So I was pondering over Jon Stewart’s little blurb about Twitter on The Daily Show the other night and how he didn’t know what the heck it was (catch it on Comedy Central’s website if you missed it – it was quite amusing). It got me thinking about how many others, especially businesses are wary of the new social media rage (blogging, Facebook, Twitter and oh, a slew more). I even had a client ask me in a meeting last week if I was on Facebook (yes). He genuinely wanted to know more about this phenomenon.
With all this pondering, I thought I’d throw out an example, albeit extreme, of the power of social networking, if done right.
Example: A Zombie Invasion
9:17 am: 911 call in Reno, Nevada. Apparently a blackjack dealer at the Circus Circus Casino attacked patrons at the table.
9:18 am: Random “Craps Addict” at nearby gaming table witnesses attack and takes photo of dealer biting patrons with his iPhone.
9:19 am: “Craps addict” remotely uploads image to his Facebook account under header “WTH?!”
9:21 am: Security subdues Bitey Blackjack Dealer and calls for ambulance for injured patrons.
9:25 am: Facebook Friend of “Craps Addict” sees pic and tells friend “maybe its time to find a new hobby.”
9:27 am: Facebook Friend links to image via his Twitter account with tweet “Recession driving dealers in Reno rabid”.
9:29 am: Twitter entry is ReTweeted by another user under the same heading.
9:30 am: Mashable, who is following the Facebook Friend on Twitter RTs (ReTweets) entry with heading “Dawn of the Dead, anyone?”
9:31 am: Both injured patrons arrive at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
9:32 am: CDC follower of Mashable sends an internal email, noting the Mashable tweet and pic, joking that this could be the beginning of the end.
9:35 am: Staffer monitoring Congressman’s account takes note of Twittered Mashable entry, noting things could always get worse in the recession.
9:55 am: Patient #1 at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center becomes non-responsive and is rushed into surgery.
10:10 am: OR room with injured patient #1 has incident, when sedated patient bites a doctor and two nurses.
10:25 am: 2nd year resident at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center calls buddy from Med School, who now works at the CDC, claiming “fast acting Rabies at the Reno Hospital”.
10:30 am: CDC Friend emails department about incident.
10:32 am: CDC Mashable Follower copies CDC Division Head on Facebook pic in Reno and email from CDC Friend..
10:45 am: Division Head notifies DHHS in Washington, DC and calls Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. No Answer.
10:46 am: CDC Division Head call another hospital in Reno and receives information that Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center is “having problems”.
10:48 am: CDC Division Head talks to Reno Police. They note they are responding to a “domestic disturbance” at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. CDC Division Head advises quarantine.
10:50 am: Division Head brings issue to the head of the CDC who issues an alert to Washington, DC.
10:52 am: Congress is notified of issue. Staffer of Congressman who noted issue from earlier Twitter entry implores the Congressman to bring it to the President’s attention.
11:00 am: President is informed and contacts local PD in Reno. Convinced of the seriousness of the situation, the National Guard is called out under Homeland Security powers.
11:30 am: National Guard surrounds Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center initiates quarantine.
1:00 pm: Zombie threat neutralized.
(For example purposes only. This example would only work with slow moving zombies, i.e: the “classic” zombie. It only increases our chances to 50/50 with fast moving zombies.)
Now, what we really see here is the quick exchange of information. Individuals linking to events, national or otherwise and you can see the Internet at its best = information exchange. Imagine, however, if that was your company blogging or twittering about its latest product release or an article that affected your industry. The news spreads like wildfire and your business is the source.
Social Networking is here to stay. Get on board, get involved, keep it professional and reap the benefits. Unsure how to start? Check out Aaron Uhrmacher’s post How to Develop a Social Media Plan for Your Business in 5 Steps.