These days social media crises seem to be popping up all over the business world.
You’ve heard the stories: The hostile Twitter takeovers of Burger King and Jeep in March that had the two corporate giants scrambling to regain control of their accounts. The HMV PR catastrophe in February when one disgruntled employee suddenly went rogue on its Twitter account. And more seriously last year, when clothing retailer Francesca’s CFO mistakenly tweeted out highly confidential company information on his personal account. The list goes on. These incidents may be titillating for the public to read about, but for businesses, they can have serious financial—sometimes even legal—consequences. (Francesca’s tweet for example was a violation of long-held SEC regulations, since the company is publicly traded.)
But forward-thinking companies have a secret: While social media can certainly be risky if you don’t take proper precautions, it can also be your number one ally in times of crises.
One such company is ING DIRECT. The banking brand recently averted a potential PR crisis by harnessing the full potential of social media. How? On the afternoon of April 2, 2013, the company’s social media team received a Tweet from a Twitter user alerting them that somebody was sending out text messages in a phishing scam targeting ING customers. “ING Bank member alert!” the fake text shouted urgently, guiding recipients to call a provided phone number to “remove restrictions” placed on their credit cards—by disclosing highly confidential banking and personal information.Read more