Last week, a 15-year-old intern, Eddie, created a viral Twitter frenzy when he managed Southern Rail's social media account. 

Using the hashtag #AskEddie, he engaged with the public admirably, answering questions with wit and speed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Southern Rail; they are frequently plagued by complaints thanks to their delays, cancellations and strikes. 

This short-lived delight in Eddie's popularity just highlighted the importance of social media for PR and marketing purposes; but it shouldn't be used to distract and ignore issues if your product or service is flawed. This will rub your customers up the wrong way, creating a false impression thanks to a gap between expectation and reality. 

Social media should be used to support a business, engaging with customers and users to solve issues and build a community and brand identity and presence. Ensure your product or service is stable and THEN use social media to support your strategy.