The Effect of Social Media
On Twitter, I follow a few luxury travel “tweeple” – those involved in the industry, I mean. (Not that I take luxurious trips, but a girl can dream!) On Saturday I saw a Tweet from one woman who was Re-Tweeting a man in New York’s tweet. (For those of you who don’t know what I mean, on Twitter, the art of the Tweet is in the re-tweet – putting someone else’s status out there to elevate yours.) Twitter is like Facebook, but just status updates, all in 140 characters or less. It’s much more dialectic than Facebook, also – you can converse with others via various statuses. It’s expected, and it works well.
The Re-tweeted tweet said something like, “Ew, found dead bug when I unfolded the bath mat at the NYC Marriott Marquis.”
I checked a few profiles, and the original guy who sent the tweet out there into the “Twitterverse” has 6182 followers – that’s more than six thousand people who have access to what this guy is saying. I think I’m pretty cool at more than 400, but I am nothing in comparison.
But get this: the woman who re-tweeted his info has 16,859 followers. Holy Moly! Now there are sixteen thousand more people who know that the Mariott Marquis has an insect issue.
Are you getting the drift here? We don’t know how many more people besides that one re-tweeted the initial tweet. Maybe a bunch of the woman’s 16,000 followers re-re-tweeted it. We’ll never know the far reaches of the lore of the infestation.
After seeing that, who is going to go to the Marriott Marquis this weekend? I think the Sheraton a few blocks uptown will have a few extra guests until the potential hype wears off. It’s hype created by a small reality, but it’s pretty small nonetheless. I am not faulting the tweet, or the tweet-er. He was reporting the truth. What I’m doing is marveling over the potential power of one tweet.
This is the true use and intention of social media: power to the people. Now let’s all get out there and use our power for good.