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Scooters sees pluses in wake of hacking

Scooters sees pluses in wake of hacking

The coffee chain gains followers on social media and speeds up efforts to boost cybersecmity

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Scooter's Coffee says it has found two reasons to look on the bright side after hackers tied up its Facebook page with pornographic images for 24 hours Sunday and Monday.

First, the experience has spurred the Omaha coffee franchiser to make improvements to its social media presence and security that it said would be necessary anyway as it continues its rapid expansion into new markets. That includes a new push to open 20 shops in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in the next two years.

Scooter's is now working with cybersecurity experts on an audit of its processes, marketing director Jamie Hamburg said.

It's also moving ahead faster than planned on consolidating its Facebook pages under one main page. Currently, many of its franchises have their own, store-managed page. In the future, they will be Facebook "places" affiliated with the main page, which Hamburg said is more secure.

And Scooter's is making the case with Facebook that it deserves a dedicated account representative, after it struggled Monday to reach someone who could help it restore control of its page.

In another benefit, the hack seems to have boosted Scooter's social media presence, Hamburg said. The page gained about 1,500 followers and lost only about 100, she said. Total "likes" increased about 3 percent, and comments were mostly favorable. One said, "I'm glad that you got this fixed. You are my favorite and I hate that people have nothing better to do than cause a great company such trouble."

"For the incident to drag on as long as it did, it's pretty remarkable that we achieved such positive feedback from our fans," Hamburg said. The challenge ahead, she said, is to keep the same friendly social media relationship with customers as Scooter's, already in nine states, continues to expand.

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