What Impact does Social Media Have on Businesses?

by Sherryl Perry on January 16, 2012

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Everything we do is either a relationship builder or a relationship destroyer. This is true in our personal lives as well as our businesses. With the advent of the Internet, this is more evident than ever before. Years ago, if we made a mistake or a social faux pas, the repercussions that we had to deal with were probably on a small level compared to today. Today, bad news travels even faster than it did before. One unhappy customer can create a video and post it on YouTube and before you know it, you’re faced with a PR nightmare. In this global environment that we live in, it’s more important than ever to monitor and manage our online reputation.

The “Social Media Revolution 2011”

The YouTube video below was uploaded in June 2011. It’s part of the video series “Social Media Revolution” by Erik Qualman. Even though the statistics are from 2011, I believe you’ll find them to be impressive.

What impact does social media have on business? For one thing, through the use of social media, customers are influencing businesses to change their plans and decisions. We don’t have to look any further than Netflix or Bank of America to recognize the impact of social media. In both of these examples, there was a social media revolt of sorts.

Examples of Online Outrage

In July of 2011, Netflix announced their new pricing structure, which involved cancelling the $9.99 combined streaming and DVD plan and separating the services into two separate $7.99 plans. This change would have increased some customer’s monthly bills by as much as 60 percent.

Customers were outraged. Users left nearly 13,000 comments on the Netflix blog post (dated July12, 2011) and about six hours after the announcement, Netflix had over 9,000 comments on the company’s Facebook page. Netflix’s stock dropped 50% (from their all-time high) and over 805,000 Netflix customers cancelled their subscriptions.

The Effectiveness of Online Petitions

A few years ago, many people disputed the value of “signing” online petitions. Today, it’s common place to hear of people who have successfully waged online campaigns against big business.

In September of 2011, Bank of America announced that they planned to start assessing a $5 a month fee to customers who used their debit cards to make purchases. A 22 year old nanny named Molly Katchpole started an online petition on Change.org. Over 300,000 people joined her petition and dozens of other people started similar campaigns targeting their banks. In less than 1-month, Bank of America announced that they were dropping their plans.

The Power of a YouTube Video Gone Viral

Does everyone remember the YouTube video from the disgruntled passenger who rebelled against having his guitar damaged by United Airlines luggage handlers? That video went viral and has received over 11 million hits so far. (The incident happened in 2009 and we’re still talking about it.)

According to Wikipedia, the song hit number one on the iTunes Music Store and Dave Carroll, (the musician/unsatisfied customer) started a career as a public speaker on customer service. Meanwhile, United Airlines faced a social media nightmare. At the time, it was reported that United Airlines shares dropped by 10% and cost shareholders a reported $180 million.

Coming Together Online

I don’t believe anyone would dispute that these social media outcries had an impact on the company’s decisions to either adjust their plans or at the very least recognize the need to incorporate a strategy for handling online complaints. What are your thoughts?  Have you ever started (or participated in) an online petition? Have you ever taken action on a social media site to voice negative opinions about a company or a customer service experience? How do you monitor what people are saying about you online?

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Eva Oliver February 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

Thanks so much for sharing this video with us. Even tho, it’s from 2011, it still struck me with the statistics. It does show the power of social media.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the video Eva. It is so important these days to keep an eye out for what people are saying about us online. It’s human nature for someone to complain about a business if they don’t have a good experience. By interacting with them asap, we can show our personal side and we may be able to defuse the situation.

As always, thanks for joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Are You Building Your Online Brand? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Valerie McEvoy
Twitter:
August 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

As a Realtor in Oklahoma City, I have recently been using more Social Media to spread the information that prospective clients might need when they are considering buying or selling residential or investment property. Although I have not seen good return on time invested in Facebook, I do think that blogging and even Twitter are good areas to focus on. Perhaps the issue with Facebook is not enough ‘google juice’? Thank you for posting this article and information!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hi Valerie,
I don’t find a lot of value in Facebook myself. For me, a presence on LinkedIn is the most valuable. I do have a friend who owns a real estate business and she uses Facebook quite effectively. What she does is use it to build awareness of her business. She has her business page and her personal page and she mixes updates nicely. Sometimes, she’ll post a new listing but often her updates include local news or positive PR pieces like an update on the little league team that her business sponsors.

Even though, I don’t spend a lot of time on FB, I do share a lot of blog posts (mostly from bloggers other than myself). A lot of the posts that I tend to share are geared to people who are trying to start home based businesses. I never realized how many people actually read my FB page. Often, I’m at cookouts or events with friends and someone will thank me (out of the blue) for the info I share.

So, I wouldn’t give up on it. The return in time invested may end up in referrals that originated simply because you’ve built top-of-mind awareness.

Thanks for letting me know that liked my article and for taking the time to join the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 Tips You Should Know When You Start BloggingMy Profile

Valerie McEvoy
Twitter:
August 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I appreciated you telling me about your FB experience and what some of your connection have been doing. Always good to trade information.
Valerie McEvoy recently posted..Buying a Home in Oklahoma City? | Good Reasons to Buy a Home in OKCMy Profile

Patti McDermott May 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I have only been on FB for a while yet it is unbelievable to me that people devulge so much of themselves on this site.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

It is unbelievable what information people divulge Patti. It especially concerns me when I see young adults posting not only personal information but also opinions and points of view that could potentially cause them harm. They don’t realize that there really isn’t a delete button and what they post could be there forever.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a PluginMy Profile

Robin April 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

Social Media is everything in Internet business and its rapidly entering all kind of business and forces to move them online as well to see increase in sales and getting new customers as well. Service, Support and all gets online these days to make the life of people easier.

It has much impact over every day business without any doubt.

doug
Twitter:
April 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

Perhaps the best example of social media on business has been the Occupy Wall St movement. They’ve been able to command the nation’s attention and aggregate a movement with virtually no resources. What they were very good at was social media. I visited the site and the they had a whole digital media center powered by generators and wifi. Their impact on the nation’s awareness and Wall St business practices has been profound.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Occupy Wall Street is a great example of people trying to use social media to influence business. There’s also a lesson to be learned there. While the effort is drawing attention, how effective it will be in the long term remains to be seen. What seems to be lacking is leadership and clear goals. As far as drawing attention to the movement itself, it certainly has done that. Thanks for contributing such an interesting observation. That example had not come into my mind Doug.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

Leonard Evenson April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

I think it is very important for every business owner to realize the point you made in this article: while social media are great for gaining a media presence and a large following, they can also be one’s worst enemy if something negative starts flowing through these channels about one’s company. I’ve been thinking for a while now that I should get a publicist once my business gets large enough for people to care if we did anything that can be regarded as improper behavior. We have all witnessed negative campaigns that had the power to ruin professional and private lives, so it is very important to be aware of this and be careful with the things we make public.
Thank you for this reminder and all the positive data and tips as well!
Best wishes,
Leonard

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

It sounds like you have a very similar strategy as mine Leonard as far as keeping an eye on what is being said about us while realizing that at some point, we may need to hire someone to help us manage our online reputation. For now, the only tool I use for reputation management is Google alerts.

Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation. People are always mentioning to me that they find the comment section here to be valuable. So, I appreciate you’re weighing in on this.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

Danica Green
Twitter:
April 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

The impact of social media in business is very evident in our society today. Social media is the most accessible way for consumers demonstrate what their demands are, conversely, seller are able to tell people what they offer through social media. Business today is about interaction and connectivity. So, entrepreneurs must not ignore the significance social media to the success of their business.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this Danica. It’s very important for entrepreneurs to engage with their existing and potential customers. Participating on social media sites should definitely be a part of our marketing strategies.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

Aman Kashyap March 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Undoubtedly social media is very much helpful to obtain information about business. As a business perspective, more and more companies are now using social media websites for job recruiting.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
March 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm

The fact that companies are using social media for job recruiting is very real. I am so careful not to mix my personal life with my professional life. I find it alarming that some people share way too much information on social media sites like Facebook. Some of it is bound to hurt them at some point.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Treat Your Blog Like a NewspaperMy Profile

Sandipan Mukherjee February 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

hey Sherryl Perry
I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you’ve here on this post. I will be coming again to your weblog for extra soon.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for your support Sandipan.

Eddie Gear February 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

Nice Video Sherryl. Social media has a big impact on companies today. They are doing so many things trying to generate sales better than other companies.

Charles
Twitter:
January 30, 2012 at 10:08 am

That video was fantastic. I will be adding the Facebook being the third largest country on the planet to my Facebook fan page pitch. I also really enjoyed the quote about not having a choice on doing social media or not. Just having a choice as to how well you do it. It’s here, it’s not going away.

We are working with a fairly large union right now that is getting ready to start bargaining for their next contract. They were talking about still using leaflets and picketing to spread the word…my jaw almost hit the floor. It’s amazing how many people still don’t understand the power of social media. Great post, thank you!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

Hi Charles,
That’s a clever idea to mention the size of the Facebook population. Good luck with that.

As for the union, in a way I’m not surprised to hear that. Sometimes, people become so entrenched in “we always did it that way” that they’re not receptive to new ideas. They could simply ask their membership how they would like to receive news and updates. They could save a significant amount of money. Plus, there are many people who immediately through leaflets and fliers away. So, they would be doing a better job of getting the word out.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

Ryan January 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Social media is certainly changing the way in which the world interacts. As more people continue to join social networks the impact will be felt on a greater scale.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

That is so true Ryan. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and leave a comment.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

The lower cost of using social media to advertise is tempting Liz. I’m attaching a link to a guest post by Daniela Baker where she reminds us to not forget to incorporate traditional marketing strategies. Thanks for weighing in on this!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

Chris Molina January 27, 2012 at 4:37 am

Social media is now the so-called new to tool is effect SEO marketing. Surely, you’ll be missing a big part if your ignore such opportunity to be viral online with the aide of social media networks. content together with socialization in the community are the key to be in ahead in this particular game.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hi Chris,
The second you said “viral”, I was reminded that I really should beef up my YouTube channel. My presence there is virtually non-existent and it is an opportunity that I should not ignore. Thanks for the comment!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Does Your Klout Score Fit Into Your Social Media Strategy?My Profile

Sam Hans
Twitter:
January 26, 2012 at 4:16 am

In todays scenario there are very few tech savvy people who may have not accessed the social media sites but that percentage is really very small. Using social media one can get to know the current pulse or trends. It helps in promoting a new business to a great extent without huge investment of money. Social media is such a platform which needs to be used with a great carefulness because if can give huge positives than it can hit you the other way.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

You bring up a valid point that social media needs to be monitored. What’s being said about us can have both positive and negative implications. Thanks for dropping by and joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What the Heck is an RSS Feed?My Profile

Franziska San Pedro
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hi Sherryl,

as always, I love how the discussions in the comment section evolve -thanks to an interesting blog post 🙂
When I am posting on my profiles whether it’s twitter or facebook, I talk about my day and my experience. When I’ve seen something good, I will talk about but I also talk about the negative (don’t want to bash companies or people but I can’t always agree with everything).
Social media has such a great influence on us and it’s definitely a good idea to participate! Excited to see where it will lead us in the future.

Franziska San Pedro
Flavor Designs
Renewable Lifestyle & Art

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for dropping by Franziska. I think your approach to share your experiences (both positive and negative) helps keep it personal and lets people get to know you better. I try to keep my FB page fairly neutral for business purposes but at the same time, on my personal page, I will occasionally share my opinion and I can’t resist chiming in on conversations about our cable company. They’re a perfect example of corporate greed in action. It will be interesting to watch where social media takes us!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

Rod
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 3:54 am

Hi Sherryl,

First off, Happy New Year! (I might be late but I also have the excuse of the Chinese calendar! :D)

It was just a matter of time, in my opinion, until we got to this point. Being social animals, we have the need to interact and make our voice heard. The internet opened up a whole new world of possibilities and little did I imagine back in 1997 when I first visited a chat room that we’d be where we are right now.

People don’t really need businesses but businesses wouldn’t be able to exist if it weren’t for people, their customers. So, as you mention, the impact of today’s social media on businesses is huge! They don’t only have customers now; they have potential viral campaign creators waiting for a chance to be heard!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi Rod,
Your mention of chat rooms back in 1997 brought back a flood of memories. Any chance you remember Prodigy? That was a joint venture between CBS, IBM and Sears Roebuck company back in the early 80s, long before chat rooms. They were very popular until they were pressured to discontinue their “Frank Discussions” message board. Then, AOL started offering real-time chat and unmoderated bulletin boards. That pretty much spelled the end for Prodigy.

BTW – I like your Chinese calendar excuse and I really enjoyed your post. It’s an eclectic group of fun information, pics and videos. I need to go back and check out more of them.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 SEO Tips to Optimize your WordPress BlogMy Profile

Rod
Twitter:
January 25, 2012 at 2:59 am

ha! Well, to be honest I only have faint memories of chat rooms in 1997; I must have been 14 and sadly wasn’t paying too much attention to the “real” internet. 🙂 I must have visited tons of different ones but don’t really remember what they were called.

But did read a bit about Prodigy and the company is currently the number one ISP in Mexico :S

And, glad you liked the post. Feel free to drop by and leave comments!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I suspected you’d be too young to remember Prodigy but I there are a few other readers here who do. I didn’t realize that Prodigy was even still around. That’s interesting/ Thanks for letting me know. I will try to get back to your blog. There were a couple of videos there that I really enjoyed.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 12:20 am

I find it fascinating to see consumer outrage expressed through social media having such a powerful impact. It definitely is a new world. That debit card business happened so fast! It pleased me to see, bringing the banks to a more humble position.

I got great service this week, and I’m using social media to commend the company. It works both ways!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hi Judy,
It’s good to hear that you use social media to commend a company too. That’s the risk here. People are always much more apt to complain than to compliment. I did the same thing recently on TripAdvisor.com in defense of a person who rents rustic cabins in New Hampshire. The majority of the reviews were written by people who wanted hotel amenities yet chose to stay in what was obviously a cabin by a lake. I’m sure these businesses appreciate hearing positive reviews.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Tips for Building Awareness & Getting Your Website on TrackMy Profile

Julie Labes
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I agree totally. I am in Florida and when SB 6 was on the table they thought they would get it passed without anyone noticing. (This was a bill against teachers) A Facebook Page called Stop SB6 went up and before long it was huge. Soon all sorts of folks were joining in and pressure was placed on the Governor who vetoed the bill. This is just one example of how Social media can affect politics and so much more.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm

That’s a great example Julie. We can really affect change in a very positive way by joining forces online. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

June Sockol January 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I find it fascinating how social media has taken off in the last few years. Every time I see an ad or commercial, every single company is on Twitter and Facebook. Many of them have blogs. As a consumer, I find I do check all these out to see what others are saying.

I have looked at a couple of on-line petitions to stop mistreatment of autistic kids (at school, on the bus, etc) but I wasn’t sure how much of an impact they would make. Having an autistic child, I certainly want to support these causes and may just go back to them now and sign them after reading your post!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hi June,
I had heard these stories before but it wasn’t until I researched them for this post that I realized just how common online petitions are becoming and how effective they can be. I would imagine that someone who is passionate about a cause (as you are of autism and bullying) that you could have a real impact on the effectiveness of a petition by sharing it with your social media networks. (Then, you could blog about it. 🙂 )
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

b2b market research January 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

I hope that we’ll finally see the back of the words ‘social media’ and just accept that it’s marketing – full stop – not some fancy term that is marketable to the gullible (for lots of $$$)

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The words that I keep seeing these days are “social business”. I could do with seeing less of that.

Sarah Baker January 23, 2012 at 4:32 am

Social media plays a big role not only on personal branding but also on business as well. Using them properly could make you go on viral with your quality content. I’m seeing that social networks will be ahead and be the number one tool to get business marketing successful online.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Sarah, I agree with you. I believe that businesses who embrace social media are positioning themselves to be in the forefront and businesses who are ignoring it will be the clear losers. It’s easier to try to stay ahead of something like this rather than ignore it.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Does Your Klout Score Fit Into Your Social Media Strategy?My Profile

Sarah Baker January 27, 2012 at 3:33 am

Very well said Sarah. Ignoring the power of Social media would be the biggest mistake you’ll be making in marketing your business online.

Shy
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 2:56 am

It’s true that social media is about online reputation for a business. It’s either you are hot or not. I’m a consumer too and I’ve had my own share of bad experiences with different companies. But I don’t always rant about them online. If it was not that severe, I don’t post it because I also want to show respect for businesses. I think the freedom to shout out any complaints online is good as long as users don’t go overboard.

I’ve participated in an online petition to save a certain building from being demolished. And it has been a successful endeavor. The power of social media is amazing.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I don’t rant online either but some people do. I recall researching cabins in NH on TripAdvisor. One of the cabins that interested me had several bad reviews including a newlywed couple who complained that the oven was inadequate for cooking their Thanksgiving turkey. Another person posted photos of exposed pipes and a water heater. This was for a small inexpensive cabin in a very rural area. What were their expectations? We stayed there and as soon as we returned I posted a glowing (yet realistic) review. It’s a cabin! Social media is amazing.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

Shy
Twitter:
January 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Poor cabin company…receiving unreasonable complaints from customers who have unrealistic expectations. They’re lucky to have good customers like you Sherryl 🙂

Jeannette Paladino blogging, branding
Twitter:
January 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Sherryl — You’ve given several of the most powerful examples of the internet as customer sounding board and weapon to fight back against “big bad business.” I have written a number of blog posts about poor customer service at major companies. I’ve also signed online petitions. The internet also provides almost instant access to your Senators and Congressman. I wrote mine online to protest against SOPA (the anti-piracy law). It so happens that my congresswoman was a co-sponsor of the House bill and I received an almost immediate response that she had withdrawn her sponsorship. As you know, Congress was inundated with protests from new media companies. I think it surprised them, but they shouldn’t have been surprised, considering that politicians are leveraging the media for their campaigns like never before.
Jeannette Paladino blogging, branding recently posted..Brainstorming Still Works – When You Know How to Use ItMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Jeannette, Thanks for sharing your experience protesting SOPA. I find it surprising that you received a response from your congresswoman. That’s encouraging.
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Mitch Mitchell January 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Social media has definitely had a bigger impact on major businesses than smaller businesses, both positive and negative. Yet I still believe small business can find their place in the sphere, if you will, while big business probably still isn’t using it properly to their advantage. YouTube is just a strange animal; who really know why certain things take off there?
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hi Mitch,
I have done little more than claim my space on YouTube but I really should start building a presence there. Ileane Smith is always writing about the importance of YouTube for SEO. I’ve been really lacking in that arena. As you say, it’s a strange animal. It seems like babies and animals do well. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Manage Your Online Reputation Across Different LanguagesMy Profile

Lanre
Twitter:
January 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Hi Sherryl,
Some us of actually take social media for granted when it comes to keeping a reputation. Being that it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach millions at the same time, customer satisfaction and accountability should be our priorities. They all contribute to our brand, both online and offline.
Thanks for this informative post.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Lanre. There are definitely both pros and cons to being able to easily reach so many people at once. There’s always the risk that someone could knowingly attempt to sabotage the reputation of a business. I didn’t even address that here.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Great information you shared here Sherryl and I can honestly say that I have not participated in any online petition of any sort. Like most recently I did do my share with these two bills we are doing our best to squash and I think that the social media outcry has helped tremendously for these causes.

Before social media would everyone had really known about all of this? I for one do not watch the news and haven’t for years. I find all my information online now and through social media I learn what’s going on, I don’t read the news sites.

While I do not agree with any type of “bashing”, I do feel that if you have a legitimate complaint then what better way to share that then to head to social media. I think some people may take this to the extreme but let’s just hope that the majority will not.

Great scoop on all these cases you mentioned above. See, I wasn’t aware of these but I loved the song that came from his guitars being broken. I’m sure that now, he is too! Something good did come from that after all. Who would have thought!
Adrienne recently posted..Why Content Is Not The Only King On The InternetMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hi Adrienne,
Thanks so much for dropping by and joining the conversation. I have not joined an online petition yet but it wasn’t until I did a little research that I realized how effective they can be. What I didn’t write in my post was the fact that Change.org, the website where both of the petitions that I referred to were hosted is not a non-profit organization at all. (I remember in the early days of domain names when .org was presumed to be non-profit.) This company is actually doing quite well. That’s another sign of the impact of social media on business too.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I’m impressed! I have not signed an online petition yet but I certainly will in the future. It was good to hear that Atticus is sending you messages from heaven and that he helped you find your new addition to your family. I look forward to reading more Atticus inspired posts on your blog.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Someone Tell What Your Website/Blog Is About In 3 Seconds?My Profile

Heidi Alberti & Atticus
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

Great piece Sherryl, and to answer your question, yes I’ve been involved with Many online petitions and using Social Media to advance positions & ideas. I was one of those 9000+ commenters on Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings blog. and then I proceeded to blog about it.
Atticus is a pup of action (as you know!) and consequently we’re very civically involved, both online & off.

Heidi & Atticus
“commentary to give you paws…”

Emily Williams
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 9:34 am

Very insightful and informative post. Nowadays socialmedia is the most effective power and we only have to learn how to use it right.
Thank you, Sherryl, for the article 🙂
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Emily,
I can attest that you’re using social media to build awareness of your business. We both follow each other on Twitter and FB as well as other sites I’m sure.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

Imogen Ragone
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

This is really important information. I’m an Alexander Technique teacher (which, briefly, is a discipline that helps people learn to let go of habits of poor posture and excess tension) AND I also design basic websites for other Alexander Technique teachers to help more of us to get on the web. I include the same video on my website to help them understand the importance of social media and why we can’t ignore it. The web and social media are absolute gifts to the small business owner, but there are many in my profession who have only a minimal presence (or none at all even!).

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Imogen,
Thanks for dropping by. I visited your blog yesterday and that was the first I had heard of the Alexander Technique. As someone who spends way too many hours behind a keyboard, that was an enlightening article for me to read.

You include the same video on your site? That’s interesting. My husband had emailed me a link to it and he was surprised to learn that I had written a blog post that was inspired by it. You are wise to recognize that the web and social media play important roles in marketing small businesses. Good luck spreading the word.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..End of the Year Recap – a Time to ReflectMy Profile

Imogen Ragone
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Thanks, Sherryl FYI the video is not on my main Alexander Technique website or blog – but on my web design site 🙂 You can see the specific page at: imogenragone.com/websites/tips.html
Looking forward to reading more of your posts. This was excellent.

Adrian January 20, 2012 at 7:06 am

Hello Sherryl, You have said quite right and effective point about the Social media of today. in today’s modern era..every message can get spread out within a fraction of second compared to the older days. additionally the people have come more closed together to share the information. This has many downside as well as upside effects. for E.g. Any genuine customer happy with services/products can give a nice review and give a remarkable contribution by posting the videos whereas the competitors and bad evil type folks would try to give fake reviews and make the reputation down. hence we can say that the social media can be used in positive was as well as negative ways. So far i learned from your Blog post was that we need to be always alert and respond to the people for their questions and make the picture more and more transparent ultimately the key-point is to be Social Not Spammy or Promotional Type of person. thanks for this Nice topic and discussion. Awesome Post!

Coretta
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:50 am

Yes, social media is definitely the new customer service and the Better Business Bureau as well. You cited great examples. I’m trying to remember where I saw this example ( I think on Hubspot) of customers using social media to express outrage. It was Southwest Airlines. A passenger took a picture of a hole in the interior roofing of the plane and tweeted it to a news station. Fortunately, SW was monitoring their social media and was prepared to respond. Great job.
Coretta recently posted..Is the Horse Thirsty?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Coretta, Thanks for an example of a company who tries to stay on top of social media. Businesses can’t afford to ignore what is being said about them online. They really need to stay in a proactive not reactive mode.

Thanks for dropping by. I enjoyed your “Is the Horse Thirsty?” post. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

Coretta
Twitter:
January 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thank you for reading it Sherryl. I just notice my typo in my response too. “Hold” opposed to “hole”.

I spoke to another marketing contact at a hotel that tracked customer activity on Twitter. Once they bought a round of drinks for a customer who mentioned them and other time they responded to a customer who was thinking about stealing a robe. They didn’t give it to him, they suggested that he visit the gift shop. 🙂

After a few years, I guess companies finally figured that it can become costly to keep giving products and services to customers when a thank you and some level of engagement will do.

Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hi Sherryl: Great post, and nice to see so many people engaged in it.

Social media has become a major part of my day. As a writer, it’s necessary for me to spend time on various platforms and build my public profile (author’s platform.) It’s something I actually enjoy, as it’s connected me to amazing people — like you!

And our national writer’s assn in Canada has used social media to gain signatures on petitions and help our cause with respect to the changes to Canada’s own Copyright Act that is before the House of Commons for change. We’ve used Twitter to engage with our members of Parliament and make it known that our concerns will not be ignored.

So yes, I completely agree that we CAN make a difference on important issues if we find like-minded people and lobby together for change.

By the way, it seems that your Comment Luv is acting up as I’ve gotten an “error 28” when clicking on it.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi Doreen,
You are so right about having to build an online presence. I’ve heard that publishers expect authors to promote themselves online. I think you’re dong a commendable job of it.

I wasn’t aware of your writer’s associations petition. That’s a great example. Thanks for sharing it with us and for joining our conversation. I enjoy the opportunity to connect with you too!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

Dennis Salvatier
Twitter:
January 19, 2012 at 12:11 am

I’m currently doing so with the anti-sopa petition. I’ve used facebook, twitter, and Google plus to spread the word. Social media has given people their voice back and we should use it to keep saying no to social injustices, political campaigns or even broken guitars.
Dennis Salvatier recently posted..Design Field Trip: Getty Center part 1My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Good for you Dennis. I’ve been doing a small part by sharing info on SOPA but I have not participated in the online petition.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

Andrea January 17, 2012 at 5:44 am

Hello Sherryl.
Once again I have found great value in your article and especially the video. I mentioned before when looking at your blog, we are a small local joinery company and have very little to spend on web marketing. I have been learning about marketing our website for ourselves. We now have a FaceBook business page and have joined some groups. We have over 100 likes and I think that helps show some credibility with potential clients. I’m feeling quite proud of the fact that we are also on page one of Google for two search terms. It’s coming together but I still have not plucked up the courage to use our blog. I’m having a bit of a crisis of confidence.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

Hi Andrea,
You’ve come to the right place to gain confidence. There are some amazing readers here who offer some great ideas and there are lots of us here who want you to succeed.

We all started in the same place as you. I talked about blogging for well over a year before I finally decided to dive in. Just do it! When you first launch your blog . . . honestly, not a lot of people are going to read it. It’s a fact. It takes time to build up a readership. So, the quicker you start, the better. Believe me, it gets easier as it goes.

I selected the article that I’ve attached to this comment to get you started. Feel free to ask questions here, shoot me an email or drop by the LinkedIn “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group and ask the group for help. You’ll be fine. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Tips for Building Awareness & Getting Your Website on TrackMy Profile

Andrea January 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Thank you so much Sherryl.
You have made me feel really at home here. I was even scared to leave a comment at first. Our designer pointed me here for some tips and to get to know some people. He has you listed on his blog as one of his favourites. I can’t believe how helpful and supportive everyone has been. I will take your advice and take the plunge. Our designer did point out that using our blog would play an important role in our marketing and SEO. The trouble is, I have left it a while and forgotten more than I remember about how to do it.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

You’re welcome Andrea. That’s great that your designer referred you here. I appreciate that. If you have any questions (or need a quick pep talk) contact me and I’d be happy to give you some quick tips.

Wes Towers
Twitter:
January 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

Hi, Sherryl.

This is a treasure trove of information. Thanks! I never thought I’d learn so many things about how social media has impacted large corporations when I decided to drop by today.

Yes, social media is very important and the impact it does have on businesses is great, if used in the correct way. I am not that sure if I am really using social media in the best way possible, all I can say is that I’ve got great comments from people because of my website and that for me, counts a lot, even if not a lot of them actually became my clients.

Again, thanks for this meaty post, Sherryl. Have a good one!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

Hi Wes,
This is one of those posts that wrote itself. It started with the video and then I pulled some facts to document a couple of examples that illustrate what’s happening here in the US. (It could have been a much longer post.)

As for your strategy for social media, I think you’ve created an online presence. The problem may be in your site navigation to your blog. I just dropped by and I couldn’t find a link to your blog in your menu. Then, when I went to your home page, the titles of your posts aren’t linked to your articles. Plus, I can’t see your posts at all without scrolling down to look for them. You have good content. Finding it may be the problem.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

Ellie
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Hi Sherryl. Great discussion & video. I agree that we can have an impact on such outrageous actions such as that of Netflix if we take concerted action to voice our objections.

Ellie

Susan Oakes
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hi Sherryl,

I think there are 2 aspects to this. Businesses do need to be aware that people will use social media to say what they think and your examples prove it. However what businesses need to be aware of and I don’t know an answer to it is many people will jump on a bandwagon and join in even if they have no interest in it except for business bashing. Even a small mistake these days seems to send people into a frenzy.

The other aspect is online petition such as the movement against your countries SOPA is a good one as it will affect many and coming together online lets voices be heard that otherwise wouldn’t.
Susan Oakes recently posted..The Hidden Costs of Social MediaMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Susan,
I totally agree with you that some people may bash a company for the wrong reasons. I used to work for a large non-profit and we took our share of bashing when there were wrong doings at the main parent organization. I remember our marketing and communications department hiring a PR firm at one point. I can’t imagine the impact now. At that time, no one was tweeting or engaging online as they do now.

The movement against SOPA is really gaining steam. I just read this article about Reddit blacking out their site for 12 hours on January 18 to protest the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill: http://bit.ly/z1fwqQ
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Sherryl I remember when they started charging customers for paying with the debit cards. But I had no idea a 22 year old nanny made them change their mind.

Small businesses have gone bancrupt because of one disgruntled customer posting a comment on some social media site that was important for the sector in question.

As you know, I wrote an article about that a year ago “What’s your online reputation worth?” that nicely complements this article

We shouldn’t forget that a negative aspect of social media is that it has allowed destructive people to have a field day.
Catarina Alexon recently posted..Would Harvard regard you as a great leader?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

Your article is a good compliment to my article Catarina. Thanks for sharing it.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Great article & video Sherryl. Learnt quite a few things about United Airlines, why Bank of America dropped their charges for people using debit cards and Netfix.

Social media is the make or break of a business. If you make your customers happy they will spread the news online. However, all it takes is ONE disgruntled customer for you to end up having the same experiences as United Airlines, Netfix and Bank of America.
Catarina Alexon recently posted..Is Iran stronger than the West believes?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Thanks Catarina. I agree with you that social media can break or make a business. It provides a platform for people to collectively voice our opinions. To affect change on a large bank like Bank of America is huge.

Satrap
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I completely agree with Catarina; These days social media is a must for every business especially for promotion and getting the word out. Of course you always want to be on the right side of it.

Great article by the way Sherryl. Thanks.
Satrap recently posted..101 Small Business IdeasMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Satrap. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Steve
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Hi Sherryl.
I recently took part in the Robin Hood Tax campaign petition. For those that do not know, this is a campaign pressing for banks to pay a levi on financial transaction. In other words they wont be able to move money around the world and completely avoid tax.
Not only did I sign the petition but I visited thier blog and left a comment.
The twist in my story is, the page that I commented on is now PR5 and links back to my website. How sweet is that.
Steve recently posted..WordPress Comment Policy PluginMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

That is sweet Steve. What an unexpected bonus that must have been! Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard of this petition before. I’ll have to check it out.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

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