social media nightmare for ‘United’

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image from ME.ME

I think lots of you might have read the news about United dragging a passenger off the place because of the overbooking situation.

The video of how the passenger was being dragged off has been spreading all over the social media, with many of my friends retweeting on Twitter and sharing on Facebook. As the video has gone viral on the internet, United Airline’s brand image has been damaged and the company has loses $1.3 billion in market value in only 1 day, according to

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image from Rogelio Garcia Lawyer’s twitter

What am I trying to point out with this, is that social media could be a great tool for companies to reach out to a large market of customers, to grab customers’ attention, building brand image, but it could also ruin the reputation of the company, just like the case of United Airline. As the video of the Asian man being dragged violently was spread, hashtags such as #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos and #BoycottUnitedAirlines have been the number 1 hashtags on Twitter.

Mike Kelly suggests that social media platform like Facebook, Twitter provide the perfect opportunity to take advantage of word of mouth, because it is more likely that individuals like me or you, would trust and listen to the opinions of peers rather than from company advertising. Just like the case for United, people eventually expressed their anger through social media, sharing and retweeting the video and their feelings.

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image from Facebook page of United

How the customers behavior and react to companies are really important because they are the one that select, purchase, use or even disposed products and services. As the viral video got multi-million watched, United now would have to plan ahead their marketing strategies to convince their customers and to rebuild an image and reputation.

It would be challenging for United Airline to restore their brand image, what way/strategy will you use if you are the CEO of United Airline?


3 thoughts on “social media nightmare for ‘United’

  1. I remember how sad I was for the doctor that got dragged out from his seat, this has even become a thing my halls mates talk about for that few days.
    With social media, this kind of news can spread really fast, and look at how United’s stock value plummetted in matter of days. All kind of business should take this and other previous news (like the Pepsi Ad) and learn from it, PR on social media should not be underestimated, it can save your company, or destroy it in few words.


    1. I agreed, even though companies can benefit from user’s engagement with social media, they should also be really careful of their actions and reputation, just because people are so used to taking videos and sharing with others!


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