Social media in a business perspective

We are living in exciting times. Everyone can become famous for almost anything. Do you wanna be a social media superstar? Then you better get started. And do it right right away.

Since the Internet boom in the 21th century, getting sales and promoting a product or service does not happen by the phone anymore in the same extent as it used to.

In 2012, just Facebook alone had 955 million active users who log on at least once every 30 days. On average, consumers devote almost one third of their time on social medias. (Lang, 2010). According to, the number of active Facebook users in 2015 was 1.55 billion.

Twitter, Instagram, Pericscope, Snapchat, Facebook just to mention a few social media portals.

Social media can boost brand awareness and ultimately sales, especially when a campaign goes viral. More importantly, through social media, companies can gain rich customer insights faster than ever before. This all has a downside though. When looking at the ‘Customer Complaint Iceberg’, as seen in Michael W. Lowensteins book ‘The Customer Advocate and the Customer Saboteur’, one single public customer complaint will have huge effect on the overall experienced brand-quality of your company.

According to the ‘Customer Complaint Iceberg’ one formal complaint means the following:


1 unhappy customer makes a complaint to management
means 25 unhappy customers that have not made a complaint
Each of these 26 unhappy customers tell an average of 10 people about their experience -> 260 people in total
And they in turn tell an average of 5 more people about what they heard -> 1300 people in total. That means that the average number of people who hear about a problem for every one formal complaint to management is 1560!

My tips for handling the ‘Iceberg’

Get in touch with your customers, talk with them, do a survey of the perceived quality through the process
If you get a complaint, handle it swiftly and immediately, be sure to compensate!
In Finland we have a saying: “Alilupaa ja ylitoimita” which means that you should promise less and deliver more. That way the customer gets ‘more’ than he/she ordered. It is worse to under-deliver and not meet customer expectations.


My tips for social media overall

Every single piece you share should promote and support your brand image. If you aren’t sure how the audience will react to the post, check with a friend / expert before posting.

Find out which and what content gain the most visibility on your social media of choosing. Images might be easier to respond to than blog posts but you don’t know before checking your analytics (Google analytics is a great tool for this!)

Tag, mention and search which hashtags and mentions will get the biggest audience. Different hashtags and mentions targets different people, so find out which has the most followers and goes well with your brand and use them!

Just get out there, don’t be shy!



Lang, B. (September 2010). Ipsos OTX study: People spend more than half their day consuming media. The Wrap.
Michael W. Lowenstein (2011) The Customer Advocate and the Customer Saboteur, Linking Social Word-of-Mouth, Brand Impression, and Stakeholder Behavior.


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One Response to Social media in a business perspective

  1. pauliinaluukkainen says:

    In today’s world it’s so easy to give your feedback on social media, and it can be very crucial to a companies reputation. A single incident badly handled can make a lot of damage, and especially people in Finland have become more active on commenting on the Internet because then you don’t have to actually face the the real person behind it. And sometimes we can be very mean about our opinions, which definitely won’t help the companies situation. I agree with your advice for handling the “Iceberg”; give more to the customer than expected, there is still a chance to save your relationship with the person and why not make an effort for it. I loved how Coles responded to one client who kindly informed he had found a hole family of worms inside a pepper and made it very amusing and handled it perfectly. (

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