Consumers are now the media

Jeff Jarvis, the famous blogger who took on Dell, is now challenging his cable company Cablevision.  He is using his blog to attack their standards of customer service .

Clearly Cablevision does not have a social media strategy for its customer service, and so it is highly vulnerable. It is interesting to read what Jarvis is doing, as it highlights how companies need to prepare themselves so they are not the victims of blogging attacks.

Jarvis relates back to how he originally took on Dell and the letters he wrote to Michael Dell, and how this was covered in Business Week magazine.

Dell has since changed dramatically, and has an extensive social media strategy which encompasses blogging and Twitter channels. Markets are now conversations, and Jarvis points out that Microsoft, Dell, Sun and Comcast have all been enrichened by enabling their people to talk with us as people, using social media.  He argues that customer service, using social media, is the best form of advertising possible.

The crucial point to take from all of this is that the people formerly known as consumers are now media. Your consumers are now media. Of course directors of companies are going to be concerned about what the traditional media such as  The Financial Times says about the business.  But what consumers and key stakeholders are saying through social media is going to increasingly shape how companies perform and impact upon their reputations and news announcements.

If companies want everything to remain the same, if they want to continue to enjoy influence and a good reputation, then they are going to have to change.  A lot of companies we are working with at ItsOpen understand this important point and we are helping them to evolve strategies to put them in a successful position to be masters of the future.

However there are still plenty of organisations who do not fully accept that the people formerly known as their stakeholders are now the media. Like Cablevision they are highly vulnerable to attacks from bloggers, and they could be soon led in directions they do not want to go, because they have not implemented social media strategies early enough.


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