Social Media Revolution Helps a Revolution
The recent uprising in Tunisia and shortly after in Egypt has put the spotlight on the power of social media. When I heard that the government had shut down the internet it was obvious that it was being used as a tool that not only got the protesters organized, it gave the Egyptian people a louder voice than they’ve ever had.
The usual suspects were involved of course. Facebook had protest groups that started with discussions turned to outrage. Twitter had hashtags like #Jan25 and #Egypt to get the word spread. YouTube gave us a lecture to Mubarak from an 8 year-old Saudi girl along with other videos of coverage of the protest demonstrations. Photos from Al Jazeera English’s Flickr stream kept the world informed.
The 18-day Egyptian revolution began not with terrorism and tanks, but with Tweets, texts and TV. In those 18 days the Egyptian people won. A dictator that had been in power for over three decades stepped down. Not to say it was due only to social media, but that played a tremendous role in the events that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s reign.
If social media can impact governments, imagine what it could do to your company? If your company came under attack by a group of organized consumers, or just one angry consumer with a camera, YouTube, and a hashtag ready to get others enraged, what would you do? Will you catch it in time before your company is asked to step down? Are you listening to discussions that may turn into outrage? How do you handle that?