Speakers Corner in London’s Hyde Park used to be the traditional destination to ignite a lively debate; vocalise your love or anger about something or to recruit disciples to your cause. These days, social media is the new soapbox, and the iPhone has replaced the megaphone.
In fact, we’re all becoming activists on the spur of the moment and are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter as our digital soapbox to immediately vent our frustrations at a brand, product or service.
Social media is giving us all a voice that can quickly gather momentum to influence the buying behaviour of our peers. Research conducted this summer by NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company, shows that 60 percent of social media users now create reviews of products and services (p. 10). It’s the perfect place for influencers to spread their opinions (be they good, bad, justified or not), and as consumers we appear to be seeking and trusting other people’s reviews and recommendations more and more.
Technology is bringing humans together as never before. In just one click, we can share our innermost thoughts or our instant reactions with a million other people.
These days companies have no choice but to pay attention. They must have a strategy in place to respond to negative sentiment. One hundred forty characters can create brand loyalty or just as easily destroy it.
Okay, who can recommend to me a reliable all-in-one wireless printer?
by Peter Davis
Executive Creative Director – Manchester
Follow Peter on Twitter @DigitalDavis
Cross-posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network