What started as a way to simply stay connected with friends and family has snowballed into something altogether more exciting and powerful. Social media is no longer just a place to interact with friends, but a space where news is broken, created and shared. One post can reach thousands, for good or for bad reasons. This makes social media a super power, ready and waiting to be unleashed at our fingertips. We take a look at three cases where this super power has been exercised, in very different ways.
50 year old Paul Grange was seen wearing a t-shirt with a grossly offensive quote regarding the Hillsborough disaster emblazoned on its back, just a matter of weeks after the long-awaited unlawful killing verdict was delivered. As well as reporting this to the landlord of the pub he was drinking at, onlookers photographed Grange and immediately posted to social media, sparking outrage and fury from people all over the UK. The image was shared thousands of times on Twitter, even trending worldwide for several hours.
Source: Huffington Post
The public pressure from Twitter helped to bring about the arrest of Grange, who was charged with “displaying abusive writing… likely to cause distress”. What started as one or two people simply using social media as a way to share their disgust resulted in real change, both helping and forcing the authorities to take action.
It’s not just content with shock value which gains attention on social channels. Local businessman Rob Braddick became something of a national hero when he recently bought a long lease on the Seafield Car Park in Westward Ho!, making it free to park for all visitors just in time for the busy summer season in North Devon. Where did he choose to announce the news? Facebook, of course! The post read: ‘With immediate effect, I am making it FREE, yes FREE, for the community and the public to use. Please do park up and stroll over to The Pier House for a coffee or a cold pint (not free!). Enjoy.’
Source: The Telegraph
Once the local community started sharing the post, which reached almost 200 comments and 900 likes, it wasn’t long until the likes of The Telegraph, ITV and the Independent noticed the story and made it national news. Rob, his businesses and Westward Ho! were being talked about across the country – some invaluable marketing, made possible by social media.
Social Customer Service:
The social media revolution has also placed unprecedented power in the hands of the customer. They can take to Facebook or Twitter with a negative review of products and services, or message the business directly with their issue – expecting a swift resolution. It’s the next evolution in customer service and we predict social channels are soon to replace the traditional call centre as the place where service issues are mostly handled. Where many fail, other brands rise to the challenge presented by this new, immediate style of customer relations, restoring the power balance between customer and company as they enhance their own image through social interactions. A glance through Tesco’s social feeds and you can see they’re owning social service, responding to each and every question or comment which warrants an answer with a personable and chatty reply.
Have you seen any further examples of the power of social media recently? Let us know through Facebook.