How often do we as bloggers and social media junkies use our power for good? And how often do we use it for bad?
What I mean by that is...we go to a great restaurant and the food is yummy, the service is excellent -- so we use our social media power for good, to share what we like and information about this great new place to eat. Or we find a good deal on those great shoes, so we post it on our facebook wall. We see a great movie, so we share what we thought. That's all good, right? Never before, have we been able to use the power of social media as the ultimate "word of mouth." Blogs and facebook make that easier for us.
Now let's talk about using our social media power for evil. A lot of people choose to post a dislike for someone they know...trust me this never works out well. Some people choose to share their thoughts about work or a co-worker, and this too is not recommended. Even more common, you shop at a local store and the cashier is rude, won't help out and gives you less then adequate service. We jump on Facebook and tell our friends to not shop at that store. You buy something from another store and you're unhappy with the product you receive, the store won't take it back and so you tell all your friends how unhappy you are, but you don't tell the store manager. They are the people that have the power to make changes, but they probably don't follow you on Facebook.
But recently I have seen a lot more people turn to their blogs and Facebook walls to express their unhappiness FIRST rather then try to call or email a company or business. Even more, I see those people post on the business's Facebook wall their complaint first. Of course companies don't want the negative attention, they much prefer the positive (go figure). I think there are those times that posting to their Facebook walls results in a quick response, but here are a couple problems with that. First, retailers typically want to resolve your issues directly and Facebook does not give them the option to private message you or typically find an email for you so they're faced with 1) carrying on a dialog on their wall, 2) ignoring you and hoping the feed pushes your comment down far enough no one will see and 3) they delete your comment (one I think is the wrong choice). So here's my recommendation: If you have tried writing a letter, calling the manager or emailing the company with no response (give them a couple days), then by all means post to Facebook. But never threaten retailers that you'll continue to harass them on their Facebook if they don't resolve the matter. I say that because, most retailers know the customer is RIGHT. The results will most likely be the same if you're considerate to them and explain your displeasure, then if you're mean and negative.
I only post this because I'm afraid that those bloggers choosing to use their "social media power" for evil and not good should rethink it! Like I tell my teenagers, try talking into the phone for a change.