The London Eye Doesn’t “Get” Twitter

The London EyeThe London Eye celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday 19th January. To mark the occasion, they offered the chance to win 10 pairs of tickets if you tweeted @TheLondonEye #LondonEye10 between 9.50 and 10.00 am on the day. I was one of the lucky people who won a pair of tickets.

Considering that Twitter is an instantaneous medium, I was pretty surprised that it took until 3.40 pm for the folks in the press office at the Eye to announce who had won. Surely it needn’t have taken so long to pick 10 winners. The competition was a pretty swift affair with a 10 minute window, yet it took them nearly six hours to figure out and notify who would be the lucky recipients of a pair of London Eye tickets. In the Twitterverse, that’s a lifetime!

As requested, I emailed over my name and address, along with my Twitter name and waited for a response. And waited.

On Thursday I emailed them to enquire whether they’d received my email, prompting a response on Friday to say that they had and that the tickets were in the post. In fact they arrived later that day in the lovely card you see above. I’m delighted with my free tickets and waiting for some great weather to use them.

I asked by return whether they were going to make any further PR hay with the giveaway and, again, I didn’t receive a response.

Being the proactive chap that I am, earlier today I called the lady in the press office at the London Eye who sent my tickets over. To save her dignity, I’ll call her Marjorie.

It seems that the folks over at the London Eye Press Office don’t really understand Twitter.

Here’s a transcript:

Marjorie: Hello London Eye Press Office, Marjorie Speaking.

Simon: Hello Marjorie, Simon Aronowitz speaking, one of the lucky 10 people on your 10th anniversary.

Marjorie: [downbeat] Hiya.

Simon: Hi! [Pause] Happy Anniversary!

Marjorie: Oh thank you.

Simon: I was wondering what you were going to do about the ten people who won, whether you were going to use that as a PR opportunity, whenever people turn up with their tickets.

Marjorie: Erm, I don’t think we are because we’ve got a lot of planned activity happening in March. So that was more of a message to let people know that the Eye was re-opening after its maintenance work and it is our anniversary year. I don’t think we’ve actually got any planned activity as such planned for them.

Simon: I think you’re missing an opportunity. You’ve got 10 happy people there who are going to turn up and be absolutely delighted that they got free tickets and you’re going to do nothing about it.

Marjorie: Well I think it was just more of us just saying thanks and getting the message out though, as opposed to…

Simon: Oh yeah, but leverage it! Leverage it! Social media, it’s all free!

Marjorie: Yeah, of course I know but like I said I think we’ve got a lot of activity at the moment, so I think we’re just concentrating on that.

Simon: Sure, although that’s March. I mean, I might turn up in April – you might have a quiet month in April, it would give you something to talk about.

Marjorie: Er, yeah, maybe. I can suggest it, but I’m not sure obviously how far that would go. The story is more about us celebrating our anniversary and giving out complimentary tickets because obviously we do it with quite a lot of charities and whatnot.

Simon: Sure, but as I say, if it’s just a tweet, if you’ve got a picture of happy me in May with my guest cos we’re enjoying our free tickets, you’ve got one more tweet of someone happy where, you know, you tweet that and it’s about me, or a two-line blurb on your website and you tweet about it, I’ll re-tweet it and I’ll tell everybody else all over again about the London Eye. I mean, that’s what social media is all about.

Marjorie: Yeah, okay. Erm, well thank you for the suggestion. Like I said, it’s noted. Obviously we’ll see. We have all you guys’ contact details so if we do anything, obviously we’ll be in contact. Okay?

Simon: Although, I think you probably want to invite the nine other people as well as myself to let you know when we’re going to be down there because I would never miss a trick if it was my organisation.

Marjorie: But we’re not using it for media purposes, as I said. It’s more of a thank you and just a treat. We obviously wouldn’t exploit them for media purposes.

Simon: But even then, you see Twitter is all about narcicism and egotism, so if you say “Please let us know when you’re coming down, then you can tweet and say “@supportlounge came down to redeem their free tickets”. That’s all about Twitter. It’s a two-way conversation, it’s feeding into it.

Marjorie: Okay, well like I said, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely feed back to my team and see what they think about it.

Simon: Okay, you’ve got my details.

Marjorie: Yes we have, thank you, bye.

Am I being harsh, or are The London Eye missing a trick?