Thumbnail of TweetsMultinational UK entertainment retailer, HMV, had their official Twitter account hacked last week by employees who had been recently laid off.

Organizations that want to use popular social media platforms to grow their businesses, should take heed.  Social media access comes with risks.

Calling the lay-offs “mass executions” the employees were able to post brand damaging tweets before the company finally took back control of their Twitter account. In all, the soon-to-be-former-employees were able to post seven derogatory tweets before the problem was rectified by company officials.

Claiming that hacking the account was simple, they defended their actions, saying the “official HMV account had been set up by an unpaid intern two years ago.”

There is a lesson to be learned here.  Using social media platforms to advance business goals makes a lot of sense for a wide variety of organizations, including entertainment retailers like HMV.  The overwhelming popularity of Facebook, Twitter and others sites, make them the perfect place to connect with customers and their potential markets. But ignoring the risks – so colorfully illuminated by this incident –  is asking for trouble.

Don’t get caught with your social media guard down.  Learn more about technology that eliminates the risk of social media, so your organization can Tweet and post safely!