[David Strom's Web Informant] July 25, 2013: Please stop the fake Twitter hacks

David Strom david at strom.com
Thu Jul 25 02:45:40 EDT 2013

Web Informant, July 25, 2013: Please stop the fake Twitter hacks

This past week Chipotle Restaurants became the latest major brand to
post their own series of fake Twitter hacks. The Tweets, which
included not-so-subtle references to their guacamole ingredients, were
part of a 20th anniversary series of promotions.

As a communications strategy, it is wrongheaded on a variety of
levels. First, while the company gained thousands of followers, most
probably won't stick around once the excitement cools. Twitter
followers are a fickle bunch: they come and go and the real metric is
the engagement of these followers. How many are retweeting? How many
are actually reading and responding? (I know I can do better in this
department, too.)

Second, this doesn't help to build trust or brand loyalty (something
analogous to a current New York City mayoral candidate's online
activities).  When the next Big Tweet comes around, do you want your
followers thinking this is just another stunt or something that is
worthy of one's time?

PR stunts like this one are really only good for one-time use, as in
one time for everyone. Chipotle is far behind others that have tried
this one, and the lesson should be: move on to something else here.
Find something that is more clever and actually has meaning for your

Also, Twitter hacks – the real ones – aren't something to joke about,
because chances are your account can be easily compromised. This is
the case if you are using a relatively weak password or several
Official Tweeters share your account. It is great that Twitter became
the latest to use two-factor authentication earlier this year: if you
haven't done so, go to your account and mobile settings to add your
mobile phone as the second factor. But corporate users should practice
better password hygiene policies and spend some time thinking through
who has access to the business Twitter accounts.

Finally, if you are going to use social media to promote your brand,
don't rely on a single channel but coordinate amongst all your
channels, including the Web and email lists too. You want to reach
your entire audience and customer base, not just the folks that might
be tuning in to your Tweets on a random Sunday afternoon.

Comments always welcome here:

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