In September, BA took down MetroTwin, a struggling community for business travellers and moved it to a Facebook Application.
They could have spent years weaving relationships between their audience. But they didn't. They went for the quick clicks, and they exhausted them pretty fast.
You see many similar efforts. "Share your ideas", "Share your stories", as the call to participate.
But, ask yourself, how many have you responded to? Not many. But why not?
We share stories with people we know. We use them to create favourable impressions with people we care about. We use them to bond with people we want to bond with. If we don't know the recipient, why would we share? The joy in telling a story is to get the feedback
It's far easier to ask members to share their stories once they're familiar with each other. Building that familiarity in the first place is the hard part.
The problem is it takes time. You have to commit to relationships. You have to get past that fragile, early, stage. If BA had begun weaving it's relationships back when they launched MetroTwin in 2008, they would be thriving by now.
But at every stage they went for the quick clicks. Now they've wasted a small fortune on a platform they have just cancelled.
If you want real long-term loyalty, you have to shift your focus to building relationships. And you have to do it now.