15 Feb Social Media Blunders (and how to avoid them)
We have all seen them – the tweet that was sent out by accident, sent out without knowing all of the facts, or just poorly timed in general. It’s so cringe-worthy that there is nothing else to do but shake your head and think, “how could they be that dumb?”
It seems like such a foolish error that we all like to believe it won’t or couldn’t happen to us, or the companies we represent.
Yet with the amount of errors that keep popping up in our Twitter streams – and the resulting backlash – it is always good to be reminded of a few simple steps that are likely to keep you out of trouble. It may take you a few seconds longer to get the post up, but it will be well worth it for the peace of mind.
1 – Make sure you are tweeting from the correct account. As elementary as this sounds, you might be surprised by how many tweets are sent inadvertently from the wrong account. Working at a PR agency, I have access to no less than four Twitter accounts currently– two different clients, SpeakerBox’s, and my own. Without double-checking to make sure you are signed in where you should be, it is easy to see how the mistake can be made. While for the most part a tweet inadvertently sent out from the wrong account is a quick fix – if you are accidentally posting something a little too personal from a company account the results can be brutal.
2 – If you are commenting on a world event – read as much on the topic as possible before doing so. It is fine to voice your opinion on Twitter, but just be aware that once you have put a statement out in a public domain, there is no taking it back. Even if it is later deleted, the damage will have been done. So make sure that you feel confident and well read on the subject and are commenting in a thoughtful and educated way. Chances are if you are stating an opinion you are going to get responses voicing the opposite – but if you are aware of all of the facts, at least you can stand by your statement even in the face of differing feedback.
3 – Keep apprised of current events. Similar to the last tip, having a basic idea of breaking news will keep you from putting out a very ill timed tweet. This may seem a bit extreme, but it’s not a matter of knowing everything that is going on everywhere. Rather, take a minute to read your own Twitter stream before posting. Is there something that everyone seems to be talking about? In particular, have their been any tragic events that hit close to home? The last thing you want is to seem insensitive by posting your client’s latest product news while the world’s eyes are on an unfolding event.
Now check out this infographic by MDG Advertising for some of the most cringe-worthy moments in social media.