I've recently had a couple of really interesting experiences that I wanted to share with you all about the power of social media. If you're some kind of marketing guru or whatever that found me through my gimmicky-sounding blog title, please go away now!
First, a negative story:A few months ago I went to the Tony Bianco store at Harbour Town to try on a pair of shoes I wanted to buy. There were two people in the store when I walked in, at least one of whom was the store assistant. The other one may have been too, or she may have just been a friend, I don't know. They didn't acknowledge me at all when I walked in. They simply stood gossiping. I was in the store for about 5 minutes and several other women came and went during that time, and were treated the same way. I walked out, fuming, and went straight home and posted something on their Facebook page about the terrible service. A friend of mine also posted something agreeing with me about how bad the service is there. A Tony Bianco rep replied and said they would look into it and contact the store. When I was in the store on Sunday (the visit I bought my fabulous red boots), nothing had changed. I was very disappointed.
Now for my positive story: At the end of June, my Go MasterCard got compromised somehow and some scammer was using it in Malaysia. Before I had noticed, the Go MasterCard fraud people contacted me to find out if the transactions were genuine or not. I told them they weren't, they sent me a form to fill out, and cancelled my card and issued me with a new one. I was happy. Then a couple of weeks ago I noticed another fraudulent transaction on my online statement, this one from Kuwait. I hadn't used my newly-issued card since I received it so there was no way my new card was compromised, and my old one was supposed to be cancelled. I was annoyed and called Go MasterCard and was not impressed with the service I got. While on hold, I tweeted about how grumpy I was. I didn't even tag the MasterCard twitter account or anything, but within a day I had been contacted by them through Twitter. They offered to follow up if I gave them my details. Before another day had passed, I received an email from one of the MasterCard International VPs, offering his help. Note that this wasn't even my card issuer specifically, but the actual MasterCard head office. Anyway, emails were exchanged, calls were made, my problem was resolved, and MasterCard protected their reputation.
So what does all this mean? I guess my point is that social media, when used correctly, can be a powerful brand and reputation management tool (There I go sounding like a marketing guru again).
On a more personal note, the thing I love about social media is that it allows me to connect with people. Through Facebook, I can keep in touch with family and friends and reconnect with old friends. I mostly use it for people I actually know. Through Twitter, I can meet new, like-minded people who are interested in what I'm interested in. I mostly use it for people I don't actually know in person. Between the two, I can get news, information, funny stuff, random trivia...Pretty much anything! Social media is a big part of my online time. Hooray for social media!