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Social networks such as Facebook or Myspace have recently become an outstanding marketing resource used by many firms. In spite of the high potencial of these networks, companies like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have had to suffer their negative consequences.

On October 31st Virgin fired 13 members of its cabin crew. A similar case ocurred on November 3rd when British Airways began a investigation into the behaviour of some of its employees. Both firms discovered that the employees had been making disparaging remarks about the passengers and the airlines´ reputations on social networks.

As the statement says, these forums can also cause damaging publicity to companies that are now questioning the lack of education regarding the correct use of the Internet. That is why the companies have reinforced their policies. Nevertheless, they have not been very effective.

In order to resolve this problem, it has been recommended that managers keep an active online control since both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have declared they didn´t discover the employees´ posts until passengers finally complained or when they found out from press reports.

Prevention is always much better than cure, as these companies have now figured out after the bad experience.

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