We’ve all seen individuals, businesses, athletes, and politicians alike go down in flames over scandals or poorly worded statements. Now, as technology has developed, social media gives personalities of all kinds even more opportunities to make fools of themselves in the public eye. Many assume that social media is an unofficial media format, as opposed to traditional statements made in press releases and interviews. This is simply not true. Statements made in social media will be seen by the public. The public views social media statements to be just as representative of those who make them as official statements. The same goes for the statements and acts of the employees, families, and generally anyone related to a social media profile’s owner. The media spotlight has in fact gotten larger, more persistent, and data permanent. Let the blogger beware.
Things to remember to avoid stupid tweets or posts (Don't be that person):
Be a Saint: (if you don’t have anything nice to say, then…)
- Keep it professional.
- Do not promote anything that has offensive, discriminatory, lewd, or otherwise confrontational tones to it. Always ask, “How could this be taken the wrong way?”
- Never underestimate the ability of internet community outrage to condemn your business to a quick and sudden end. In an instantly connected world, every single thing you say is read, recorded, and analyzed, the margin for error is slim.
To Tweet or not to Tweet? (If you even have to ask, odds are probably not)
- Always be asking, should I really say this?
- Do not tweet or post when you are angry (this gets a lot of people in trouble), fatigued, stressed, or inebriated (alcohol and Twitter do not mix.).
Always Remember Who is Watching: (hint, its everybody)
- Everything you say can and will be held against you in the court of public opinion. These days all that needs to happen is for an accusation to be placed against your business and your brand begins to suffer. Think the New England Patriots and the supposed Deflategate Scandal.
- Assume that anyone might read what you post on social media, this will help you put yourself in their shoes and consider things from multiple perspectives. Remember that the goal of having social media accounts for your business is to advertise and bring in new business.