Social Media in Business Essay

Submitted By robertwagner123
Words: 2156
Pages: 9

Trident University
Module 3 Case Assignment
30 Oct 2013

Social media is a great tool for use in everyday life. Any time my wife wants to find out any information on the hazards of additives to foods, how does a particular washing machine perform, what are the best quality Jack Sparrow costumes, she uses social media. Whether it is on Facebook, comment sections or even Twitter, people look to those areas for guidance. Now social media can be a great platform to bash a company for wronging you, or selling an inferior product, but it can also be a stage for people singing the praises of different products. That is way social media is a great tool for companies to receive new and different useful information. But it is also an instrument that, if a company has not performed as expected or harshly, can be used to bludgeon a company in the area of public opinion. “Increasing numbers of people are spending as much time online as they are in front of the television and where one person can get the attention of a multibillion-dollar corporation and its customers with a music video produced for $150.” (Hana 2010)

Turning Negatives into Positives In March 2008, Dave Carroll, a musician from Canada, traveled from Halifax to Nebraska through Chicago’s O’Hare airport. What happened on that journey became the subject of anger, embarrassment, humor, and transformed Carroll from a little known singer into an internet sensation almost overnight and caused turmoil to one of the nation’s largest airlines. While on his layover in Chicago, Carroll noticed United baggage handlers mishandling luggage including his guitar case. Carroll said that he brought up the situation to flight attendants on the plane and they basically told him that there was nothing they could do about it, and weren’t willing to help him out and that he had to take the issue up with ground crew in Omaha. Due to his late arrival into Omaha, Carroll said the outside of his guitar case looked fine, and did not examine the guitar inside until later. “When they picked us up in the early morning we would not be back in Omaha for seven days. It was later that day at sound check that I discovered that the base of my Taylor had been smashed.” (Dunne 2011) For the better part of the next year, Carroll was given the run-around. He was told that he hadn’t made the claim at the correct location, or at the correct time, and many other excuses from the airline. Finally Carroll was put in contact with Ms. Irlweg, a United representative, who told him that United was not liable for the damage. “So after nine months it came down to a series of emails with Ms. Irlweg and, despite her refusal to introduce me to her supervisor, our conversations ended with her saying United would not be taking any responsibility for what had happened and that that would be the last email on the matter. My final offer of a settlement of $1200 in flight vouchers, to cover my salvage costs repairing the Taylor, was rejected.” (Dunne 2011) The disenfranchised Carroll took out his frustrations in song by composing a video for YouTube appropriately named “United Breaks Guitars”. The funny catching tune caught fire on the internet and through the matter of customer dissatisfaction to light to the global Fortune 500 company. The first video was posted on July 6, 2009, and by the end of that day had received
150,000 hits. By July 9, the number of hits reached 500,000, and by August 21, 5 million.” (Dunne 2011) “Remember the offer from Dave to accept $1,200 worth of travel vouchers as compensation for the repair costs? Compare that to millions of people singing along to songs about how they wish they’d ‘…flown with someone else….or gone by car…because United breaks guitars…’ This tsunami of bad public relations has certainly had an effect on people’s decision in choosing an airline.” (Wilson 2011) The company’s failure to do-the-right-thing the first