Working through customer service at a giant corporation is often akin to trying to get the attention of a giant by poking it with a twig. Twitter and Facebook users, though, have tossed aside the metaphorical twig in favor of a far more attention-grabbing Howitzer, using the public nature of social media to draw the eyes of major corporations.
For a public affected by the General Motors recall, this new form of ammunition has become key to getting results, whether that be gaining direct access to customer service, acquiring a loaner vehicle or arranging passage on a ferry to get an affected car to the dealer.
The New York Times has a great writeup on the impact that social media is having on both customers affected by the recall, as well as GM as a whole. In fact, according to sources that spoke to The Gray Lady, GM's public perception isn't too bad, all things considered.
It's really worth a read, particularly for students of social media. Head over to the NYT and have a look.