The power of social media when you use it right is staggering.
Yahoo! was lucky, as with any blog post I publish the advertising doesn’t kick in until the next morning. After two days of attempting to get my account password changed with six calls and no success I took matters in my own hands and do what I do best. Gossip.
Spending a hour or two writing the article that had employees on their toes for the next hours, submitting it into the agency to be distributed in the morning. Tweeting it as usual from my twitter. The post started to go viral, ten thousand views was being reported soon after the first hour past.
Yahoo! contacted me through the twitter account @YahooCare that was being tweeted to whenever someone clicked to tweet about it. So one hour later, 10k views, some number of tweets, and my last ditch effort was working.
They asked for me to Direct Message them my phone number as they wanted to get the problem resolved before they left for the night. The lady was nice, made sure she said my name correct and just maybe a little scared. After the bad publicity of the servers that held just under a half million account passwords being broke into and the information released I don’t blame her.
She asked me my username, birthdate, and zip code. I was spot on on all three. She said this was all the verification needed and that she was going to reset my password, to get a paper to write it down. It worked, we spoke a little about the service I had received in the previous calls and she assured me that the PayPal issue will be fixed.
She mentioned the blog post many times but never asked me to edit or change it in any way, even when I told her that I will update it of the fix she told me it was up to me, “first amendment and all”. I thanked her for helping me and she gave her apologies once again. I later called and canceled the advertising.
This whole experience has made me think a lot in the past few hours about the effect of social media on the performance of others. Everyone has a facebook, blog, or twitter that potentially has thousands of readers. If someone were to act poorly twenty years ago it would take calling the newspaper and hoping it was a slow day to even get published. Now it only takes a few clicks on your keyboard or phone and the story or your experience is everywhere in a matter of hours.
We see this happen every day and people can say anything they want. Why any companies big or small would still think that they can treat people wrong without people finding out is beyond me.
A few tweets can go viral and hurt a company for years to come. Much like Kevin Smith getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being to large, even though the armrest fit and he did not need a seatbelt extender. Some tweets later in the terminal and Southwest workers were scrambling to find him so he would stop tweeting. We see these stories every week.
My Yahoo! post would have gone viral, and I am pretty sure they knew that when scrambling to get it fixed first with a ‘24 hour process’ then a few thousand page views and minutes later, a phone call.
I’m not being cocky when I say that it was going to go viral, not only do people love these type of stories, Yahoo! has been under a lot of eyes lately with one after another PR nightmares. CEO’s faking education and Password leaks are among others. It was a perfect storm to go global, not to mention all the advertising my agency was going to use to push it to the home pages of millions.
My suggestion is for you, if you have a bad experience anywhere make a blog, then tweet it, facebook it, and whatever, you will get the attention of others. The company will come running to you. Don’t let them get away with the same run around from the outsourced toll free number.
Be sure to tweet it to me, we will keep them straight.