[COMMENT] Modern technology is really something to marvel at, bringing as it does a multitude of people into a conversation in an instant. People who don’t even know each other and have never met end up having long debates and arguments on issues affecting them and society at large across various platforms.
In some instances, social media has mobilised people across the globe against forms of societal ill, with some of the most famous social revolutions including #bringbackourgirls and #blacklivesmatter.
These revolutions transcend all barriers and are activated at the push of a button, providing consumers with a democratic voice for, or against, an issue which they might feel affects them directly or to people around them.
That digital screen in front of a consumer makes them a voter or a voice on issues that matter, and increases the rapid rate at which news travels. Nowadays, all we need to do is to check our Twitter or Facebook feeds to know the big issues of the day. We no longer have to wait to get in your car to go buy a newspaper or listen to the radio.
But equally with news that spreads quickly there is always the issue of accuracy and believability that comes with these stories. Some of the content that comes out of these platforms are not verified nor fact checked. The whole world ends up believing a story without knowing its origin. So it’s safe to say that the consumer has been given a lot of power in this digital world we live in.
This means that organisations and brands that provide services and products to consumers have to ensure that they have social media departments and digital agencies in place that are nimble and able to address any negative conversations that might occur against their brand, product or service.
This kind of vigilance will ensure that marketing teams pick up any revolution or uproar about a brand, and act quickly to diffuse the situation. The brands that don’t act quickly will find themselves in a proverbial social media #hashtag toyi toyi storm, which may take place from the comfort of the consumer’s couches, but would nonetheless discredit a brand and potentially lose revenue.
In this digital world of social media prevalence, and where a hashtag dictates the mood of keyboard warriors, vigilance from brands will be the deciding factor in terms of longevity.
Victor Koaho is Integrated Marketing Communications lead at The MediaShop The MediaShop.
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