3 Basic Musts for a Social Media Risk Plan
Do you think before you tweet? I know I do – and not just because most of my thoughts tend to be longer than 140 characters either. Of all the social networking sites actively available right now, it’s Twitter that stands to put you at the biggest amount of risk for both personal and professional accounts alike, namely because it has what other websites don’t: trending hashtags.
Hashtags, so long as you know what they mean, usually won’t hurt you. Unless you don’t research and tweet them out, assuming you believe that the meaning is something other than what it really is. The tragic Aurora, Colorado shooting in July saw #Aurora trend in a major way with hundreds of thousands of Twitterers offering their condolences for the lives of those lost. It also saw CelebBoutique, an online apparel retailer, tweet out, “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired “Aurora” dress ;)” accompanied by a link to the dress for purchase. Dozens of outraged retweets and replies from account users finally resulted in the tweet being removed an hour later (still too late in my opinion) and two follow-up tweets being sent out from CelebBoutique offering up apologies and that they “didn’t check the trend.”
It only takes 140 characters or less to lose a following you worked hard to build up. Whether you’re managing the online presence for a business or corporation or keeping up a personal account of your own, keep the following risk plan musts in mind:
Don’t Be the Only Person with the Passwords
As a social media manager, I’m not the only person who can access the company Twitter or Facebook accounts. These passwords have been distributed to the members of my team as well as to the CEO of the company. I should never be the only person with this kind of information either – multiple people within companies need to be able to access these accounts whether it’s because the manager is out sick and can’t tweet or just to check in from time to time to write up a tweet on their end too.
Trending hashtags, particularly the ones that come in abbreviations and acronyms, need to be researched before being sent out. Never assume you know what something means and tweet it out unless you know why it’s trending first, no matter how big or small your following base is. If you should for whatever reason tweet out a trending hashtag from a company based Twitter account that could be detrimental to their image, delete it as soon as possible and offer up an apology. Try to make the deleting process sooner than an hour later though.
Avoid Smiley Emoticons
I like them for when you reply back to an individual thanking you for answering a question or praising the excellence in customer service. I don’t particularly recommend including them in more newsworthy tweets and in the case of CelebBoutique, I do believe that the winking smiley face made the situation and tweet as a whole look terrible together, even if it wasn’t intentional. Save cutesy grins for the #FF instead.
Social Media Today