By: Marc Frias
(Image Credited to Cax Media Group.)
Social media is an ambiguous tool box filled with endless possibilities. At one end, maintaining a social media presence can increase awareness about the brand and help consumers take certain actions. At the other end, it can take an organization’s credibility and flush it down the toilet. It is a doubled edged sword, so it should not be taken lightly. Businesses should be constantly checking their social media surroundings and try to benefit from it.
Uber decided to ignore this note of caution this week when they continued to provide taxi services at the JFK airport when a taxi strike was in session due to the Muslim immigration ban. They came off as being insensitive to the public eye. As a result, many customers deleted the Uber app and the hashtag #deleteuber was trending. If Uber had been more aware of surroundings, they could have avoided this hiccup.
Lyft, Uber’s rival in the taxi app industry, kept a close eye on the situation. They decided to donate one million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union which defends individual’s rights and liberties. Furthermore, they released a statement opposing Trump’s policies and said they would stand firmly on their belief in the Constitution to providing equality for all their customers. In the end, Lyft was able to capitalize on the president’s executive order while Uber took the loss. All this occurred on Twitter within 24 hours.
Social media is a powerful tool that can connect millions of people, but also push people away. Businesses shouldn’t be afraid of social media, but need to consider the drawbacks it could have. One mistake could be the difference between losing customers and huge drops in profits. Social media can be used to benefit if correctly use. Companies should look to Lyft as an example of this effort.
Lutz, Ashley (January 29. 2017) “Furious Customers Deleting Uber App After Drivers Went to JFK Airport during a protest and strike” Business Insider. Retrieved January 29. 2017. Website. http://www.businessinsider.com/delete-uber-hashtag-jfk-airport-taxi-strikes-2017-1
Rhett, Jones (January 29. 2017) “As #DeleteUber Trends, Lyft Pledges $1 million to ACLU” Gizmodo. Retrieved January 29. 2017. Website. http://gizmodo.com/as-deleteuber-trends-lyft-pledges-1-million-to-aclu-1791750060