Making the case for social media

There were lots of happenings this weekend that garnered attention – the Olympics, bad weather in the South, and school vacation week activities to do with your kids. The national and local news were focused on these subjects and reporting from every angle. But in theTwitterverse, Southwest Airlines and actor/director Kevin Smith were in a heated battle on Saturday night (and into Sunday) that you didn’t hear about on the news until Monday morning.

Smith (@ThatKevinSmith on Twitter) was tossed from a Southwest (@Southwest Air) on Saturday night for a “safety risk.” In his words, he was too fat to fly and told the airline a few choice words via his Twitter account. Within the hour, Southwest saw it and contacted him to make it right. With a day, the airline issued a public apology due to the number of Twitter users that were engaged with the incident. (Mind you, this is an abbreviated summary of the story. Go to their Twitter feeds and see how all of this is playing out.)

So are you engaged with social media sites like Twitter or Facebook yet? If not, there may be conversations about your company happening right in front of your face, and you may not know it. As Gary says in his Social Media Marketing webinar (Watch the archived version here), the very least you should do is get a Twitter account and LISTEN. See what people are saying about your company, your industry, and your competitors. There will always be disgruntled people out there but if they are your customers, you need to listen and respond – no matter what day or what time.