Imagine an average day in your life; the odds are, it’ll include either logging onto facebook, tweeting, browsing some pics on flickr and videos on youtube, or some of these combined. The blazing speed at which social media is developing is catching many off guard and forcing numerous persons and firms (even corporations) to adapt. However, when it comes to firms, many are dragging their feet, at least according to the November issue of Harvard Business Review.

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No longer are we living the days when the corporations (even the big ones) can survive merely on the strict rigid way of thinking they’ve embraced for so long. Today, a satisfied client can draw 10 more, while an unsatisfied one can take away thousands. Social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube (and more) along with the blogosphere have exponentially increased the speed at which information is transmitted, and they’ve also magnified it hundreds of times (or even more).

“These new social media tools let people organize extremely quickly around any issue or event that inspires them,” said co-author Kane, an assistant professor of information systems at BC. “Within hours, these virtual communities can grow to hundreds of thousands, potentially reaching millions more in short order. Companies and organizations caught unprepared can find themselves in a media firestorm, just ask companies like Domino’s Pizza, Amazon.com, Comcast, and many others have.”

“Whether or not managers, leaders, or politicians even know the difference between Wikipedia, Facebook, or Twitter, they need to begin learning how to monitor and respond quickly to trends in these social media communities,” Kane said. “Doing so, they may not only prevent the spread of damaging information, but they may also find valuable partners in their organization’s mission. Companies like Dell, Starbucks and Kaiser-Permanente have moved beyond purely reactive strategies to proactively reach out to customers as an important resource for customer service, marketing, and new product development.”

Now, this scientific research has only pinpointed what good marketers have been knowing and applying for years now. The way society interacts has changed, and it affects all our lives, even if we don’t use social media. Whether we like it or not, this is a different era; but the good thing is, more power is brought to the people.

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