WoW!!! the past few days proved that social media has become a very powerful tool in Egypt lately. To the ones of you who did not follow the campaign against Vodafone Egypt’s Ad of Abbas Ibn Fernas, here is a quick summary:
1- Vodafone Egypt launched an Ad on their youtube channel making fun of Abbas Ibn Fernas claiming it is a funny way to promote their USB internet connection.
2- Lots of people were offended by the Ad and they launched a campaign against it on twitter, facebook, youtube and their blogs! here is one customer launching a video of himself deactivating his Vodafone usb connection in an act against the humiliation of our scientists and asking Vodafone to stop the Ad:
The social media campaign got coverage in many places:
After they apologized and stopped the Ad online and promised to stop it in all TV channels gradually (which should not take more than a couple of days from my point of view), the same customer who published the Video that stirred the whole campaign up published another video thanking Vodafone and revealing the reality of the great scientist Abbas Ibn Fernas whom we defamed:
This whole thing proves how powerful Social Media has become. Facebook and twitter are not a naive waste of time channels as thought of. Those have become powerful enough to make a big company like Vodafone listen to the masses and stop the Ad.
When we think of it, this is a big lesson that all companies must utilize and learn from. Now we have a great tool that can very easily make us very close to our customers and know what they really want, what they like and what they hate. Companies must utilize this tool to their privilege.
Companies should realize that they can no more make mistakes and run away with them, people can now tell you what they think of you openly and very quickly the message can reach thousands of people. Is this bad? from my point of view it is very good for companies who want to flourish.
True leaders must utilize this tool to communicate with their customers and do what they want. And they should be proactive and go ask for customers’ opinions and thoughts and not just react to customers’ campaigns like what happened in the Vodafone case. If Vodafone continued to ignore all the messages sent to them through social media they would have lost a lot, but eventually they responded.
My tip to all organizations is to use this powerful tool to talk to their customers and be close to them all the time, this is a bond that companies never had before. We used to think of online surveys and on phone surveys to collect customer feedback, now we have a tool that can reach thousands and thousands of people in a much shorter amount of time so why not use it to the best.