The Power of Social Media. Mine

I had a powerful realization tonight in the Apple Store.

I took in a torn leather iPhone case that I had purchased there a couple of months ago. I didn't have a receipt, but I figured since I paid forty bucks for it I should at least see if they'd do something about it. To make a long story short, the great people there did the right thing and took care of me. It was a positive, but not wholly surprising, experience. I had a sense they'd do that.

As I was checking out, I told the clerk that I was going to tweet about my positive experience. She thought that was cool. Actually, I had decided I was going to tweet about the experience no matter how it turned out. And that's when the realization hit me. Not that I could tweet my pleasure or dissatisfaction (I've done both before), but how empowered I felt. It wasn't little old me taking on a powerful (in this case) retailer, it was me and seven thousand of my friends. The odds seemed much more even than they used to be. And that felt good.

I realize that only a small fraction of my followers would even see the tweet, and most of them would pay it no mind. Still, it was nice to know that there was something I could do about my predicament, regardless of the outcome. And since I had also checked in at Foursquare when I entered the store, I knew that I had even more power at my disposal. Not to mention my Facebook friends, on whom I could call anytime.

Well done, Apple Store. You did good. This time.

Steve McKee is president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland and author of When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It . Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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