David and Goliath, or Why Social Networks Scare the Heck Out of Companies

Hey @SouthwestAir! Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Th... on TwitpicSilent Bob (Actor/Director Kevin Smith) wasn’t so silent. Southwest Airlines responded. And it got ugly from there. Whatever the specifics, consider that one person was able to communicate a negative experience to over a million people in real-time. And within 36 hours, most of the major media outlets in the country were covering the story.

The war was waged on Twitter, and on blogs, and on podcasts and onto CNN, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, etc.

Ouch if you are Southwest Airlines. Apparently they didn’t realize that celebs sometimes fly coach. To their credit, they are handling this in the open instead of trying to hide.

Thank goodness you aren’t a large company, right? Wrong.

Every business, be it a solopreneur, SMB, franchise or Fortune 500 company, works with customers. Customers are people. All people have some form of social connection, both online and traditional.

Marketing is a double edged sword. The forces that create lines at the Apple Store for whatever the latest i-Product may be are the same forces the Kevin Smith tapped into this past weekend.