Your social media presence is only as useful as the change it triggers in your business. To that end, here are 3 recent case studies we’ve found, along with the lessons explained (or implied) by each:

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) called in its bloggers to head off a potential PR disaster stemming from one blogger’s (misinformation-driven?) post about her baby being seized during airport screening.  (Lesson: Companies large and small are realizing that web-driven PR fires need to be addressed immediately.)
  • Michael Bissell gives a blow-by-blow account of how an offhanded web comment resulted in LinkedIn considering a change to the way they process information.  (Lesson: Consumers, speak up; you never know who’s listening.)
  • Network Solutions assigned one employee to manage a wave of customer dissatisfaction on Twitter.  The result?  A flip from 58% negative commentary to 18%, and several positive blog mentions of individual outreach.  (Lesson: Even a small effort toward improving your customers’ experience can help turn the tide of dissatisfaction.)

In each example, companies are proving that engaging dissatisfied (or downright angry) customers directly can mitigate the potential PR damage caused by consumer aggravation.  And while those concerns are normally specific to a time, place and incident, the goodwill engendered by such outreach is a long-standing example that reminds customers at large how much your company does care about their experience — and it shows them that you’re not afraid to use the same tools they do to ensure that their needs are met.