Book in Progress – Chapter 1

I’d be thrilled to see your comments/suggestions for my new book: Social Media Changes Everything (for Business). Read on and reply…

Chapter 1: Word of Mouth Gets a Megaphone

Recently, a friend of mine who runs a public relations firm in Chicago scheduled a last minute meeting in Denver. Her assistant called Avis, her preferred car rental company, only to learn that they were out of cars at the Denver airport location. Because Gini was a loyal Avis customer of 15 years, her assistant asked whether Avis could arrange to have a car delivered from one of their other locations.

The customer service representative replied curtly “Tell your boss to take a cab.”

As a regular social media user, Gini shared the surprising exchange with her six thousand plus Twitter followers using not more than 140 characters; not exactly great PR for Avis.

Here’s the fun part and a wake up call for businesses everywhere. Hertz was monitoring Twitter for comments about their competitors. Within two minutes of Gini’s complaint, Hertz “tweeted” her about availability of Hertz cars at Denver International Airport AND offered her a 20% discount.

Even five years ago, who would have believed that technology would be created that would allow a company to learn about customer service problems, their own or their competitors’, in real time as they happen.

Gini took them up on the offer and is now a loyal Hertz customer.

Welcome to the social internet – Web 2.0 — the world of Facebook… Twitter…Blogger… GetSatisfaction… TalkShoe… YouTube… MySpace… Ning… WordPress… and hundreds of other social media and social networking applications.

Together, social media and social networking (which I’ll shorthand as “social media”) are transforming the world in more dramatic ways than most businesses and organizations appreciate. The social web is changing the way people interact as dramatically as did the telephone roughly 125 years ago. It is altering customers’, suppliers’, partners’, and employees’ expectations about participating in formerly inaccessible corporate, non-profit, and even government processes.

Social media is changing everything.

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To learn more about Dave Nelsen and Dialog Group’s consulting services, visit www.get121.biz

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