By now, many of us have heard about the Motrin ad that went up on their website this past mid-November. Certainly, the POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA was unleashed on the Motrin brand with cries of outrage and disgust from their primary audience. Only hours after it launched, due to the huge social media outcry, motrin.com was shut down for nearly a half-day. Although, the company took fast action, this goes to show how companies and brand managers need to be very keen to what is going on, at all times. Social media’s influence and broad reach demonstrates how word spreads quickly over connected networks of passionate people – like lighting, it can strike in a flash.
Times are indeed changing! Let me back this up with an interesting thought… quoting my colleague Gene Brady, who stated today on Twitter, “Could we be at the end of the Industrial Revolution? I read that since year 2002.. 3 million mfg jobs gone, & yet productivity up 80%!” There sometimes seems to be a gray area of productivity when it comes to social media. If used strategically, it is not only powerful, it is also necessary; Social Media is not going away or ending any time soon.
Today, I was searching Twitter for information about a major big three automotive company of interest and found an interesting thing happening. An individual tweeted about this particular company and apparently was not very geeked about the customer service while visiting a dealership. Within hours, this individual received a tweet from the Head of Social Media (of this very same company) in response asking if he could “help with any customer service issues.” Some people might “argue”, big deal this was only one person that he is addressing. However, the point is, if I saw it, how many others did too.
I too have been this irritated customer in the past… unhappy with customer service, sending emails to generic customer care email addresses found on the corporate site and days later receiving generic messages back apologizing. How powerful is that? That is more frustrating and counterproductive in my mind. This one single Twitter situation left me with a better feeling about this company and it wasn’t even my situation! Regardless, this major automotive company clearly understands the changing times, is being productive and utilizing the power of social media one tweet at a time!
Gene also twittered, “At any time in history, opportunities abound. Like…. right now!” I have to say, I agree!
By Doug Menzer, Social Media Director with SmartFinds