Dear Social Media Managers, There Are No Excuses for Twitter Mistakes

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Dear Social Media Manager,

Your former counterpart at KitchenAid learned an important lesson last night.

But it might not be what you think.

It’s not about keeping your personal Twitter account separate from the brand account to avoid twitter mistakes like accidentally tweeting something inappropriate from the wrong account. (Although it’s a smart idea to separate them, and very easy to do.)

The lesson is that you should always represent the brand. Even from your personal account.

There is a certain amount of professionalism that goes with representing a major consumer brand online. And that professionalism extends beyond the brand’s online properties.

When I worked as the social media manager for a parenting brand, I understood that I was representing the brand everywhere. Not just at work. Not just on their Facebook Page or Twitter accounts. All the time. In public, at conferences, and yes — on my own personal public-facing social media accounts.

So I kept my daily frustrations, political diatribes and stance on thorny social issues in check.

(Still do, actually, now that I’m building my own brand.)

Oh, I’m far from perfect and my tweets and posts occasionally include a healthy dose of snark and a few silly jokes with friends. But there’s a certain level of professionalism that is constant. Even the time I made a mistake it wasn’t damaging to the brand.

Most social media managers feel the same responsibility, whether it was explicitly communicated to them by their company or not. Those are the keepers. The rest should look for another line of work.

And brands, if you’re reading this, you might want to take a quick peek at your social media staff’s personal accounts. To make sure you’ve got the “keepers” on your team.

photo credit: gravitystorm via photopin cc

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6 thoughts on “Dear Social Media Managers, There Are No Excuses for Twitter Mistakes

    1. Glad you agree. And of course it’s nuanced and brand-dependent. KitchenAid is a family-oriented brand which will be held to a higher standard than others. But good character is universal.

  1. Personally I don’t see a need to mock brand but the need for shock was well warranted. Had this been a “Romney is killing it tonight” it may have been mocked or forgiven faster but the tweet was so vile and low (and of the president of the USA) that it totally deserved getting attention. I am sure no-one will hold it against the brand (it would be foolish to do so) but your post mentioning character is important. Same goes for brands who hire loose canon bloggers to be their ambassadors

    1. You’re right that it’s the same with brand ambassadors. Some brands are blinded by a blogger’s traffic and stats and forget about character. Great point.

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