Not so long ago indiscretions, faults and bad business practices could get covered up by the perpetrators keeping their mouths shut, ignoring the problem and pretending nothing was wrong. They would wait it out until the problem went away. That was before Social Media hit the big-time! Social Media is where you and I can get published and heard by anything from a few hundred to countless millions of people… if we have something to say and know how to say it.
The phenomenon of the individual taking on the instigator (whether that’s a big company or just a malcontent) is directly powered by the ubiquitous nature of social media.
Take the example of Dave Carroll, a Canadian singer who’s guitar got broken by United Airline’s baggage handlers. He was sitting in the plane and saw the handlers literally throwing his guitar around. When he arrived at his destination, sure enough the guitar was broken. He complained but United were unsympathetic and/or plain disinterested. Over the course of the next few months, Dave tried to get some form of compensation and an apology but to no avail. So what did he do? He made a music video and uploaded to YouTube. What followed is the dream of the victim and nightmare of the complacent. Viral social transmission ensued.
Dave’s video was watched ‘millions’ of times causing untold damage to United’s reputation as well as their bottom line. It got picked up by the blogs, tv and eventually United. But by then the damage was done. Check out the Dave’s music video here and watch how the story unfolded.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
If you have something to say, then say it because there has never been a better time to be heard. There are numerous avenues to pursue including YouTube, Facebook, WordPress, Blogspot, Biznik or a combination of all of them. Social media sites and blogs have tools to communicate with each other so your message can ‘escape’ very quickly.
It doesn’t have to go viral to get a sense of satisfaction either. Take the case of someone in my Biznik network complaining that I spammed them. I felt a little miffed as I was providing what I considered to be helpful updates. So I wrote a small post in Biznik’s Biztalk. 3 days later, over 650 reads and 38 comments. I didn’t have to ponder and stew over the complaint; instead I sought opinions and was richly rewarded by the interest of other members.
How has this ‘web publishing empowerment’ affected you? How has it affected your life and/or business that you can ‘talk’ to the world in a matter of hours or days? Does it simply amaze you like it does me? I would love to hear your stories and experiences.