Friday, November 4, 2011

The whole world is watching and the power of social media is in your hands

It has slowly gained momentum over the past 2-3 years.  In 2011, it absolutely exploded.  Everywhere you look social media is impacting people on a daily basis.

Finally, the "little guy" has a voice.  Anyone can speak out about anything, any time, and get local or global attention on their cause if their message is supported by others and spread using social media tools.  Most importantly, social media is being used to expose and correct government, social, and corporate injustices around the world.  This is perhaps one of its most compelling uses.  As I said, it gives the little guy a voice.

If you watch the news (and your favorite social media sites), there are countless examples of global change going on at all levels right now that would have been impossible without social media.

Governments in Egypt and Libya have been toppled.  Syria is probably soon to follow.  All because the world connected through social media and saw the cause of the citizens of these countries, and it fueled the fire that was already burning.  Ruthless dictators must go, and social media gives the citizens their chance to make it happen.

The Occupy Wall Street movements have brought unprecedented exposure to corporate greed, and social media spread the protests globally and they've caught on in other countries as well.  It has shed light on global corporate greed in a way that's never been done before....from a grassroots level.

Let's look at things from an individualistic consumer viewpoint, and how we interact with some of the companies that we do business with and how social media has changed the playing surface...

Netflix, in one of the greatest corporate blunders in recent memory, went to change its entire business model in ways that completely angered and alienated its subscribers.  Netflix clearly has no understanding of its customer base or what they want.  What did people do?  They hit Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news outlets, etc, with a massive social media campaign that literally pounded Netflix into submission and forced them to reverse direction on their business model.  Individual people.......affecting the business model of a major corporation in only a matter of weeks.   Netflix was ruthlessly punished by the very customers that pay for its services.  People canceled their subscriptions by the tens of thousands to voice their opinion to Netflix.  Great!

Or, how about bank debit card fees.  Certain banks announced recently that they would soon be charging monthly fees to use their debit cards.  Social media to the rescue!  After just a few weeks of very public outcry and rage, the banks backed down and reversed decision on their new fees.  Score another win for social media.

Social media tools will force people, corporations, and governments to begin to act in a more socially conscious way whether they like it or not.  All of these institutions are being stung by citizen and consumer backlash through social media, and don't think for one second that they're not worried about it.  They are.  It will change things, and it already is.

Use social media to your advantage.  If you feel wronged by a local company, politician, major corporation, etc, hit the social media tools and let people know.  Spearhead a movement to force change for the common good.  Right the wrong.

And on the other hand, if you have a positive experience let your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc, know about that too.  Point them to the people and companies that do responsible business.  Reward the good, and punish the bad.

The whole world is watching.  Let's use social media and work together to make it a better place to be.  The potential for everyone to do here.

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