JEEP AND BURGER KING REMIND YOU TO CHANGE YOUR TWITTER PASSWORD with Flic House

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The last year for Twitter hasn’t been great when it comes to concerns of security. In 2012, there were multiple instances where hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts had been compromised, prompting the growing social network to reset user passwords.

jeep-twitter-account-hackedWhile Twitter is usually pretty quick to notify its users of these security breaches, it can have a major negative effect on some of the social network’s most influential brands and people, at the luxury of being somewhat humorous. In the past, well-known people like Miley Cyrus, Ashton Kutcher, and Britney Spears have all had their accounts broken into.

Fast forward to 2013, when Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter accounts got hacked into just earlier this week, less than 24 hours apart. It’s obvious that both of these brands are very influential on Twitter, so no doubt they took a hit in their PR department for the hack. Regardless, it was quite humorous as the @BurgerKing account got hacked yesterday to look like its #1 competitor, McDonalds, apparently because the whopper flopped. And today, @Jeep supposedly got sold to Cadillac which was located in “a hood near you”. Both accounts tweeted funny updates, while others were somewhat derogatory and just plain offensive. More about Flic House

Who’s to blame for these recent hacks? Most sources point to Anonymous (both hacked accounts mentioned @YourAnonNews), a loosely associated hackitivist group well known for its online antics. While most people are quick to point the finger at Anonymous, it’s obvious that they were just exploiting very weak security on both Jeep and Burger King’s part – so ultimately the brands are at fault.

What can brands and business learn from this lesson? Don’t use “whopper123″ or “ilovejeep” as your password – instead use a complex string with a combination of random letters, numbers, and symbols. Need help creating a secure password? Check out the Secure Password Generator.

Ever got one of your social media accounts hacked? Share your frustrating or humorous story with us in the comments below!

WHY GOOGLE+ SHOULD BE IN YOUR MARKETING TOOL KIT

You’ve no doubt familiar with a little social media network called Facebook. Odds are, you’ve also at least heard of another platform called Twitter. But what about Google+? That’s right; everyone’s favorite search engine also has its own social network. And, while it was only launched not even two years ago, it has rapidly climbed up the ranks to become the world’s second largest social network with 343 million active users compared to Facebook’s 693 million.

But the main reason why you and your business should be aware of Google+ has nothing to do with size. It has everything to do with strategy and the way Google has tied its search engine and social network together.

When a person posts on Google+, a few different things can happen. First off, the search engine will take note of the post’s content. In addition, other users who see your post can give it a “+1” or share it to their various friends and groups. Users can also share and comment on search results if they find a particularly good website.

As many SEO experts have discovered, these all factor into how the Google search engine ranks results when Google+ users go online. There’s really nothing nefarious behind this. If a person goes online and searches for strawberry jam recipes in Google, it’s reasonable to assume she would like to know which recipes her friends liked the best. That all translates into greater traffic on the website, which boosts the ranking for users who aren’t logged into Google accounts.

Don’t worry. This does not mean that you need to rush out and open up a Google+ account, start adding friends and posting there as well as on Facebook and Twitter. What it does mean, though, is that it’s vital for your website to have a +1 button on it so that visitors can recommend it and boost it up in the overall search results. In fact, given that Google+ is an open system while Facebook is a closed one (what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook), it could be argued that it’s even more important than a Like button.

Of course, if you truly want to leverage the network to your advantage, then a full Google+ profile, regular posts and the right kind of engagement should be part of your overall social media strategy.

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