Top Twitter mistakes–Negative inaugural tsunami of Twitter Trouble

The presidential inauguration last week resulted in an avalanche of social media negativity and a tsunami of twitter mistakes that resulted in several people losing their jobs etc., spurring petitions against them circulating to the White House and other sites.

An SNL writer is suspended from her job after tweeting something about Barron Trump, President Trump’s 10-year-old son. A board of education chair at District 64 in Park Ridge Illinois resigns his position after tweeting people found offensive. Several people, including a woman named Heather Lowery of Louisville, Kentucky, get visited by the Secret Service after tweeting calls for the president’s assassination on Twitter. I could go on and on.

Even journalists couldn’t control themselves and stay neutral–This gal is just the latest..this website regularly tracks all those who misstep on their social media accounts and end up getting fired or suspended.

Whatever party you’re partial to, all of this Twitter trouble has nothing to do with politics as it does with people on the platform who are not aware of the power of its 140-characters to upend their lives!

So, I recommend a few “best practices” and things to think about in the new year if you’re on Twitter and will continue to be on it in 2017. These #PR #Twitter practices can save you the grief the folks I mentioned are feeling after their tweets went viral and the online internet pack of wolves went after them. Being on the receiving end of that is something you’ll never want to experience, no matter what you said, right or wrong, in your opinion. Now then, here we go:

  1. THINK BEFORE YOU TWEET AND CONSIDER WHAT YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT IS. Is it your personal account or a work/brand/company account? What’s at stake? Is it inappropriate to tweet something volatile through this account? What do you have personally to lose by tweeting what you really want to tweet? What’s the potential worst reaction? What’s the upside positive possible reaction?
  2. TREAT ANY TWITTER ACCOUNT LIKE THE OFFICE IF IT IS A PUBLIC ACCOUNT. If the account is public and searchable by the entire planet, treat it like the office. No tweets about sex, religion or politics.
  3. CONSIDER MAKING YOUR TWEETS PROTECTED. If you must tweet about sex, religion and politics, consider making your tweets protected so only your followers see them.
  4. AUDIT YOUR FOLLOWERS. Then audit your list of followers to see if you want to disengage from any of them before you begin tweeting anything and everything you want to tweet.

Just some food for #PR thought in the wake of quite a bit of online carnage the past week. Questions? email me at audrey@strong-pr.com.

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Audrey Strong has more than 20 years combined experience as both a public relations professional and television news person. Her hybrid background makes her an expert in media relations and one of her favorite things is to introduce and get exposure for clients via longtime, trusted media relationships. Her specialties also include media training, crisis communications, issues management, messaging, press kit creation as well as audio/video production.

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