SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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The power of Social Media on maintaining your Brand

This really isn’t a Sybase-related post.  This is about my first real exposure to the power of Social Media and Social Networking.

I mean, I’ve seen the Youtube clip of the flashmob that The Black-Eyed Peas organized for Oprah’s kickoff show.  That was all organized through Twitter, and the event quickly evolved from a handful of artists to include well over 21,000 people.   But last night really was the first time I was personally affected by this phenomenon, and I thought it important enough to blog about.  It’s a real lesson in the way companies today are actively monitoring sources like Twitter and Yelp to continuously improve their customers’ experiences, and to protect and enhance their brand.

I’m down in Orlando for the RIM WES2010 Conference, representing Sybase and the Unwired Enterprise.  I’m staying at the conference hotel, the Marriott World Center. It’s a gorgeous hotel, with a first-class spa and golf course.  The room I was given was… less than desirable.

Here’s a photo of the view I had:

Nice view of the lobby roof!

Nice view of the lobby roof!

Now, it’s a Marriott, so the room was perfectly nice, and clearly up to the usual Marriott standards of excellence.   And I’m absolutely NOT a complainer – you know the type…  But I’d been looking forward to this trip, and being assigned this room was kind of a downer.  So I logged onto Twitter and posted the following at about 11pm:

“At the Orlando Marriott World Center for RIM WES 2010. But I have the crappiest room in the hotel. Posting photos of the view in the AM.”

I then went to bed.  I awoke to find the following letter slipped under my door sometime during the night:

Dear Mr. Horan,

Thank you for your continued loyalty as a Marriott Rewards member!  Please accept my sincerest apologies for your current room situation on the 4th floor of the East Tower.  Unfortunately, due to the large volume of check-ins, I did not have a room for you to move into tonight.  I have setup a King Poolview…for you to move into on Monday, if you desire.

Warm regards,

Zachary Long, Assistant Front Office Manager
Orlando World Center Marriott

Sure enough, I’ve been upgraded to a sweet room overlooking the pool on the 8th floor.  And here’s the upgraded view:

Poolview

Poolview

Now, I have no proof that this upgrade was a direct result of my tweet.  But I don’t think it matters – Marriott did the right thing by me, no matter what the catalyst was.

I think the lesson is clear.  Companies that are serious about protecting and enhancing their Brand are listening to Social Media outlets to hear what people really think about them…

Are you?

-Paul-

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Paul Horan

Paul Horan is a Senior Solution Advisor and Mobility Architect at SAP, and works with the SAP Mobile Platform and SAP Mobile Secure product lines. Paul joined SAP as part of their acquisition of Sybase in June, 2010. Prior to that, Paul worked for Sybase as a technical pre-sales architect supporting PowerBuilder, PowerDesigner, and SQL Anywhere. Paul works out of SAP's Reston VA office. A 1984 graduate of Indiana University, Paul currently resides in Arlington VA.

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