Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sons of Maxwell

While many are still pondering upon the usefulness of social media, there is one thing we definitely have to give to web 2.0 tools – they lead to a more transparent world. It is not necessarily always to our benefit – probably we don’t like the fact that before going to a job interview the employer already checked our Facebook profiles. (Although it is our choice to decide which photos and information we make public.) I would say though that most often social media is fortunately on our side. Marketing strategist and managers who are responsible for customer services could tell stories about how much these new tools changed their jobs to the customers benefit.  Before social sites existed, we were dependent on well-designed, catchy commercials which could tell us pretty much whatever they wanted about their brands. If it was not true, we had to learn it the hard way. If we were disappointed with a brand/service/company, we could tell it to a bunch of our friends but that was certainly not enough to change anything.
Now we are more connected than ever, which means if we are able to use these new tools the right way, we can be more influential than ever. The setting for businesses has changed: it is not a corporate giant and a defenseless costumer facing each other anymore. My favorite example for this new relationship is the songs entitled ’United breaks guitars’. You might be familiar with the story because the saga of the Canadian musician whose guitar was broken by United Airlines employees was a big hit in all mainstream media channels a few years ago. The story is simple; United mishandled Dace Carroll’s baggage and broke his guitar. The guy went through all corporate bureaucratic channels to get compensation for his damage but the company never admitted its responsibility. Finally, he got so frustrated that he promised United to write three songs about his story if they would not refund for the broken guitar. And so he did. The first song became an immediate hit on Youtube and within 4 days of its online release, United’s stock market price fell by 10%.
By the way, Carroll’s band is named the ‘Sons of Maxwell’J

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