#hmvXFactorFiring: HMV Social Media Crisis

I like to check out what’s trending on Twitter for kicks and giggles. Sometimes you get gems like #puertoricanproblems or #unansweredhiphopquestions, which I personally found hilarious, but yesterday #hmvXFactorFiring was trending.

I would bet vast sums of money those higher up at HMV weren’t laughing.

On January 15th, HMV announced they were going into administration due to bankruptcy, a move that would put 4,350 jobs at risk and close 300 stores. Yesterday began the first round of job cuts.

However, HMV overlooked an important detail- they hadn’t revoked the fired employees’ Twitter access.

Rogue ex-employees began tweeting live from HR about the mass firings and according to The Drum ‘in the space of 15 minutes, the official account, followed by over 70,000 people’ saw these Tweets:

HMV

Someone from HMV deleted the tweets within minutes, but it was too late. ‘The tweet went viral within half an hour as it was retweeted 1,300 times in the first 30 minutes.’- The Drum

People, especially consumers, love social media for its transparency and virility. Thus far, it’s done wonders for making people feel closer to the brands they love, but the same positives can become great negatives for companies if they aren’t aware of the power of social media.

With such power, social media plans need to be in place. This means that all employes who deal with social media, be it directly or indirectly, need to know the basics of using any social media platforms.

As rudimentary as it sounds, this includes signing in and out, posting, deleting posts, private messages and how to appropriately handle positive and negative post from people.

In some cases, it may be helpful for an assigned delegate to handle such matters so that there is a consistency. This person could also create a procedural handbook for social media use, including a crisis plan.

Someone at HMV tried to soothe the damage that was done by posting several tweets:

HMV2

In my opinion, by the time it was trending, it was too late. This case is a prime example of how influential social media can be, both positively and negatively. Make sure your organisation knows the ins and outs of any social media platform, not only to prevent a crisis such as this, but also to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

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4 thoughts on “#hmvXFactorFiring: HMV Social Media Crisis

  1. I remember seeing this play out. Although I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the layoffs, I think that the company did not present the layoffs to the employees well because they are clearly angry and upset.
    I also agree with your point that the company did too little and too late in responding to the crisis.

  2. babridges88 says:

    From what I’ve read, the layoffs happened as a result of the bankruptcy and Hilco, who bought out HMV, used it as a cost cutting method. I agree with you about the lack of communication concerning the layoffs, especially in the tweet that talks about ‘loyal employees who love the brand’. Seems like they may have had more than just social media problems.

  3. Cleo says:

    You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  4. Brett Ashley Bridges says:

    Thanks, Cleo!

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