. There’s still a surprising amount of traffic. However, I’ve come to believe that D.C. has traffic no matter what time of day. We’ve now been up for 20 plus hours.

So we stop at rest stops all down 95, and run around the car to stay awake. He gets coffee; I have soda. He won’t let me drive because he’s a good husband (and is also aware that I’m not the best driver under ideal circumstances). But I have to stay up. So I plug in my iPod and start singing loud. We stay awake. I may have been holding my eyelids open. I think I was a bit delirious at this point as well. It’s kind of a blur.

Around 10:00 a.m., we roll into Charlotte. We’ve been up for close to 30 hours. It has taken us 24 hours to get from the resort to home (and again, we didn’t take a raft from Jamaica). We pick up the pups, who are very glad to see us and smell so nice from their go-home baths. Finally, at around noon, we collapse into bed.

But we survived; our first test of the marriage. And as for Southwest, I feel very different about them now than I did before. They are going to issue us a partial refund for the canceled flight. But now I just think they are like all the rest. There is no differentiation between them and the others. I’m not sure when I’ll fly them again. Our trips for 2017 will be mostly through American, as they own about 90% of our airport and I’m a card member. Listen, I have no love for American. But now I think Southwest is on the same level. They’ve lost my trust. I’m no longer a raving fan. It wasn’t the cancelation; it was the lying. I’ve never been able to take lying. Passengers don’t want smoke blown up our asses; we want the truth so we can make more informed decisions.

But as Justin said, we have a story. Yes, we do. Thanks, Southwest, I needed more material.