Social Media Influencing Behavior

Is anyone else with me when I say I am really enjoying Socialnomics? It’s such an easy read and it really holds my attention though out the entire assigned reading.

Anyway, that being said, I’m going to focus my blog post to those readings.

In chapter 2, Qualman talks about the rebellious guy and the prudish girl and how the guy’s behavior might change if he is in the girl’s online network. That got me thinking: So often we view social networking sites as a way to express ourselves, however, I think we publish what we want others to know about us because we want to be portrayed in a particular way. In a way, social media acts as a gatekeeper for information for who we want to be, instead of who we truly are.

I found the case studies on microblogging to be very interesting, in particular the story around Comcast. I thought that was great that they hired someone to follow Tweets on Comcast, however, I feel it is somewhat reactive in nature because they only acted after a problem was identified. However, I will give them kudos for righting a wrong. Additionally, it’s a great PR move on Comcast’s part because it shows they care about their customers.

I found conclusion that a friend posting on a social media site to be very interesting. Qualman stated that if you have a friend who is known to be very picky about a particular product or service, their posted opinion could be easily dismissed. For example, I have a brother-in-law who works with computers and I could see him easily dismissing a particular brand of computer because he has much higher expectations of a computer than the average user.

In chapter 3, I loved the sub-heading: “Are you on Facebook?” is the new “Can I get your phone number?” From my experience, this is SO true! I was trying to set my sister up with a guy from my work and he simply said, “Tell her to add me on Facebook.” I think the idea of blind dating as we know it is gone because someone can easily look up someone on Facebook by a first and a last name.

Overall, it’s interesting to see the way social media influences our lives and the choices we make.

Posted on September 26, 2011, in Social Media, Workplace and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Stephanie – I, too, like Qualman. He is so easy to read. My husband had actually bought the book for us both to read quite a while ago, and I really dug it. I also thought that Comcast’s reaction was a responsible response to their poor customer service issues.

    Another blog I read – – is one of the biggest “mommy blogs” out there. She had a crazy-bad experience with Maytag. She bought a $1,300 washing machine (Armstrong, 2009), with a warranty…and it stopped working. They went through the whole rigamarole of trying to get a repairman there who kept not showing up. Meanwhile, the resultant laundry from her new baby was piling up and getting stinky. They were just irresponsible and jerky about it.

    Bad move for someone whose blog (according to Forbes magazine in 2009) had more than 300,000 followers. She started up an entire tweet storm of negativity aimed at Maytag and their poor customer service. Other companies picked up on it and started to offer to help her. Then one of the managers at the parent company, Whirlpool, called her directly and had a repair guy over there within the hour. In the meantime, Bosch offers her a brand new $1,300 washing machine…and since hers is fixed, she asked if they’d donate it to charity…which they did.

    Result = Maytag with egg on their faces. Bosch = looking like heroes.

    Here’s the post. WARNING: Strong Language.

    People really really have power these days. It’s a welcome change from feeling like a helpless victim of capitalism…

    • Thanks for sharing that story! I always find those interesting – a case of “you messed with the wrong person!” And, of course, it proves just how powerful social media can be.

    • Cool, Heidi. What an interesting story about Maytag. Have you heard if Maytag tried to smooth things over with Dooce?

      • They did, but it seemed to be kind of ‘too little, too late.’ I mean, she gives them their propers when they *finally* helped her. But Bosch looked so much more like the heroes in the scenario. Maytag’s laggardly response speaks for itself…they had to *really* be prodded to do anything. Bosch just offered her free stuff and when she didn’t need it, they ponied it up for charity anyway. That’s pretty awesome.

  2. Stephanie,

    I really like your post you have good points you wrote about social networking you,” wrote that we publish what we want others to know about us because we want to be portrayed in a particular way. Not very sure I would like you to eleborate on this point. My understanding is that we write something to give a certain impression that we are not please clarify this point.

  3. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book! If you visit you’ll find uptodate posts and videos by Erik Qualman, which might come in handy around final paper time. used to list some great case studies too, especially of small businesses who gained customer loyalty from their tweets, but sadly now they only list a few and not in any detail. I’ll dig up that link and post it later today.

  4. I totally agree that Qualman is an easy read. So refreshing when lost in the land of the scholarly! Anyway – your references to people who post incessantly about certain issues being ignored made me think of Channel 3000 (

    My husband goes to this site each morning to read the news and inevitably he will mention someone’s post on the articles there. It seems that more and more there are certain groups of people that post on certain topics and always in a certain way. What I mean is that some groups blame the Democrats; others blame the Republicans and so forth. After a while, you just ignore them and look for the ones with an “original voice”.

  5. I agree with the whole “Are you on Facebook?” line, in all honesty in my experience it seems to be a pick up line in some cases! I am 21 and when I first starting going out on dates if a guy was interested they would ask for a phone number, but now they initially ask if I am on Facebook! The best part is then when I see that person has “requested me as a friend” I feel giddy the way I used to when I would see that certain someone’s name on the caller I.D. Oh how the times have changed!

  6. I like how you focused on dating and shopping…both revolutionized by social media! I wonder if people will talk about dating in a reminiscent fashion the way they do about cars revolutionized dating “back in the day”.

    I just bought a couch this weekend online. I saw it at Macy’s. I liked it, but I wasn’t quite ready to buy it until I saw many positive reviews for it on the website. I found it reassurring that many people are enjoying the same couch and so I bought it.

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