What a Whopping Disaster

Okay, I’m sure we’ve all had that friend that hacked into your Facebook or Twitter account and wrote:

“I love my best friend, she’s the most amazing friend in the whole wide world!”

Or

“I’m ugly, and I love to eat boogers.”

It’s all fun and jokes until someone hacks into a major company’s account, right?

RIGHT.  Burger King’s twitter account was hacked earlier this week, and the hacker made sure BK did not have it its way.

BK’s picture was switched to McDonald’s and its bio read, “Just got sold to McDonald’s because the Whopper flopped =[ FREDOM IS FAILURE.”

Unfortunately the hacking continued for over an hour.

Here are some screenshots of BK’s twitter posts:

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BK did not have control of the account until hours later, and the hackers are claimed to be part of the Lulzec group, which have been hacking major companies’ accounts since 2011.

Once having the account suspended, according to BuzzFeed, Burger King released the following statement:

“It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of the BURGER KING® brand has been hacked. We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings. We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”

Maybe BK should’ve gained control over its account sooner, but it seemed that the inappropriate tweets and photos gained the company some new followers and more media attention than usual.

But how can social media managers prevent this from happening? How do they protect their company’s reputation?

PR Daily gives great examples and easy steps to take to avoid this from happening:

  • Change password regularly.
  • Have procedures in place to stop an attack in its tracks.
  • Minimize de number of mobile devices that can access the account.
  • Make it mandatory that any mobile phones that link to corporate accounts are password protected.
  • Change your password every time someone leaves the company.

Companies should be on the look-out for hackers, and take every prevention possible.

Got Writer’s Block?

I’m sure plenty of us (especially Journalism majors) have experienced writer’s block.

This happens to me quite often, more than I’d like. I get distracted by anything and everything that is around me, and I usually end up looking like this guy…

Writer’s block usually seems like an excuse to not write, but not many people know this is serious stuff. You have a great ideas, you know what you will be writing about. But right when your fingers touch the keyboard, all your ideas go out the window and you become distracted by a stain on your desk that you know you should have cleaned months ago, but decided not to because you were too lazy.

Then you start thinking about how lazy you are and how you need to start being more active and eating healthy and before you know it, an hour later you’re still sitting there looking at that stain, being lazy and eating straight out of the Nutella jar.

So what is the solution for this?

This great blog gives advice on how to cure writer’s block and shares seven easy steps to overcoming it:

  1. Pick your prime time and block out your calendar.
  2. Pick one central idea/concept.
  3. Stick with a single structure.
  4. Organize your ideas.
  5. Use #s and bullet points.
  6. Use stories.
  7. Just write.

While many of us blame writer’s block for our ability to get work done on time, Kristin Cashore’s blog mentions Philip Pullman doesn’t believe in writer’s block. He says “All writing is difficult; the most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easy.”

Doing research on this topic, I learned a few tricks that can help with writer’s block and whether you just don’t feel like writing, or your brain just doesn’t want to collaborate and needs a break, the most common way to overcoming the problem is to just write—even if it doesn’t make sense.

So no more Nutella, no more staring at that stain (which I cleaned), and no more “Aw darn, I have writer’s block” excuses.

I will keep calm and just write. 

It’s a ‘Love’ Connection

How do people become emotionally attached to a brand?

It all has to do with communication.

In most cases, brand loyalty is a two-way street. Give great customer service and receive happy/loyal customers. After all, they are what can make or break the brand. It is a word-of-mouth type of deal. They love what they bought, so they tell their friends and their friends tell their friends and so on…

Word-of-mouth can be a never-ending cycle, so keeping costumers happy and up-to-date with any major changes is definitely plus.

So how can a brand and their costumers develop a ‘loyal’ relationship?

This article gives ten easy steps to build customer loyalty.

After reading Dr. Osman’s article, he pointed out several different types of brand loyalty:

  • Being attitudinally Loyal – Costumer develops a positive view of the brand, and it is likely to have it as first preference.
  • Temporary Loyalty (emotions) – Costumer has a positive experience.
  • Emotional Attachment – Consequence of all the different interactions and experiences a costumer has had with the brand.                                                                  

According to Monica O’Brian’s blog, Six Tips For Building Brand Loyalty; Brand loyalty means rewarding your costumers with:

  • Coupons
  • Promotional codes
  • Free Giveaways

 The companies that understand the difference between communicating with a costumer and ‘bugging’ a costumer are the ones that successfully develop long-term relationships with their target audience.

I’ve learned that more than a few people are emotionally attached to a brand, and this ‘love’ connection is nothing to be messed with.

My boyfriend, for example, is a ride-or-die, “I will always wear Vans shoes” customer, along with “The only shorts I wear are Jordans.”

Maybe it’s the great customer service they offer, or the feeling of having little kittens hugging his feet, or both.

Either way, he’s hooked and is not getting off cloud nine any time soon.

Sigh…

Sadly, I have never actually experienced this ‘feeling’ but let’s just say; I am waiting for the right brand to sweep me off my feet. 

Surviving the crisis

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Can Lance Armstrong’s brand survive?

After losing millions of dollars in endorsements, if Lance Armstrong wants to keep his brand, he might need to do some major changes, and fast.

Livestrong, formerly known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that helps and supports people who have experienced cancer.

Armstrong’s confession to doping disappointed a lot of followers, and many reporters, TV shows and even his own fans are turning against him. With all this “disappointment” going on, many people forgot how much Armstrong and his foundation have helped cancer survivors, cancer research and services.

Yes, what he did was wrong, but he has done more good than bad. He actually confessed to doping, and when he did lie, he was consistent. Maybe I just have high hopes for the foundation to keep carrying his name, but you can’t blame me. Many of us are still on his side, because he didn’t cheat his way out of cancer, and that alone is pretty hard to accomplish.

His shocking confession put his life and career at risk, this article says Armstrong’s brand rehabilitation will take years, but it is possible.

In my opinion Armstrong should:

  • Personally apologize to the public, not in an interview and no article saying he is sorry.
  • Focus on helping cancer survivors.
  • Hold a fundraiser for cancer research.

Basically, Armstrong needs to stand for what he is, a cancer survivor. If his brand takes action and focuses more on its mission, Livestrong can become an even bigger foundation.

 PR Daily also gives a few words of advice to Armstrong and how to re-brand successfully. 

Facebook it!

I left the Facebook world a few months ago due to its confusing upgrades, privacy changes and those weird/dramatic status updates my friends would post. But since I recently became interested and willing to learn more about social media, it is only obvious that I need to have a Facebook account.

The past few days I’ve been hesitant about activating my Facebook, but as I was doing my research on its recent changes, I read an article that could potentially change my mind.

Facebook has been working with Microsoft since 2010, and since then, they have been planning on beating out the world’s most popular search engine, Google.

Google social marketers should worry, a lot.

So here it is—Mark Zuckeberg , CEO and founder of Facebook, announced earlier this week its new feature, called Graph Search.

No worries Facebookers, this new upgrade will impress you and not confuse you.

Graph Search is said to be one the best improvements Facebook has made for its users and I completely agree. But what is Graph Search? What does it actually do?

Graph Search is a new search mechanism that gives you relevant information, results your own friends have rated and recommended, and it answers to questions you have about your own friends, such as, “Movies/music my friends like” or “photos of my friends” or the locations and rates about a certain place.

With Graph Search you can find out what you’re friends are doing without having to go to their timeline. You also won’t have to worry about having thousands of results thrown at your face, results that sometimes are not what you were searching for to begin with.

Maybe Graph Search sounds too good to be true, but once this new program is into full action, I just might “Facebook it!”

Check out this website to learn more about Graph Search.