O2 show us how not use Social Media

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

O2 Network failure Tweet

On the afternoon of the 4th October 2018 O2 mobile network experienced a massive crash with their network. How far and wide I can't exactly say but judging by the reports across the internet it seemed to be affecting most of the UK. If you had a mobile phone on the O2 network then suddenly you were unable to make any calls. What I found most interesting was how O2 dealt with it on the internet and more importantly via their Social media Accounts such as Twitter.

The short answer is that they did absolutely nothing. O2 are a shining example of a really big corporate organisation that has absolutley no understanding of how to use Social Media effectively. And not just in a crisis situation either. But first I'd like to focus on this epic fail before I address their general lack of understanding about using Social Media.

As I write this O2 have 340,000 followers on Twitter and there are 13 million Twitter users in the UK. I am one of those 13 million Twitter users. So, when the Network crashed I did what many others did. I turned my device on and off, then I went to O2's website which gave no details of an outage and their Status Checker also didn't say there was an issue. I then ventured to Twitter, the fastest place for an organisation to use Social Media effectively. Their feed showed nothing other than the usual shameless Tweets promoting stuff you can buy from them. In fact, this evening they still have made no mention of it. I then wrote "O2" in the Twitter search bar and it came up with hundreds of Tweets from people across the UK saying their phones were not working. There were also numerous Tweets from the thousands that had tried to contact O2 by phone to find out why things were not working, which could have been easily addressed with a quick Tweet form the company instead of meaning thousands of people calling O2. I like the Tweet from one user that I have attached that highlights what everyone else is thinking.

O2 network failure tweet

So, don't always look to the large corporate companies for how to use Twitter as there are other small owner operated businesses that truly understand how to use platforms such as Twitter. Not just in a crisis but in all they do.

Twitter and the other Social Media Networks are all about engaging with people. Not talking at them and promoting their own products and services non-stop. O2 isn't just guilty of a major PR failure by not using Twitter in the way it's followers and general Twitter users expect when service issues arise. It also fails to really understand that being a large organisation doesn't mean you should just use your account to corporately Tweet sales messages and barely anything else. At Signpost Media we often say, "Think Globally but act locally" and this is where O2 have really missed what Social Media is really about. Their Social Media is totally faceless and fails to really engage effectively. The majority of their Tweets have 1 or 2 comments, sometimes none and the odd few likes, which is pretty bad if you have 340,000 followers.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to comment or share. Visit us at Signpost Media.

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