Social networks can sometimes come in really handy.

When people think about social networking, they tend to think about it’s use from two different points of views – from a “social” perspective, whereas the use of social networks is simply regarded as a “waste of time,” and from business perspective, in which businesses can use these tools to their advantage and promote their companies.

The power of social media is often underestimated. There are many instances where it has come in handy to both companies and individuals when they really need help.

Some examples of social networks stepping in and saving the day

Lost your luggage during a flight connection? Get on Twitter

Recently, a travel writer write about her personal experience losing her luggage during a flight connection in south America. Their non-computerized luggage tracking system made it hard to locate her baggage, which she needed before boarding her next flight the next morning. The fastest way she could get help was by Tweeting out her problem to American Airlines. They provided excellent social customer service and responded within three minutes. You can read her story here.

Can’t make a call? Social networks should work

Take this example of a biker who got separated from her group while training for a mini-triathlon and got lost in the woods when her bike crashed and hauled her over the handlebars. Alone and injured, she she used her phone to try to call for help, but being in the woods, her phone signal was too weak to dial. She turned to Twitter and Tweeted for help.

We also love this story of how one girl saved a friend from home invaders after seeing her Facebook post asking that someone call 911.

Need to raise awareness of something fast? Use social media

Back in March, Facebook users logged in one day to see everyone changing their profile pictures to red squares with pink equal signs. The Supreme Court had just begin hearings into gay marriage, and those who wanted to show their support changed their profile to a red and pink version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. The awareness of the hearing and the HRC spread like wildfire, and in just a couple of hours, the HRC’s original post had been shared over 45 000 times and had received over 13 000 likes. Learn more about it here.

Has the use of social networks ever saved your day? Share your story with us.

Related blog posts:
How Social Media Integration Elevates Project and Product Management
What Facebook’s Social Graph Means for Product Development

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