"We're tweeting live while being fired!": HMV staff hijack Twitter accountby
Fading music retailer HMV has just demonstrated the dangers of having a less than harmonious relationship with your employees while they still have access to the company social media accounts.
Following the recent announcement that the business has gone into administration, all has been quiet on the @hmvtweets Twitter account. However, it sprung to life this afternoon with a series of tweets announcing that there were mass redundancies and lashing out at the management of the company, kicking off with the message: "We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired!"
Using the hashtag #HMVXFactorFiring, the tweets quickly went went viral, with the topic trending worldwide, before the marketing director apparently became aware of the leaks and the tweets were deleted.
Bravely battling in spite of the management crackdown, the rebels went on to allege that the Twitter account had been set up by an unpaid intern, before signing off with a final "It’s been a pleasure folks! Best wishes to you all!”
The lesson here? Probably best to ensure you change the passwords on your social media accounts before you fire your team - because the opportunity to voice their grievances in such a public way might be just too tempting for some of them...
...or of course you could simply treat your hard-working frontline teams with greater respect in the first place.
See below for a screen grab of the tweets before they were deleted.
UPDATE: A few hours after the tweets were removed, the @hmvtweets account posted some official statements on behalf of the retailer, acknowledging the tweets had "picked up a lot of attention" and adding that "it's clearly been a tough day for us all at HMV".
Further tweets confirmed that there had been redundancies, and that one of those who had been let go "was understandably upset", adding "thx for supporting hmv thro these challenging times".
The "upset" former employee responsible for the tweets subsequently revealed herself as Poppy Rose through her own Twitter account @poppy_powers, and in a series of tweets explained her actions:
Just to set something straight, I did not ‘hijack’ the hmv twitter account. I actually assumed sole responsibility of Twitter & Facebook over two years ago, as an intern. When asked (this afternoon), I gladly provided the password to head office. I also set another member of staff up as a manager on Facebook, and removed myself from the admin list. I didn’t resist any requests to cooperate.
Since my internship started, I worked tirelessly to educate the business of the importance of Social Media – not as a short-term commercial tool, but as a tool to build and strengthen the customer relationship, and to gain invaluable real-time feedback from the consumers that have kept us going for over 91 years. While many colleagues understood and supported this, it was the more senior members of staff who never seemed to grasp its importance.
I hoped that today’s actions would finally show them the true power and importance of Social Media, and I hope they’re finally listening.
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.