United’s Twitter presence has long puzzled me. When Continental and United merged they had two individual Twitter account with hundreds of thousands of followers. Instead of using one of those accounts post-merger (especially since you can change your Twitter username), they created an entirely new one. And as a result they have fewer than half as many followers as American, and hell, even have fewer followers than US Airways, which is saying a lot.
Now they’ve done something that’s quite possibly even more puzzling. Early Friday morning (the worst day of the week for news!)- they Tweeted the following:
They didn’t Tweet “an exciting new rewards experience is coming” or “stay tuned for an exciting enhancement to our MileagePlus program” or anything of the like. It’s valuable to build anticipation around positive news, but to Tweet something along the lines of “something is coming, stay tuned” can’t be interpreted any way other than negatively.
I’m not going to speculate about what the change is, as 300 people have already done that on FlyerTalk, but the execution on that is incredibly puzzling to me.
UA Insider did post the following on FlyerTalk:
Wanted to jump in here and let you know that we are indeed looking ahead to an announcement about new reward opportunities for MileagePlus members—over and above what you’ve seen already this week. I’ll ask that you sit tight for the next few days, but rest assured you can expect full details from me the minute we go live. And while I know you’ll give us honest feedback (as always), I do believe this is something to look forward to :-).
Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
Anyway, I think United needs someone new to handle their social media presence. If you have positive news, throw in some language that makes it sound like you’re not informing your friends you’re going to have a root canal. If it’s negative news, don’t build anticipation around it on Twitter — ain’t nobody got time for that!