Many people firmly believe that sticks and stones can break their bones, but words it in self cannot hurt them. While this may be the case for most people in general, the same thing cannot be applied to small and large businesses, in the age of social media.
A prime example of how business can be negatively or positively affected by the words of other people is an explanation which was made by neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin who wrote the book “The Organized Mind”. In his book the author wrote a story about a colleague who was in the process of buying a new car. The college eventually decided that he would purchase a Volvo.
A few months after making this statement, Daniel asked his colleague about his new Volvo. The college responded by saying that he decided not to get it, due to the fact that his brother-in-law told him that he himself had a Volvo and continuously experienced issues with it. Daniel proclaimed that even though his colleague had conducted thorough research on the Volvo brand in general -in the sense that they apparently provided excellent vehicles, which was the primary reason why he wanted to purchase the vehicle- he ultimately changed his mind solely based on the experience of one single person.
Interestingly enough, statistics that where gathered from Nielson demonstrated that 3/4 of baby boomers and millennials proclaimed that online Reputation Reviews influences or social media, affected their purchasing decisions. While 90% of consumers rely and trust recommendations that were given by other people.
Back in the day, if an individual was dissatisfied with a particular service from a company or a product, their voice would be somewhat limited to their circle of friends. But, due to the advent of sites such as Twitter, Yelp and Facebook, their voice has essentially been amplified and one negative experience can be shared amongst thousands of people.
Therefore, in the age of social media, business owners do not have control over the message that’s portrayed about their company, they can only use online reputation management companies to manage it for them.