After listening to “Social Media: Friend or Foe?” I began to put in perspective some things that I previously knew and a few things that I didn’t know about social media. For example, I had been aware about the benefits of social media when it comes to businesses, i.e. outreach to consumers, interactivity, easier marketing techniques, etc. However with these conveniences and advantages comes implications. For example when a company does something good or wants to promote a new product or service, social media can be very beneficial, however when a company has a PR crisis, social media might prove to be more of a disadvantage.
For example, Toyota and their PR crisis with the massive recall on several of their vehicles. This was a big enough PR disaster, but because of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, it was easier than ever to spread this bad publicity. SItes like Facebook saw groups that called the auto company out for producing unsafe cars, Youtube videos showed upset customers and numerous blogs allowed Toyota owners and critics to criticize the company for acting irresponsibly and slandering their name.
Another case that has developed as of late that can be credited to this is the PR disaster of Sea World. After one of the killer whales killed a Sea World Orlando trainer, Sea World quickly tried to calm down concerned patrons and past and future guests. However, once again because of social media, there was just as much negative publicity about Sea World than there was positive publicity done by Sea World themselves, in order to restore their good name.
Another point that was addressed in this podcast was the effect of social media in the workplace. Employees neglecting work to check their Facebook accounts or surf Youtube for funny videos is becoming an ongoing problem for employers.
The key to this dilemma of how to utilize social media as a beneficial tool and not as a negative entity, is to hold conversation internally and externally and keep an open mind when it comes to social media, because when all is said and done, there is more positives when it come to social media than negatives.