Qantas gives up on Twitter for PR activities

Qantas is consolidating its social media activities and going back to traditional outbound communications from its website. Is it leading the way in rationalising its Twitter accounts or accepting that running too many social media accounts just does not work?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Qantas has decided to consolidate its social feeds by closing one of its primary Twitter accounts used for broadcasting information. It will close its @QantasMedia account on Friday, April 19 . Readers are directed to the Qantas news room account for updated news.

Image: Qantas

The Qantas Media account has over 27,000 followers, but is fairly inactive, with only 543 tweets since the account was created on November 15, 2010. There is also an account for Qantas Customer care, which has been inactive since December 2012.

It seems strange that a company that created a Twitter account directly for PR reasons should choose to close the account and redirect queries to its website. The low level of tweets cannot have been a significant burden on the social team, and conversation on this account is low.

Qantas has had its fair share of PR Twitter bloopers in the past. It was criticised for its "wooden" approach to customer queries on social media channels after breaking off negotiations with unions and grounding all flights.

It then got the timing of its #qantasluxury campaign wrong. It offered First Class pyjamas as a prize for tweets about the airline — the day after all flights were grounded.

Perhaps Qantas has realised that it is not ready for the always-on, real-time world of Twitter and prefers to deal with its customers using traditional web site outbound communications. Or perhaps it is not realising the ROI that it expected from its social media team headcount.

Qantas might have found that it really is better to deal with everything through only one main Twitter account for the brand.

It might return to using one coordinated voice for the organisation's outbound activities, instead of managing the cacophony of different streams that plague many companies today.

Qantas might be leading the way with its Twitter consolidation activity. Other brands might be poised to do the same.

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