3 Ways To Prevent A Social Media Crisis

One of the biggest concerns our clients have with social media is the potential of a social media crisis. Using social sites can leave your business vulnerable to negative comments, poor brand management, hacked tweets, employee misuse and more. Here are three ways to help prevent this from happening:.

If you ask for feedback, be prepared

A crisis happen when a company is attacked or an employee accidently uses the wrong Twitter account, However, from time to time a company makes its own mess. Recently, J.P. Morgan decided to hold a Twitter chat where they encouraged people to ask their Vice Chairman questions. What they got was a slew of negative and condescending tweets similar to this:

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It got so bad that J.P. Morgan posted the following message “Tomorrow’s Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.” J.P. Morgan should have known the bank industry’s reputation isn’t well received and people are unhappy with J.P. Morgan’s conduct. I applaud them for attempting to use social media to listen to their consumers, but it should not have been difficult to predict the outcome here. They should have been prepared! Obviously, they didn’t have a pulse of what people thought of them.  Before pursuing an activity like this, it would have been wise for them to reach out to a focus group or have a brainstorm session internally by thinking of all the negative questions people may ask.  If they had been prepared, they would have been able to address the comments and could have turned this disaster around.  Instead, they walked away, which is probably the worst thing you could do.


Make sure your passwords are safe and secure

Most companies have a team of people who utilize the accounts and need access. Therefore it’s inevitable you will not be the only person who knows all your social media passwords. However, there needs to be a set plan in place to make sure that passwords are changed when there is turnover and it doesn’t hurt to change them periodically as well.

McDonalds Twitter

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked, thankfully by someone who wasn’t spiteful and instead more humorous. They changed the name of the account to McDonalds, used the McDonalds logo, and tweeted the following:

Fortunately, the hacking resulted in new followers and lots of attention. The Burger King social media team regained control quickly and made the most of the situation by posting a message saying “Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!”

However, most companies are not as lucky. The damage can be disasterous. Bottom line, make sure you have a password plan and policy to prevent someone from gaining access to your accounts.


Make sure your employees keep their personal and company accounts separate

We hear this story way too often, an employee accidently tweeted something on his company’s page that was meant to go on his personal page. When you manage multiple accounts, whether it be several clients or even just your company and personal accounts on the same device, it is easy to quickly post something on the wrong page. I even made this mistake recently when I started uploading a business podcast onto my personal YouTube page. Whoops!

A KitchenAid employee caused a lot of noise when the person accidently posted the below tweet as KitchenAid:


The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before it had been seen by 24,000 followers. Thankfully, the head of the KitchenAid brand addressed Twitter within 15 minutes with an honest explanation of the situation and an apology to President Obama. She acted fast and honest so it helped alleviate some of the damage, but unfortunately the brand was still hurt by the incident.


Watch the team at HJMT react to a social media hacking in episode 4 of Glasslandia, the world’s first Google Glass reality show: