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Back
Be Careful What You Tweet For
Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012

Anyone that reads the papers will know that Twitter is in the news on a daily basis. Stephen Fry is no longer the only well-known user on Jack Dorsey’s microblogging network – these days, everyone uses Twitter, from The White House to Beyoncé’s baby and even Santa Claus.

It’s a great way to communicate with a global audience, despite the character limit. Celebrities use it to keep their fans up-to-date with their work and movements, and it was Twitter that famously first revealed that Ryan Giggs was the Premier League footballer involved in the gagging order scandal.

But Twitter has its risky side too, as Labour politician Diane Abbott discovered to her cost.

 

Labour MP Diane Abbott

 

Abbott accidentally sparked a race row when one of her tweets went viral, although she insisted it was taken out of context. In fact, she was in front of TV cameras to discuss it when she received a call from Ed Miliband to tell her she had two choices – apologise or look for a new job.

Miliband later faced criticism himself when an inadvertent typo started trending, despite being rapidly deleted. There was no harm meant, but it was still enough to damage his reputation.

 
 
Social Media Policy
 
 
 
It’s not just the famous – anybody connected to your company or brand can put their foot in it. One office worker was fired after her employer discovered her blog; in a separate case, a waitress was fired for ranting about a customer on Facebook. The examples aren’t hard to find.
 
That’s why your business needs a social media policy – not just to protect the company but to protect the employees, too! We can help – social media is what we do. We know when to tweet and when not to, and what not to tweet about.
 
Using social media during work time can actually boost productivity, so it’s best to set rules that allow employees to feel empowered to use social media while simultaneously protecting the company and its reputation. 
 

 

 L-R: @DaneCobain, @VNewlands and @Steve_Carman

 
 

Five golden rules

 

With that in mind, we’re closing this week’s blog with our five golden rules for a corporate social media policy:

  1. Accept responsibility for what you write
  2. Never post anonymously – always use your name and your company name and job title when appropriate
  3. Don’t forget your responsibilities – when using social media outside of office hours, remember that your name can be traced back to the company
  4. Obey the rules of the sites that you use and their communities
  5. Use common sense!
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Words define us:

Articulate: adj 1 able to express oneself fluently and coherently. 2 having the power of speech. 3 distinct, clear, or definite: an articulate document. 4 to speak or enunciate (words, syllables, etc.) clearly and distinctly. 5 (tr) to express coherently in words. 6 (intr) Zool. To be jointed or form a joint.

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