Social media: strength in numbers

The power of social media, in particular the ubiquitous Facebook, has forced bank HSBC to make a very public u-turn on their decision to change interest charges to students.

The NUS-led ‘Stop the Great Graduate Rip-off!!!’ Facebook group was joined by almost 7,000 members and – as anything FB related seems to be newsworthy at the moment – was picked up by the BBC

In the end, the bank got in contact with the NUS and announced they’d be freezing the interest charges  this year as a result of ‘feedback from our graduate account holders’ (read ‘expletive-heavy tirades from angry, angry people’).

Andy Ripley, HSBC’s product development manager, said that ‘like any service orientated business we are not too big to listen to the needs of our customers.’

This is a great example of how the company-customer relationship has been affected by social media. Disgruntled customers now have a very public platform to say whatever they want.

If you work in marketing and this makes you feel a little bit nervy, there’s a silver lining – at least you now have a great excuse when your boss asks why you spend half the day on Facebook.

Read the full report on BBC News

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