When I booked my flight to the Dominican Republic with an overnight layover, I had no idea that my bags would cost more than me to travel. Since the overnight layover was technically a layover, I didn’t think I would be charged twice, once for each leg, (4 times round trip). But that was the case and as I handed over my credit card for the charge, I was composing the snarky tweet about the double dipping in my head.
Fast forward 10 days, ensconced in my office and armed with my laptop, I tweeted about the injustice of it all. Within minutes, an airline representative tweeted to me offering assistance, and within an hour, my account was credited. Interestingly, it wasn’t a mistake on their part, just a bad policy. To avoid a social media trashing, the airline gave me a refund. Meanwhile, my friend who traveled with me is not active on Twitter, and attempted to get help on the phone to no avail. So, did I get a refund simply because I am active in the social channels? It makes me wonder about social influence and how valuable and powerful it can be.
I wrote a blog post back in 2011 about Facebook’s Ugly Sibling, Facebook Credits, and how you could get discounts by broadcasting your purchases to your followers (I suspected that the discount was relative to the size of your following). Of course Facebook Credits are gone now, but I’m curious about the value of social influence and it’s good, bad and ugly implications. As the Millenials grow up and into jobs, will the size/influence of their networks factor into hiring and opportunity? Now it’s jokes and funny snap chats, but in 10-15 years, that might look different. What will happen, if anything, to the geezers, who shunned social media? It’s never too late to get started.