Ms Single Mama recently left a post that got me thinking, and that should get the attention of every major company. She took her child to use the bathroom at her local Kroger, and was horrified at the condition she found it in. She took out her cellphone, snapped some quick photographic evidence, and then issued this challenge to her readers:
I have a challenge for you - because I have a bit of a rebellious spirit, if you hadn’t noticed, take a picture of your local grocery store bathroom and post it on your own blog or to your Twitter account (use your cell phone to take pictures).
This got me to thinking about what could happen next for Kroger (or any company that finds itself in a similar situation).
Bad scenario: MSM's idea goes viral on Twitter, and everyone starts posting Twitpics of horrible bathroom conditions at Kroger's around the country. #nastykrogerbathrooms becomes the top trending topic on Twitter, and Kroger finds out about this when the NYTimes calls for a comment.
Good scenario: Kroger posts in every bathroom their Twitter name, asking customers to contact them if they don't like the condition of the bathroom. Kroger then continues to monitor feedback on Twitter, and continues to improve.
The point is, your customers now have the tools to create content about you. Many have cellphones that can take pictures with them at all times. Some even can record video and stream that video INSTANTLY to the internet.
And thanks to social sites/networks like Twitter, they can mobilize and share information almost instantly. Paul created quite a stir with his Hurricane Kohls post from almost THREE years ago. That was back when most of you had never heard of Twitter. Imagine what could happen if that post had been left/tweeted today?
The bottom line is that thanks to social media, your customers can move and mobilize faster than your company can. Welcome to 2009.