A Business’s Biggest Threat in 2013: Social Media

While tackling the traffic during my commute to intern this morning I was listening to the radio, JAMN 94.5 to be exact.  Their morning show consists of a daily “Jam-Scam” in which one of the morning personalities plays a joke on an innocent civilian.  This morning Ramiro encountered an angry “bridezilla” when he called pretending to be the photographer that lost all of the newlywed’s wedding photos.  I’ve heard many threats hurled Ramiro’s way as he pulls crazy pranks, however, today was the first time I had heard this particular non-physical threat.

“I’m going to write about this all over Facebook and kill your business!” screamed the newlywed into the phone.  Now, that is one smart (and tech-savvy) woman I thought to myself after she used that as her defense.  While I had to laugh a bit, as Facebook started out in a college dorm room as a means to get to know other college students, this woman is completely correct; one can kill a business through Facebook with barely any effort.  This woman could have 100 Facebook friends or 10,000 friends; the number doesn’t matter.  Negative comments about a business can reach more people via Facebook than it ever could through old-fashioned word of mouth.  Not only will her friends read about it, but likely her friend’s friends will too.  It’s a cycle, vicious or not.  The term “any press is good press” is simply not true this day in age.  We have enough options that if a product is deemed “bad” we can move on to the next product effortlessly.

People base their purchases off of personal experiences as well as what other people have to say about a particular brand.  For example, if I’m buying a new computer, my friends and what computers they have will be the major influence over my purchase.  If a friend has repeatedly had issues with a certain brand, unfortunately no commercial on this planet is going to persuade me to buy that computer; I am going to move on to the next brand that receives positive feedback from its users (a.k.a. my peers).  This is the exact reason why Facebook holds so much purchasing power.  One bad review and a business can be left with an even worse reputation.  Yet on a positive note, it is refreshing to know there are still some things technology can’t replace, such as wedding photos in this particular situation.

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