What To Do If Your Brand is Hacked

We’ve been hit with some scary news the past few days! Major brands (Jeep, Burger King, even Viacom’s MTV) are having their Twitter accounts hacked. If these “big boys” are vulnerable, what does that mean for the rest of us? And what can we learn from how they are responding in these time sensitive and potentially brand damaging situations?

Here are 5 tips on what to do if your brand is hacked:

1.   Keep calm and brand on.  Brands are built over time through the consistent delivery of positive experiences. While a hacking incident might be frightening, chances are rare that it will bring the whole empire tumbling down. Look at it as a bump in a road and don’t lose sight of the longer-term relationships that you have built. Focus on growing those and your brand will become stronger as a result.

2.   Enlist the help of loyal fans. Branding is a two-way relationship, and in times of trouble, who better to count on than our friends and fans to pull us through? Reach out to some loyal fans and ask them directly for their support to set the record straight.

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3.   Keep it real. Address the situation head-on and with an honest tone of voice. Communicate to your followers. Yes it sucks, but you’ve got the situation under control. If humor is part of your brand, you may even want to inject that into your response. Hey, with all the brands hackers have to choose from, you’re kind of flattered to be singled out. Right?

4.   Stay on your toes. Brand building is a true discipline. It takes time, constant monitoring and nurturing. Take a lesson from the brands that are able to bounce back quickly and make sure you have the right plan in place for your own brand. Do you have the toolkits, staff and budget set aside for your own brand to react quickly? Consider this a fire drill and make sure you are prepared.

5.   Turn the negative attention into a positive. If your brand is the victim of a hacking incident, use the additional attention it may be getting and turn it into a positive. Now that you’re in the spotlight, use this as an opportunity to highlight a positive brand message and thank your fans for their patience and loyalty.

Has your brand ever been hacked and what did you learn from the experience? We’d love to hear. Email us: julie@herculiz.com or post a comment below.

Knowing how to respond to issues as they arise and having a clear sense of where you want to take your brand is one key to developing a strong brand. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you the the tools you need to develop your branding and use it to make your business sing. We give you hands-on exercises, exclusive online videos, and the opportunity to connect with a supportive community of fellow brand-building entrepreneurs. Receive more information about the next semester and also receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

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