It is not news that Social Media is taking on a bigger role. Most people have Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn accounts. Often when I eat at a restaurant I notice a sign proclaiming how a Wagjag or Groupon coupon would not be honoured under certain conditions. Alternatively, the hostess asks whether one is there with a coupon as if the food and service would be diminished. Most have more Facebook friends than actual ones, while LinkedIn and Facebook have been among the top ten largest IPOs of the last couple of years. Many companies such as Instagram have sold at unreasonable valuations.
Many companies have risen to the occasion and become ‘social.’ Whether it is a simple page or account belonging to a business, analytics to measure reaction or specific features such as Social CRM the future is set.
Over the weekend, I came across the two most concrete examples of the benefits of the Social media that I can think of. Agree with them or not, one cannot deny the tangible difference YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have made (in these cases) to the propagation of these the cases. It is not an exaggeration that the characters involved and the points-of-view would not get anywhere near the air they have without Social media participation and technologies. Companies and for-profit entities are a little more beholden to individuals. Here is proof that Social media is having impact far beyond hype.
“12-year old Victoria Grant explains why her homeland, Canada, and most of the world, is in debt.” Incidentally, her father works at Reserach In Motion the maker of Blackberry.
United Breaks guitars was a song written in protest by Canadian musician Dave Carroll and his band Sons Of Maxwell when United Airlines broke his guitar in 2008 and (initially) refused to pay for it or admit responsibility. After the initial fiasco, the airline did an about face and nowadays uses the song and video internally.
So what is Dave Caroll up to now aside from strumming? He has turned the publicity that ensued including millions of views of the song’s video on YouTube, which incidentally would never have a chance on a conventional music station, into a business called www.gripevine.com which bills itself as an “online voice” to get problems resolved.
Neither of these instances would have grown so big without the multiplying effect of Social Media and users spreading the word one update at a time.