Disgruntled HMV employees once briefly took over the company’s official Twitter account to express their dissatisfaction at being sacked by the ailing retailer.

It could have been anyone. Crappy set-ups, and a ‘later, later’ approach is way more common than you might think – and I’m personally yet meet a company owner with confidence of their set up and the level of risk – or what to do about it.

Protect your accounts.

It’s not about trust.

It’s about your business assets, their value, and their ability to reduce the overall value and reputation of your company.

If you’re a business owner:

  • Create a set up that allocates you as the overall owner and highest permission holder within the company.
  • Get help from a marketing specialist experienced with managing large groups of accounts if you need it.

If you’re responsible for marketing:

It’s really important not to be the right person in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is your absolute duty to protect the company.

Take your social media security seriously.

Here’s why:

HMV called in the administrators back at the time of the company’s collapse when they lost 4,500 jobs and became a fraction of their former selves.

On the day they got the bad news, one (or more) employee used their access to vent their anger and “tweet live from HR”.

They had zero account control in place.

Instead, they replied on the trust of the long standing employees.

What is the impact of a bad social media account set up?

The tweets were later deleted.

The disgruntled employees managed to post seven horrid, brand-damaging messages before the company regained control of the account and deleted the posts.

“There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand. #hmvXFactorFiring,”

…read the first tweet. Ouch.

The first hint that the management was on to them came a little after 2.30pm, when someone tweeted:

“Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks) ask ‘How do I shut down Twitter?'”

…it’s best for all concerned that this ends asap.
From the BlueCross sale to Bloody Murder.

“Under usual circumstances, we’d never dare do such a thing as this,” they said. “However, when the company you dearly love is being ruined … and those hard working individuals, who wanted to make hmv great again, have mostly been fired, there seemed no other choice.”

Hide and seek at its worst.

Is that wasn’t as low as it could already go – they went on to claim that the official HMV account had been set up by an unpaid intern two years ago.

In their final act of defiance, they employees gave an explanation for the brand damaging act.

So, if that’s not a lesson for all those that follow, then we must be barking* up the wrong tree.

*See what we did there?

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