The adoption of social media by businesses, and its ability to strongly influence customer opinion has ultimately provided consumers with much more user empowerment. This allows transparent reviews about a brand or product through social media giving more power to disgruntled consumers to share their experiences with the world online.

Various examples can be seen, with a recent instance being a customer who shared their thoughts on a mouldy food product on Woolworth’s Facebook page, gaining viral attention. This post gained more than 15 000 likes, prompting the large supermarket chain to respond in a quick manner in order to protect their brand online. Previously, these complaints would have taken the path of a support email, or an instore complaint, which may have resulted in delayed responses lowering customer satisfaction. Due to the transparency of social media posts, customers can now share their thoughts and experiences online with other consumers, underlining the increase of consumer empowerment, prompting brands to respond to unsatisfied customers.

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On the flip side, it is also important for businesses to utilise social media  to perform “social listening” and find these emerging comments before they become viral, and respond as efficiently and appropriately as possible.

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In the Woolworth’s example above, we can see that Woolworths has gained positive remarks in their ability to diffuse the situation by being able identify the disgruntle comment, and appropriately connect with the customer by replying back with a similar rap verse.


Have you seen other interesting social media user empowerment examples? If you have, please share your favourite one in the comments below!

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