Proactive Social Media Pays Off

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    Proactive social media monitoring by H&R Block stops a potential crisis in its tracks

    We’ve seen several examples of employees sabotaging their employers via social media, the most infamous of which may have been the YouTube video showing a pair of Dominos employees doing various disgusting things to customer’s food. Perhaps as a result of witnessing such incidents, H&R Block has a very proactive Social Media Policy in place, as former employee and self-styled Internet phenom “Kid Fury” discovered after a Tweet asking his followers to call in and ask for him by his Web moniker brought a swift reaction from H&R management. This quote from David Meerman Scott’s WebInkNow blog explains:

    “Our Client Services organization, with guidance from our Social Media Team, are actively responding to customer service questions, issues, and comments via Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites,” Zena Weist, director, social media at H&R Block told me.

    “What Kid Fury didn’t realize was the impact of his tweets. People searching online for H&R Block help came across his ‘just for fun’ tweets in their search results.”

    Because Weist and her social-media team actively monitor tax-related comments online, they knew the moment he began posting. “We had a team monitoring and responding to customer-service inquiries on social networks,” she says. “Within 10 minutes, our social-media outreach team had identified and contacted him and his manager. About an hour later, he had deleted his tweets.”

    The speed at which the situation was resolved speaks volumes for the values involvement in social media holds for crisis management. Had H&R’s team not made it a habit to monitor for specific keywords that would concern or involve the company, it would all but guarantee the flood of calls would have lasted longer and cost far more money than it did.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.