Is the power of social media returning the power to the people?
Thursday, July 07, 2011 11:17:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I watched a couple of really interesting things unfold today which lead me to believe that this is a day I won't forget for a while -and Twitter (or more widely social media) was instrumental in both.
At 12:04:25 today (7th July) Sarah tweeted this status which linked through to her blog post about currys.co.uk which vented her frustration at the way Currys UK treated her.
This isn't the first time that a frustrated consumer has openly complained about their service from a large corporation (and it won't be the last) but where in the past most of the blog posts have fallen by the wayside, what's interesting about this particular instance is the additional clout Twitter added.
I'm almost certain that the call-center person thought "whatever" when Sarah said that she was going to show them the power of social media but I don't think they quite expected the response they got.
|Hour (GMT) ||Tweets |
|12:00 ||121 |
|13:00 ||80 |
|14:00 ||49 |
|15:00 ||33 |
|16:00 ||10 |
|17:00 ||10 |
|18:00 ||7 |
|19:00 ||1 |
|20:00 ||1 |
|21:00 ||2 |
|Total ||314 |
We wrote a monitor for the various projects we're working on at the moment so I setup a search for the phrase "sazzy currys" which resulted in the following data:
Within the first hour alone, around 120 tweets had been sent. "120? That's a drop in the ocean for Currys" I hear you say -this is true. However to help put it into perspective, when we launched www.borninthebarn.co.uk, 35 tweets generated well over 5,500 hits (and it's still rising) so using the same ratios, that's roughly 19,000 hits and it doesn't factor in those tweeters with far more reach than my followers have (many of Sarah's friends have over 10,000 followers) so I suspect that 19,000 is conservative.
Assuming the same ratios throughout then, so far in the space of 10 hours, Sarah has reached and audience of well over 50,000 people -all who are able to empathize with her and will no doubt further communicate the message.
Ironically (or perhaps more conveniently) @CurrysOnline was only setup within the past two weeks* so this isn't a great introduction to social media -but could certainly be turned around and turned into a good thing if they played their cards right.
* Interesting side note, I did question whether that's an official account because:
- Their first tweet was on a Sunday -not necessarily what you'd expect from a company that I rather suspect only makes their marketing department work Mon-Fri 9-5
- They're not using the same logo as the website (could just be an internal branding issue granted)
- There's no mention of the account on their site from what I could see from a cursory read
The Public vs. News of the World
The second -and I think more concerning/end-of-and-era type thing that happened today was that News of the World (a UK tabloid) announced that it was printing it's last issue this Sunday.
Putting to one side the ethics of why it's getting closed down, I get the impression that social media as a whole has played a large part in the decision. In the past (as with the @Sazzy vs @CurrysOnline above), people have ranted and raved online about things but as there hasn't been a real "collective" so to speak, these haven't had that much of an impact.
Today however I've seen message after message about the News of the World (it's also been fueled by Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB takeover bid) but the general temperature of the public can now be actively monitored -and sadly for these large corporates it's all out in the open.
As the saying goes "With great power comes great responsibility" so I'm still undecided as to whether this new found voice/power is a good thing but the reality is, if the larger corporates don't sit up and start listening quickly I rather suspect that more will fall fowl soon.
New Twitter SEO spam scam -protect your twitter name even if you don’t want to use it
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 8:43:54 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I came across a really interesting method of spamming Twitter on Friday, presumably for SEO benefits but it was intriguing so I thought I'd share. I came across it on a Twitter account that was setup under one of our client's name: @RomanOriginals.
We're currently in the process of claiming it from the spammer so here's a screenshot of how it looked when we found it:
So what's the scam and why's it interesting?
From what we can see, winslim.com has signed up to one of our client's regular email shots and is harvesting links from it. When an email goes out, they then tweet the subject line (this is usually less than 140 chars), "shorten" your url and throw it onto a twitter stream registered under the company's feed.
Although it appears to be a standard URL shortening service, if you look at the request/responses using Fiddler you will see that each one of the winslim.com links e.g. www .winslim.com/3CShT4H (I've popped a space in there to stop it linking to them) kicks the user over to a winslim.com product promotion page (winslim.com/winslim/SweetDeals/SweetDeals.jsp?d=d) which then redirects the user to the original url!
Although unscrupelous, I still think this is a very clever method and suspect we'll see more spammers doing it shortly so if you've not already registered your company's official Twitter username, it's worth doing it now!
Can Twitter be a bad thing for your business?
Monday, February 09, 2009 10:26:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
There's going to be a series of articles shortly that go into my attempts of using social networking to build your business but I thought I'd get this one out into the blogosphere first.
What with the recent onslaught of "celebrities" onto Twitter such as Stephen Fry (who incidentally p'd a lot of people off the other day while over-posting), Chris Moyles and David Allen to mention a few, it got me thinking whether Twitter can actually be a negative thing for you and/or your business. I'm not referring to the tremendous time you lose reading and responding to the numerous posts (Tweets) but more about the transparency issues you'll run into.
Those of you who know me in person know that I don't tend to bite my tongue (not always a good thing I can tell you!) and instead tend to speak openly and honestly regardless of the situation, so for me I don't really worry about what I Tweet, IM, e-mail or SMS as it's usually saying the same thing (unless I'm tired and losing my mind!). I have however noticed that's not true for everyone.
For me, Twitter, MSN and these other social-status update services such as Facebook bring a whole new layer of complexity to those who want to "skive" -who hasn't seen the notorious Kyle Doyle email. It's not so much full on lies like Kyle's that I'm referring to but more the little ones like saying you couldn't complete some work because of xyz and then having posted a message on Twitter along the lines of "sod this I'm off to the pub". When your employer (or even friend) see's that, if it doesn't immediately annoy them, it will certainly plant the seed of doubt in their mind.
I've been seeing this "phenomenon" for a while, it started with MSN status updates, then Facebook and now the worst of them all -Twitter. For goodness sake, just be honest, if you lie these days you're so much more likely to be caught out and that really can ruin your reputation -or at least lose you business.