Nothing like waking up in the morning to a social media emergency!
What’s a social media emergency?
When you wake up to find that some evil person:
- hacked into one of your accounts and posted something derogatory or offensive
- hacked into a follower or an employee’s account and posted something bad using your company’s name
This happened to the Christian ministry I work with. We believe it was a disgruntled former resident who was released from the program for disobeying the rules. He’s the only “enemy” we know of that has the skill to be able to pull this off.
I’m not going to show the offensive post here but here’s what we think happened.
The enemy hacked into the Facebook account of one of our volunteers and altered her employment to reflect that she was employed by the ministry — which she isn’t. She happens to be a faithful volunteer who comes several times a month to cook for our male residents. She’s connected to our kitchen manager on Facebook. We believe that’s how the enemy found her.
The enemy then posted an offensive message using her account which triggered a slew of comments and bad reviews.
At first, the executive director and I had no idea that the person was one of our volunteers. We only knew that she was not an employee. We posted a statement which we later edited to say what we figured happened.
The offensive post was not on the her page by the time I started investigating. It obviously was up just long enough to raise the ire of some of our 880 fans.
What you can do to about the social media emergency:
- First of all – KEEP CALM! The world (or your business) is not going to end because of this.
- Post a statement declaring that it was a hack. Hacking happens so often that people will understand.
- Immediately shut off the reviews. Our ministry doesn’t need them since we’re not a retail store. Now, that may not be an option for other types of businesses. If you can’t shut down the reviews, you’ll have to respond to each one in a positive manner.
- Change your visitor posting settings. Click on Settings at the top right corner of your business page and go down to Visitor Posts and turn on moderation. This allows people to post on your page, but you must approve it before it becomes public.
- Turn off the tagging ability. Make sure only trusted page managers can tag people in pictures and posts and that other people or pages can’t tag you in their posts.
- Adjust personal privacy settings. Have anyone connected to the page and/or employees to set their personal Facebook settings to private so that strangers cannot see who their friends are.
- Don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. There are many scammers out there trying to prey on people. Take a look at which friends you have in common. Contact that person and ask about the one requesting to be your friend.
- Don’t accept a friend request from someone who’s already your friend. The second account is a hack or fake account. Contact the friend and let them know.
- Don’t buy Facebook likes. Those are fake accounts and will skew your analytics plus, it may open the door to bad people.
- Post a series of positive blog articles and messages. Bury the bad with the good.
- Don’t go on a rampage badmouthing whoever did it.
- Report the hack to Facebook or whichever network it was.
Unfortunately, there are evil people out there that have nothing better to do than make other peoples’ lives miserable. Every business, even well-meaning charities and nonprofits have disgruntled employees and clients.
One of the things you need to do is be educated enough on how the social media networks work. Become familiar with the security and privacy settings.
This is your online reputation that can be damaged in a matter of minutes.