Revenge of the Social Media Nerds

"On my command, unleash Twitter"

One of the things I love about social media is people stand-up for each other. The art of “having your back” has returned. As very recent examples show:

1. The Cooks Source Revenge: Editor uses someone else’s recipe/article, writer takes exception, editor sends condescending reply, citing that all the internet tubes are “public domain” and she should charge her for using the article. UNLEASH THE GEEKALANCHE! If you Google “Cooks Source” you can see this turned into a worldwide story. Advertisers were bombarded with calls and emails to pull their support from the magazine.

2. Amazon Pedophile Guide: Somebody discovered Amazon was selling a guide to being a pedophile and thankfully the online world collectively lost their mind on them. Within 18 hours, the call to boycott Amazon was so strong, they pulled the title. Sadly, this also generated sales of the ebook before it was removed.

3. #IAmSparticus: Man gets to airport, is cheesed his flight isn’t going anywhere and tweets “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!” And is promptly arrested. During his trial, a horde of online folks, mostly in the UK, tweet the exact thing and add “#IAmSparticus” to the end, in an act of awesomeness and solidarity.

Here’s what I love: everything is immediate and everybody is relevant. it no longer depends on press releases, contacts and a huge budget to get the world to take notice, it just has to be an awesome outrage. Us geeks have nothing better to do than to gang-up and stand-up for what’s right. We live rent-free in wicked basements and don’t have to do our own laundry (at least I wish this was still true for me).

Here’s where I take issue: We’ve lost the benefit of the doubt. I have no problem with the examples above but people now default to complaining on social media instead of going directly to the business first. I try to treat screw-ups as if they happened with my business, meaning I’d want to know to have a chance to make it right.

With my last post I could have simply tweeted that the food sucked, and walked away, but I never would have gotten it resolved and realized the chef cared about my experience.

I’ve seen people post on Facebook and Twitter about a terrible meal or a bad service experience but have never actually asked for it to be resolved, like the social media smurf unicorns would run off in the night and fix it all, due to brands fearing the social media geek-tsunami that was impending.

My mom brought UnJunior to get his haircut last week and wasn’t pleased with the attitude when she was refused service due to the time of day (20 minutes away from closing). She asked me if I could “Twitter” it. That’s when I started to sob gently. Social media should not be a megaphone of anger if we haven’t tried for a resolution. I’m guilty as the next person. So with this situation, I sent a DM to the hair place, and she explained what happened, overbooked, only stylist there had to leave to get her daughter at daycare before it closed. I could have jumped on Twitter and called them out with the old “DO YOU KNOW WHO I THINK I AM?? HAVE YOU SEEN MY KLOUT SCORE!!??”  Amazingly being human here worked and we talked about UnJunior coming in at another time.

It’s gotten so bad I’ve heard of people threatening places that if they don’t comp them rooms, meals or swag at events, they will tweet, post or give negative Yelp/TripAdvisor reviews. THESE are the people that need to be outed and have a social media beat down. THEY are the ones that make the social media sphere bad for the rest of us.

So next time you’re about to rage, make sure you give the business a chance to make it right first. If they fail to make it right, then on my command, unleash social media hell. :)

Have you had good/bad experience with this as a consumer or biz owner? I’d love to hear your comments below.

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