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Saturday, September 14 • 4:46pm - 6:30pm
“How individuals use the power of social media against companies?”

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Today, the growing evolution and use of social media is incredible. There are 955 million active users on Facebook who spend 10.5 billion minutes online on the website (Pring, 2012); however the use of social media is not limited to personal purposes. Businesses are increasingly getting engaged in social media; 80% of businesses use social media sites to monitor or extract information relating to competitors (Pring, 2012). The subject of social media is increasingly drawing attention of academic and industry researchers. The research literature on social media is still limited; however there is a trend towards rapid increase in the number of papers and the amount of materials that have been published (Alexander, 2012).

With the rise of social media, a new paradigm has emerged for public and organizations. The drastic change that comes with the advent of social media is mostly due to tremendous and fast spread of information. Public are aware of the power of social media and they take advantage of this new paradigm in which –for instance- an unhappy customer doesn’t call the company’s direct line anymore; instead, he posts a comment on company’s Facebook page on his disappointment (Lampe et al., 2008). Public are more likely to speak out via social media, which are a louder, more visible method of expressing their dissatisfaction and criticism. 

In recent years, we have witnessed organizations facing crisis by information circulation in social media in less than hours, as what happened to Lassonde Industries on April 2012. The story began on 2005, when Lassonde - a Canadian food manufacturing company- sued a small Quebec-based soap company - Olivia’s Oasis - for using the word “Oasis” as one of their product line’s brand name. For 7 years, Olivia’s Oasis encountered problems over this battle, until finally on April 7, 2012 public used social media against Lassonde to support Olivia's Oasis; this brought a 7 yearlong conflict to an end within days (Agnes, 2012). This case study exemplifies the point that public appreciate the power of social media and they know how to employ it in order to drive organizations for a quick reaction. Organizations must know that the expanding role of social media has changed the way in which they need to respond to crises and protect their reputation. 

Refer to this real world case study, in this research we review the public acts in social media context in order to persuade Lassonde for changing its strategy and answering to their demand. We also study Lassonde strategies and the way it communicated with customers and managed the crisis. This study allows us to find out more about organizations’ applicable strategies in managing crises in social media environment. We conclude by exploring the implications for organizations facing similar crises in the future. 

References:
Agnes, M. (2012). One Brand’s Social Media Crisis is Another Brand’s Social Media Salvation. Retrieved from: http://www.melissaagnescrisismanagement.com/one-brands-social-media-crisis-is-another-brands-social-media-salvation/. Last accessed: April 11, 2013.
Alexander, D.E. (2012). Two Squawks about Twitter: The Use of Social Media in Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Management. Retrieved from http://emergencyplanning.blogspot.com/. Last accessed: April 16, 2013.
Lampe, C. Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, Ch. (2008). Changes in use and perception of Facebook. CSCW`08, November 8-12, San Diego, California, USA.
Pring, C. (2012). 216 Social Media and Internet Statistics (September 2012). Retrieved from http://thesocialskinny.com/216-social-media-and-internet-statistics-september-2012/. Last accessed: May 5, 2013.

Speakers
ND

Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin

Polytechnique Montreal and CIRANO, Canada
VH

Venus Hosseinali Mirza

Polytechnique Montreal
TW

Thierry Warin

HEC Montreal and CIRANO, Canada


Saturday September 14, 2013 4:46pm - 6:30pm
Rowe Atrium

Attendees (7)