This week has seen a "perfect storm" in the World of social media - With Rage against the Machine pipping X Factor's ...

When Social Media Attacks


This week has seen a "perfect storm" in the World of social media - With Rage against the Machine pipping X Factor's "antichrist weaned on the wolverine teats of the tabloids" (as one of my friend's described it) all the news has been buzzing about people power, or rather the power of social media with nearly 1m FB friends proving their point. From my point of view it was great to see the power of social media finally reaching the mainstream (hopefully with lots of Marketing Directors watching) but perhaps more interesting has been the recent troubles of Tiger Woods and Eurostar. Tiger has become a brand in his own right over the past decade which has made him a billionaire and ambassador for brands such as Nike, Gatorade and Gillette he has also used social media to great effect with a personal webpage (which includes a blog) a Twitter account (albeit with 3 entries directing people to his webpage (but with over 16k followers) and a flourishing FB group of 1.4m fans who receive plenty of updates and news about Tiger where in their words they "encourage you to leave comments and links here. However, we will remove any comments or other content that is inappropriate or offensive or otherwise violates the Facebook Page". This is all well and good however since the recent events he has effectively turned his back on his fans - there have been no posts and comment on any of these sties (other than a crafted press release) and the FB page has been blocked - not very friendly !. Eurostar have also been a proponent of social media with their recent "little break big difference" campaign/ which included a Flickr account, a FB group plus discussion wordcloud however their recent own "imperfect storm" with 5 trains trapped in a tunnel and 3 days of no service they have been roundly criticised by the very media they have used for their lack of meaningful dialogue in social media prompting a "non mea culpa" from their social media agency " "We Are Social.. They have since implemented a crisis plan and are ploughing their way through the multitude of questions, comments and libelous accusations.
I guess the adage about dancing with the devil could be levelled but here's the rub, nowadays no brand can afford to ignore the power of social media, and that goes through the entire organisation not just the marketing department, and if you are in the game then at least (like Eurostar) you have a platform for response and an understanding of how social media can be used to combat the negative and turn it into a positive.
Are you listening British Airways?

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