Chick-Fil-A Comment Spreads Like Wildfire, Proving Impact of Social Media

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy's comment supporting the Biblical idea of marriage spread like wildfire on social media sites. Social media experts and public relations consultants say that's what really fueled the current "beef".

Experts say it takes just one tweet or a Facebook post and it's an immediate way to share something. It's proving to be the most effective way to rally support either for or against it.

People are still very involved in the debate. So, how does a comment that might not have gotten much of a mention 10-years-ago end up with such a strong reaction. On Wednesday, police were needed to help direct traffic at Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

"Social media is the most powerful force in communication on the planet ," said PR consultant Alex Greenwood.

When you post something online, hundreds may see it.

"There's a recent study that showed that 37 percent of respondents to a recent survey when they heard something on social media that a family or friend said about a product or brand, they believed it," he said.

Greenwood adds that you may feel compelled or even pressured to re-post something if close friends or family send it to you. That's how a chain reaction starts.

"They see something tweeted at them, there's a link, there might be a provocative headline on the tweet, they see it, they're outraged all the sudden, and they re-tweet it and they add more fuel to the fire, and it's just this cumulative effect," he said.

Greenwood adds that the Chick-Fil-A story is staying in the media is because it's somewhat political. It includes the topic of same-sex marriage which has been making headlines in an election year.

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