Prevent a Social Media Disaster

Presented by FreeEnterprise.com, Randi Busse shares small business lessons learned from the pitfalls of social media.

Any business owner who doesn’t think it’s necessary for their business to have a customer service presence on social media need only to witness the $180 million fallout experienced by United Airlines in the wake of the YouTube video “United Breaks Guitars.” In 2008, musician Dave Carroll was traveling on a United Airlines flight when his $3,500 guitar was damaged by United’s baggage handlers. After nine months of going back and forth with the airline, they rejected his claim for damages and denied all responsibility. In response, Carroll wrote “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube; the song currently has more than 12 million views. This video quickly became a cautionary tale for companies that are reluctant to acknowledge the impact social media can have on a business and slow to incorporate it into their customer service strategy.

And sometimes it’s your employees who are making your company look bad via social media. A Price Chopper employee, after reading a tweet that criticized the supermarket chain, saw the tweet, tracked down the tweeter, and contacted his employer asking that he be disciplined. The dispute went viral, which resulted in a lot of bad press about Price Chopper.

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