Be Careful and Stay Safe My Friends

Should We All Get One?

So now that you are fully engaged in social media and LOVING everything about it. It’s important to consider any risks that you can encounter with social media. The big one SOCIAL MEDIA HIJACKERS. Yes this is a real thing…GET NERVOUS. But don’t worry I’m also here to suggest how to AVOID being one of those brands. Yes, you can now begin calling me the GREAT MASTER ALLYSON.

Social media sites have minimal security which leaves brands like yours and mine subject to hacking. Facebook alone has about 600,000 compromised logins per day, for super math addicts that’s one hijacked login every 140 milliseconds (Perez, 28Oc). CRAZY.  55,000 Twitter accounts were hijacked on May 8th, 2012, on June 6th(Laird, May), 2012 200,000 accounts were hacked on LinkedIn (Paul, 2012).

Is this How You Are Picturing Me? Don’t Answer

Why is trying to scare us away from Social Media after spending all this time convincing us to use it? Is this girl even sane?”

Just one more story and then the good news!

This one is about a company we all know, and probably hate for the sole reason of their prices. But we use them anyway because…well we HAVE TO… Shell Gasoline.

When Shell gasoline entered the social media frenzy they did a great job engaging fans. Shell has built their Facebook likes to 1,560,393, but more importantly their users are engaged because 15,833 people are talking about the company (Shell Facebook, 2012).  On top of this they have 66,680 twitter followers (@Shell, 2012), 172,334 LinkedIn followers (Shell LinkedIn, 2012). So this is great right?  YES! Who knew so many people liked oil and gas! WOW!

But what are all these followers talking about?

Well for the past few months is been about “Shell’s Social Media Oil Spill”.  In May a website called “Artic Ready” was launched. It appeared with Shell’s logo, and even had the same characteristics of Shell’s website. Mimicking the brand’s attributes almost perfectly and even using their slogan “Let’s Go” in a number of places. One catch… guess who didn’t put up this website. Yep… you figured it out. Now guess who did produce this Shell Oil website? Greenpeace and the Yes Men (Forbes, 2012).  You can tell this is going to be a good story already…

The website has been set up to notify the general public of Shells drilling in the Artic. It poses as Shell’s point of view and their enthusiasm for harming the environment to make money (“Artic ready,” ). GREAT for Shell’s PR! Imagine being on that public relations team… no sleep for weeks. They even went as allowing the general public to create ads. These ads were shared on all forms of social media.

The “Best” Ad, Picked by Greenpeace and the Yes Men, even ended up on a billboard.

Don’t worry it gets worse. Greenpeace and the Yes Men then made fake social media accounts with fake attempts to control the spread of the ads. From there followers began retweeting with statements about how this was an example of corporate social media gone terribly wrong (Forbes, 2012).

So all though social media accounts weren’t hacked, the accounts were hijacked and used as their own. It could have been 100times
worse if the accounts themselves were hacked. Now Greenpeace and the Yes Men have released an official statement taking responsibility for the spoof. All though the damage is done and shell is still working to regain their brand image, they have still chosen not to sue Greenpeace for their spoof (Vinh Tien Trinh, 2012). Otherwise the Shell Company has been posting numerous stories on how Shell is actually helping the environment and its global community.

Now for the Risks… and Some Avoidance Help

So now you probably are dying for some good news? Are you going to have social media PR nightmares tonight?

Statistically good news

750,000,000 plus users login to Facebook every day (Perez, 28Oc). Meaning that of that 600,000 users hacked a day is only 8% of Facebook users (Feel  free to check my math). 50 million twitter accounts are logged in each day, meaning only 0.1% of twitter accounts are hacked (Parr, 2011).  So really it’s not too many people, but either way … WOULD YOU WANT TO BE SHELL RIGHT NOW?

So How to Avoid “Being Shell”?

  1. Don’t Drill in the Artic and Ban Greenpeace from Coming Near Your Ships
  2. Don’t Piss off Greenpeace

Okay seriously…

Here’s how you can avoid being hacked or hijacked.

  1. Use a secure email address when setting up any social media accounts. Hackers hack into your email and then  click  “I forgot my password”, and boom an email appears with a way to change your password. By using a secure email you can avoid, your email being hacked while at the same time avoiding your social media accounts from being hacked (2 for one special I just gave away!)
  2. Hackers research you… yes in a stalker kind of way via internet. They discover everything they can about you, and then they use this to guess your password.  Don’t use your birthday which is posted all over Facebook, your dog’s name which can be found through scrolling your 1000 pictures of it, or any other personal information.
  3. Check all strange emails or files with spyware. If not these geniuses can send you a file that records everything you type. BINGO PASSWORD HANDED TO THEM.
  4. Double check emails you receive from your social media pages. Avoid going to them directly from the email.  Hackers can create an email that looks exactly like your Facebook page, have you click on it which takes you directly to your social media login (but it’s a fake website), and not knowingly you have typed your login into the hackers own page. Check the website address to ensure it’s where you want to be!
  5. For your security settings always use https instead of http. It ensures you are at secure websites.
  6. Don’t have social media accounts automatically save your password
  7. Verify all social media accounts. To do this you will need a company email verification in order to successfully validate your account. This helps users differentiate which accounts are the actual company representatives, and which one are impersonators.

So now that I’ve scared you.. I hope I’ve also helped you! Good Luck… and until next week!

The Real Brains… My References:

Perez, S. (28Oc). Tech crunch. Retrieved from

Paul, I. (2012, June 06). Pcworld. Retrieved from

Laird, S. (May, 8 2012). Twitter debunks reports of 55,000 hacked accounts. Retrieved from

Shell Facebook. (2012, August 07). Shell facebook page. Retrieved from

Shell LinkedIn. (2012, August 07). Shell linkedin. Retrieved from*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2&trk=ncsrch_hits

@Shell. (2012, August 07). Shell twitter. Retrieved from

Forbes. (2012, July 18). Shell oil’s social media nightmare continues, thanks to skilled pranksters behind @shellisprepared. Retrieved from

Artic ready. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Vinh Tien Trinh, B. (2012, July 16). Shell arctic ready: Company won’t sue greenpeace over spoof campaign. Retrieved from

Parr, B. (2011, Oct 17). Twitter has 100 million monthly active users; 50% log in every day [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Social media hijacking: Don’t be a victim!. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Does Social Media Scare You?

Does Social Media Scare You?



Don’t worry I’ll be an expert soon. Reading this book soon so I can be quoted by others “Well like the expert Allyson said…”. Now that would be pretty cool.

You’ve been avoiding that moment, by changing the subject, trying to convince your boss that it’s just not right for your specific company, or by simply pretending you have an extra loud cough that suddenly made you deaf to anything that’s being said. But that dreadful day has come, you must enter that nerve-racking business of social media. Your boss has asked you to rise to the challenge, and why shouldn’t he? You’re smart I bet.. I mean you knew enough to read this awesome blog, so already I think you are doing great.  So, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you – YOU CAN DO IT!

So before we get started, I should warn you… I’m not an expert. But I will pretend to be for this purpose of this blog, and I will let you know whenever I figure out I’ve misspoken. I’m just here to guide you through my experiences of what’s worked for me and what has not. Hopefully you’ll learn all my “whoops guess I shouldn’t have done that” mistakes and you can avoid those altogether.

So to get started these are what I call the Introduction sites to Social Media. As they are the basic and probably going to be your most successful sites.



Why is this so great for business? What’s the point?

  • The Facebook wall or timeline (I hate this update by the way) is the most useful element of Facebook. Learn it, use it, love it.Image

Not only is this the easiest way to reach all your fans at once, but it also sits on your page for days! How many times have you wished you could tell a story once and it goes out to everyone without even typing a single name? “Well my deep sea swim with 20 hungry great white sharks was okay, eh no big deal. If you asked me about twenty people ago I would have probably explained how many times I almost died, and how 100% freaked out I was… but 60 people later.. it was okay.” So you have a company update? You have new products coming in the door?Image You have something completely random that you want to share just because? PUT IT ON YOUR WALL!

Instantly your post will go to every fans timeline, and then if they hit that little thumbs up button, it will show on all their friends timelines, and if they “like” it will go to their friends timeline, and boom you’re only three degree away from Kevin Bacon. PERFECT.

Now for consumers your wall is the place they are going to complain, admire, or just want someone to talk to. Either way, RESPOND! Do not hide negative feedback left on your wall, as those who did see it will notice that it was hidden and that looks bad. Instead write the nicest response back and direct them to a different channel to solve this issue, example “Hello Joe, I apologize you were not satisfied with your product, we would like to take this opportunity to turn this experience around and make it a positive one. Please feel free to email me at a***** so we can work to resolve this issue.” Now this issue has been redirected, and fans will see that your customer service is responsive. If they have left positive feedback or just want to talk, answer back. Always answer back. The key here is engagement, which we will talk more about in a future post.


They even have a cool sticker to help remind consumers to check in!


It’s kind of like a game, the consumer competes with their friends to earn badges and check-in points at different locations. As a business you want to make sure you own your location of FourSquare. Meaning make sure those visiting can check in to your company. As they do so it will automatically update their friends where they are (Exposure 1), and it will also link back to their Facebook (Exposure 2). Also, on FourSquare you can browse what’s near you, so if you are on Foursquare your company and company description will show up (Exposure 3).  That’s three ways a consumer can be exposed to your brand by just registering your business to foursquare! CRAZY!


Aren’t they just the best? You get to read people’s stories and advice whom aren’t really experts but think they are interesting anyway… like me! This is a great way to share company news, and updates. It allows the company to express how they came to the conclusion they did, and how the company plans to grow. It helps explain everything in detail, while also being creative.  It can also be a place to give advice, for example, if you are a company that sells TV’s you may give advice on how to fix a dead pixel. AND PEOPLE WILL FIND YOU INTERESTING! Blows my mind that people actually read my posts! Wohoo! THANKS!


LinkedIn is super professional, my least favorite but still considered very important. It’s a great way to share company news and industry information with your suppliers, partners, vendors, and other companies. This will be your “Facebook” for professional businesses. There is a “wall” just like with Facebook and this is where you can post all updates, and it will also allow anyone who’s “connected” to you to view it. It’s also where you can find your future employees. You can post jobs online, and look through applicant’s electronic resumes. You can also look through potential interest and contact them based on their public resume before they even apply. It’s a great way to find new employees and business opportunities! Remember to always appear professional on LinkedIn, you are not reaching consumers on the website!




One of my favorite YouTube channels.. Jenna Marbles. She is 100% nuts

This is where you can be the most creative! Any commercial you launch throw it on here! Not launching commercials? Make one for fun, and put it up here! Or just sit in front of the camera and do a video blog post instead of writing one for a little change.  YouTube is a great way to just have fun with your business. The business I work for decided to randomly have their version of the Highland Games. Although electronics were used, it really had little to do with the business itself. It was just a way to attract people to our site, and get our name out there. The consumers give quick feedback of what they thing of your video, so it’s a great way to try out an ad before it airs.

I hope you found this interesting! Another blog to come next week! Please feel free to post about any other social networks you believe are essential for beginners!

Thank you!