UK mobile network O2 was today battling to restore services to it’s customers nationwide after a massive outage. The issues began yesterday lunchtime with many users reporting that they were unable to make calls or use data services on their smartphones. Subscribers to Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff services were also affected, which use the O2 network, were also affected, although O2 said that the issues were not geographical.
Consumers took to social networks like Facebook and Twitter to let friends, family and colleagues that their phones were not working.
An analysis of shares on Twitter using Topsy.com reveals insight into what people were sharing during the outage.
- 11 July – at 12.25 people mentioned O2 182 times, with the most popular shared link being of the site’s Accessories Page
- 11 July – at 13.25 people mentioned O2 144 times, with the most popular shared link being of O2’s Support Page
- 11 July – at 14.32 people mentioned O2 480 times, with the most popular shared link being a Tweet to share if ”RT this if you have a problem with your phones reception (O2/3)‘
- 11 July – at 18.35 people mentioned O2 7,185 times, with the most popular link to share being the story O2 outage story on the BBC news site.
- 11 July – at 21.35 people mentioned O2 19,962 times with the most popular link being to Sky News story ‘O2 Customers Suffer Lengthy Network Outage‘
Even at 03.25 there were over 300 tweets mentioning O2 with the top story being share being a link to the network’s service status page.
During the outage O2’s own status support page went down with so many people trying to find out what was going on. Interestingly enough, technology sites such as Twitter use Blogger, while others host their support sites on Tumblr in order to keep in touch with customers if their own sites go down. Why haven’t O2 considered this?
In all over 57,000 Tweets were sent mentioning O2 during the last 24 hours, many with negative sentiment. Customers even took to using irony and sarcasm to discuss the mobile operator, with a popular Tweets like the one below:
I’m on the new O2 plan…— Russats (@Russats) July 12, 2012
Unlimited Smoke Signals
250 Pigeons a month
Free messages in a bottle to other O2 customers #O2
Social media keeps us connected on the go and during a crisis, it is speed and reaction time that saves your reputation. It’s communicating with influencers in these channels who, if convinced, can re-share your story to the audiences. Below is a list of the most popular links, many from news sites, that were shared during the network outage.
Your communications have to ready. Prepared for real-time engagement and communications. There is no excuse, unless you like to be slow and enjoy watching your brand suffer, which I am sure your board and shareholders don’t.