Some companies are just getting the concept of Social Media Marketing, while others have been in it since the inception. Whether you are a newcomer or an old timer, we all need to learn to respect the power of Social Media.

The companies and organizations that do not may be in a world of trouble. Think about it, how did the world find out about the mass killings in Syria? You Tube… How did we learn about the senseless killing of Travon Martin? The fact is today people can quickly spread their news, opinions, or comments around the world in a matter of seconds using Social Media. Companies need to be aware that their and their employee’s actions today are now with consequence and you can quickly have a swarm of mass protests shut down your company or quickly damage your hard earned reputation in a few short days or even minutes.

United, for example learned the lesson of NOT ignoring your customer’s complaints. One customer had a valued guitar broken in transport on a flight from United. After several complaints to the company went unanswered, the gentleman quickly posted a You Tube video about his experience. Today the video has been seen by 11,695,893 people and counting! United was shammed into reacting, unfortunately a little too late… the damage to their reputation was already done. The worst part is this also spurs others who have had problems, to also use this forum to add their two cents. Before you know it, United has its hands full trying to keep a mass crowd of complaints from continuing to snowball. If they just addressed the ONE client at the time, this could may have been prevented.

In Travon Martin’s case, I am sure that the Police force never even thought about the power of Social Media. Their inactions spurred a few people to start the posts and soon the press caught wind of the story… and we are now seeing this power unfold in the public’s eye.

It is not always the bad news that spreads on the internet. In the case of a recent Marilyn Hagerty’s Grand Forks Herald review of the Olive Garden. This rave review of the new restaurant went viral by end of the day that the review was published. Even Marilyn was surprised how quickly her simple review would attract so much attention.

An example of a company using Social Media to connect to the public before connecting to the press was with BP after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. With Social Media a new medium for BP, they opted to use Twitter to release news releases to the public on a regular basis. They also allowed people to use their Facebook page and other forums to “vent” their displeasure with BP. This strategy worked and BP was able to survive the crisis.

Companies need to study the leaders like Zappos , Dell and many others that are using the power of Social Media to their advantage not only for making money but building loyal customers. It is also important for companies and organizations today to take the time to study the good, the bad and the ugly of Social Media. Social Media Marketers need to spend the time NOW to have Social Media Crisis plan ready. Just think… what would you do if you became the center of Social Media Viral Attack?

If you need help with Online Reputation Monitoring and help with planning for a crisis, contact Your Virtual Assistants. Let’s talk about how we can help you set you on the positive side of Social Media today.

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