Do you know who your haters are?

It started yesterday. At first it looked like a marketer from Washington Mutual had set up a Twitter account to promote its Whoo hoo!™ brand campaign.

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After just a few hours it became very apparent that this was not the work of WaMu. Someone with an axe to grind setup an account, followed more than 1,000 people (in hopes that they would return the favour) and started posted disparaging tweets. Evil genius.

This is just one more example of how the social web has given everyone a bigger voice than ever before. Just type 'Worst Bank Ever' into Google and you'll see how close this hits to home in the credit union world.

This is an interesting case though. What will Twitter do? Will they be forced to take this account down? And can they track down the culprit?  I know I will be following.

What can your credit union do to protect itself against brand attacks like this?

  • Establish a response policy and put someone in charge of the care and feeding of your online reputation.
  • Get involved in the social web. The easiest thing you can do is use the free service Google Alerts to let you know when anything is being posted on the Internet about your credit union.
  • Establish your own credit union blog. Much has been said about the ROI of credit union's blogging, but put that discussion aside for a moment and think about the power of a blog as a pure communication channel. Wouldn't you rather have your haters challenge you on your own turf than having to resort to their own blog or public services like Twitter?

It would be foolish to think that everyone loves your credit union. Get involved and get to know your haters! You will find a lot of fans along the way as well.

Tim