Social media could go ‘viral’ …

0833-business-1100021594-10182013Nearly a year ago we made the point that like it or not, social media is here to stay. Some folk use it much more than others – either as tools to help their business, others, merely as a means to stay in touch with gossip and frivolous communications with friends.

One person (and maybe there are others too) use it as a form or revenge to vent their ire on bad or non-existent service. The case in point is when a Bristol graphic designer ordered and paid for a PS3 console from a Gumtree advertiser but his item never arrived. And when he couldn’t get hold of the ‘seller’ he realized he’d been conned out of his money. The police felt that there was little hope of ever catching the conman so Mr Joseph used his unlimited O2 contract to extract his revenge by sms. Having the conman’s mobile number he merely copied and pasted the entire works of Shakespeare into one message and sent it to him – all with one click. Mr Joseph’s iPhone automatically breaks the message down in over 29 000 messages of 160 words and merrily sends them on their way.

So if you happen to spot a Gumtree ad where someone is selling a “fully functional mobile that recites all Shakespeare’s plays” perhaps it would be the conman trying to relieve himself of an sms deluge.

One of the most well-known, some would say notorious, sites that people consult about checking on good and bad experiences, is Tripadvisor. Laughing Buddha owner Jin Cheng tells of how he spent years building his reputation on Tripadvisor but seems to have only negative reviews now owing to his ‘losing it’ with his customers and having 43 patrons walk out en masse without paying after the row over service. Police have commented that it is a ‘civil matter’ – some might suggest to the Kent Police that events were decidedly uncivil.

So with the Laughing Buddha’s decided lack of humour going viral in the most negative way, consider how a social media trend has had the opposite result and raised over £8m for charity. The idea of ladies with no make up,  posting ‘selfies’ on the internet was the unique idea of Fiona Cunningham. But it went further by her urging some friends to make a donation to a cancer charity when posting a ‘bare-faced’ picture and then issuing a challenge to some other friends. She said she was inspired by Kim Novak’s decision not to wear make up to the Oscars and she just took it further.

The recent good news the Chancellor declared also went viral – the news that the alcohol duty escalator was scrapped and the price of beer coming down spread pretty rapidly. The news was being ‘Tweeted’ as it happened so those sitting in pubs and following events knew about it straight away and probably ordered a celebratory pint immediately.

Jon Rutter and the team of professional stocktakers welcome this news with their customers – and they are also working on getting their own “How our stocktaking service can help YOU!” video on YouTube to spread the word too.

It seems that using social media is the effective way to share all types of information, not at all “Much ado about nothing,” it’s more about dealing with a tempest. We have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, is there a social media platform named ‘Shrew‘ yet?

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