Recently in the news, Royal LePage found themselves under attack for #hashtag hijacking.    The company contracted to handle their social media, Raymond Solutions, made a serious error in judgment when it used the #AmberAlert hashtag in promotional posts on Twitter.

#AmberAlert, like many other emergency hashtags, is not be used lightly.  The inappropriateness of this opportunism tactic was glaringly apparent running alongside a current real life #AmberAlert regarding a four-year-old girl in a stolen car.

In this case, hiring an outside organization to manage their social media accounts has cost Royal LePage more than they bargained for.  What is the price of your reputation?

It is not difficult to imagine how it might have happened.  The realtors, Wilma Fournier and Mark Hulst, have Twitter accounts that they want to keep up to date but the demands of staying on top of everything, including social media is simply too much to manage. So it is farmed out to a third-party marketing agency.  Through time constraints, lack of security implementation or simply miscommunication, the tweets the marketing agency created were apparently not reviewed or approved resulting in the negative sh*t storm that is taking place all over the media.

Social Media Lessons Learned

In the case of Royal LePage, they are busy closing the barn door post horse exit.  You and your company can make better decisions now to avoid similar types of mistakes that can leave jagged cracks in the integrity of your organization.

If you are unable to manage your social media in-house due to time, resources or interest,  it is imperative that you trust the company you hire.   They will be acting as the voice of your company.   This will affect how your reputation is established online, how your company responds in a crisis and how conversations are monitored.

Your Social Media Manager will speak to an indefinite number potential customers. Choose someone who embodies your brand so the legacy they create is authentic and credible.  To find out more about how to choose a great Social Media Manager, contact me.