In early February 2013 everyone was talking about the series of tweets that were fired out from HMV’s Twitter account which served to live-tweet the layoffs that were happening at that moment. Many people moved quickly to blame Poppy Rose, the individual who posted the tweets, and the world gasped at how one person could exert so much control over the organization’s Twitter account. The reality? It happens every single day and no one should have been surprised. The other reality? Poppy Rose is not to blame. I titled this blog post “not another lessons learned…” because this is not about lessons learned from the event. It is about the reality of the state of social engagement and how organizations need to move forward, today, in order to secure their place in the non-rogue-tweet-event company list.

  • Use a SMMS (social media management system) –This is not a suggestion but a requirement. You need to not only protect your organization from rogue tweets and off-brand messaging; you also need a mechanism in place to enable real social engagement by your employees
  • Create a strategy for employee engagement –Having a ‘social media suite’ or a group of people with access to post to Twitter is not engagement; it is merely a marketing strategy at the best or a rogue-tweet breeding ground at worst. You need to know that your employees are your most trusted advocates and story-tellers; provide a strategy for them to engage and watch your account grow
  • Prepare your partners for social engagement –Activating your employees to participate on Twitter on behalf of your company will not only engage your customers in a deeper experience but also your partners. You and your partners will be able to participate in many of the same conversations and you will want to pass information back and forth both on social channels and behind the scenes. Preparing your partners and letting them know that you are upping your engagement will enable them to be better prepared for the new engagement to come their way

Ok, I realize I said this is not a lessons learned post about HMV but I need to say one thing… It has been over one month since the HMV event and their twitter account is still posting from the web; this means that one or more people still have access to the account password! This is not acceptable in today or the future social business engagement world; if you are not using a SMMS that uses OAuth versus password authentication you are opening yourself up to many liabilities like hacked accounts, leaked passwords and rogue tweets. My product, Curatiant, is one such SMMS that uses OAuth and never reveals or even stores the account password

2013 promises to be the year of employee engagement on social networks and those companies who start off on the right footing with using a SMMS will have a proverbial leg-up on the competition as they will be less susceptible to rogue tweets and more open to real engagement from their employees and customers, partners.

Corey Rawdon

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