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Anybody been following the recent tirade by a Marc Jacobs intern who somehow was given the keys to drive Daddy’s Twitter account? I can’t imagine CEO Robert Duffy would have been too impressed! Any exposure is not necessarily good exposure, and if Marc Jacobs have a “social media policy”, I suspect this fell well outside the policy guidelines.

So how does a company give their team members enough autonomy to interact authentically in the social media realm, yet avoid accidental (or intentional) ‘slips’ which could have a very damaging effect on their brand?

More often than not, the embarrassing mistakes of the likes of @ChryslerAutos and @RedCross are honest mistakes made by users who forget which profile they’re logged in to and they accidentally send a personal message via the corporate identity. Whatever the cause, organisations participating on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on need to take suitable precautions.

One tool which has just been released to assist in this regard is Hootsuite’s Secure Social Profiles. Available exclusively as an element of their Enterprise plan, and building on their existing multi-tiered account provisioning, it allows account owners to designate certain accounts as “secure” and these accounts are then provided additional protection, with prompts to confirm that you really want to submit your tweet.

For any corporation, organisation, or agency involved in social media marketing, a system such as this is a great tool both in terms of productivity and risk management.

Are you already using something similar? Have you had an online PR disaster? I’d love to hear your comments, feedback, and experiences!

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