In light of yesterday’s dramatic (and thankfully safe) landing of US Air Flight 1549, where as most crisis situations can detract business, there is an opportunity for US Air to find some new Zealots in their mix.

MSNBC published a story today stating that within hours of the emergency landing, there was already a Facebook page called “Fans of Sully Sullenberger” online, a wonderful homage to the savior pilot. As of right now, there are currently now 45 Facebook fan pages dedicated to Sully (in 3 languages) with some amazing stats. One with 1,822 wall posts, one with 242,381 fans!

I’m reinforced just how astonishing the influence and speed of the online world truly is. With all these communities & individuals rallying around an employee of US Air, there are a few potential things the company could do to truly bring these people into their brand, making them brand supporters above just “Sully supporters” – and potentially Zealots for their brand.

  • They could contact each Group creator and thank them for setting up the forums in honor of dear Sully – and unexpectedly provide them a free flight or two for an upcoming trip. Oh, and consider the medium – provide it to them via private message with an online code!
  • Make a wall post on behalf of US Air on each Groups page, thanking each community for rallying & genuinely caring.
  • Make a YouTube video straight from Sully, personally thanking these supporters and “share” it on each page as a featured video.

All in all, these people who before yesterday could have probably cared less about US Air now have made a social statement to their peers by joining the group, as well as gained a personal connection to the brand.

What other things could US Air do to engage their new group of Supporters?

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