If you haven't heard this story, you won't believe it. This company simply got killed by a bad day of social media.
I'd never heard of HMV before, but I certainly know them now. And it's not because they're an awesome company. It's because they fired 60 employees, and a few minutes later those employees took to Twitter on the company account.
It was beautiful. Not because people got fired, but because it really showed the world we now live in.
Here's a taste of their Twitter activity before the mass firing:
Pretty nice huh? I especially like Emma's input. She's super super excited. HMV broke news that made her the MOST HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD!!! What a nice company. That's the power of HMV baby.
As mentioned before, I had never heard of this company. I didn't have an opinion, idea, anything really. I thought about them as much as I thought about the next season of Teen Mom. Not at all.
So what was it that shaped my entire view of this place? Angry tweets from irate employees. Here's how it went down:
It began on January 31, when 60 employees were taken into a room and fired all at once.
As they left the HR office, one of the victims decided, screw it. It's social media time, and with an unnecessary number of punctuation marks!!!
You can't handle the truth
And finally my favorite...
HMV's Twitter followers shot up by 10,000 in a few hours.
Think that's a good thing? Think again. Eventually, corporate re-gained control of the hostage situation and issued some appology tweets. Here's the response from some of their new "fans":
Had enough? Nah, there's more.
And then the trolls had enough and stopped.
Did I say stopped? I meant kept going.
With just a few tweets, HMV was able to go from an ordinary company to a nationally hated business. So much so that they haven't tweeted since. Before this incident, they were averaging 5 tweets a day.
I now follow them for the same reason I follow Donald Trump. I didn't realize their tweets could be so juicy.
The lesson here is not, "Don't fire employees". It's don't take social media for granted. And for god sakes, make sure your marketing director knows how to use Twitter. This isn't 1990 anymore where it takes a huge corporate scandal to bring you down. People are just waiting for any meme, post, tweet or picture to demonize you and your business.
In summary, Twitter helped HMV go from this:
In just a couple hours.
That's the power of Twitter baby.
I think the best advice from this incident can be summed up by the final response tweet from one of HMV's new valued followers: