The bankruptcy of American Airline’s parent AMR has been making headlines. There are important lessons to learn from how the reaction to the bankruptcy appeared on social media and how the company responded to the wide variety of comments.

First lets look at the timeline. AMR made the announcement early morning on Nov 29 and we saw the bankruptcy conversations on discussion forums, blogs and tweets almost immediately. Using the search within results feature we could easily find exactly the mentions that were relevant to our objective. As you can see below we found 37K mentions of  the term “bankrupt*” in next 80 hours. By the way, this is a good example of using the power of advanced search (with Boolean operators, wildcards etc) to find something you did not plan for before!

Now that we’ve discussed comments from monitoring, lets switch tracks and take a look at the conversations at American Airline’s social channel, namely their Facebook page. For this we’ll use the Social Content Browsing feature of MutualMind.

The view below is similar to above but it is focused on Facebook posts on American Airline Facebook page and is filtered to show posts by everyone other than the page owner i.e. American Airlines. As you can see, the Facebook content browser has the similar search, filter, labels and sentiments features as the keyword monitoring view above.

The posts show a wide assortment of sentiments, even including jokes by @SteveMartinToGo who talked about being on “one of its planes which is now endlessly taxiing”. But going through the results shows more than what meets the eye. Here are 3 things that we noticed.

Lessons Learned

  1. Communicate – make sure that the brand is communicating regularly but also that the channels are open for people to express their opinion
  2. Be Thankful – thank customers who support you during tough time
  3. Respond to questions – a situation such as filing bankruptcy means that customers will ask questions, even if you have already posted FAQs.

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