Data Point: Plane Crisis Cracks Southwest’s Social Media Armor

Southwest Airlines’ much-lauded social media mojo was put to the test on Friday, April 1, 2011, when one of its jets developed cracks in the fuselage in flight and had to make an emergency landing. Compiling Facebook and Twitter mentions of the incident, PeopleBrowsr’s five-day tonal snapshot of comments show a distinct rise in negativity, but neutrality stayed steady (vertical axis shows number of mentions, culled from 11,200 total comments). For more insights into Facebook, attend the PR News Facebook Conference on May 24 in New York City. Go to to register. Source: PeopleBrowsr (data exclusive to PR News)

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  • Alicia H.

    The presence of negative comments doesn’t necessarily put a dent in one’s social media armor. Yes, a crisis occurred. But how Southwest addressed such comments and concerns should be the measurement of success. All PeopleBrowsr is telling us is that a crisis happened–not if it was handled well.