Don’t be a dick. Four words said by Stephen Waddington when talking about social media policies. Plain and simple. Since its initial entry into the digital market in 2006, almost 10 years ago, Twitter has developed the power to make or break a brand whether it is a business, celebrity or your own personal brand.
It has evolved from an app used to vent our moans and tweet our favourite celebs to one of the most useful resources in business today. It’s accessibility and exposure to the masses has allowed the smallest of businesses to become a viral sensation and the most naive among us to become the targets of the dreaded Twitter trolls. From our first day of university we were advised to watch our content or privatize our twitter… our CV’s aren’t the only thing future employers look at now, a boozy uni night could be the difference between your dream job and unemployment. As Richard Bailey says in Share This Too…
“You can no longer approach an interview expecting to build a first impression based on a clean slate”
Twitter has allowed everyone access to everything. Building your online brand is now hugely influenced by the 140 characters that you choose to post. One of the biggest mistakes? Tweeting as though you’re speaking… humour doesn’t translate in a tweet and being vague doesn’t pay either. A prime example of the power of twitter happened today following Bruce Jenner’s interview about his transition into a woman. Kris Humphries (Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband) posted the below tweet:
It was no surprise that he was met with endless disapproval from thousands of Twitter’s 288 million users. Whether it was devout Kardashian fans or supporters of the LGBT community, the backlash resulted in the tweet getting tonnes of replies and a swift back-track from Kris Humphries:
He may have done it on purpose, jumping on the band wagon of one of the biggest pieces of celebrity news at the moment. A tactless way of getting a bit of attention for a minor celebrity but in the fleeting moment that it took him to write a tweet he has made it onto the front page of gossip mags and the Mail Online as a bigot. Surprisingly, he didn’t delete the tweet.
Most celebs bounce back from Twitter scandals, some simply delete their accounts altogether. Businesses don’t have that luxury, when it goes wrong for them they need to salvage the mess in order to keep their business afloat. McDonald’s was never going to suffer from a severe decline in business but they could have done without the disaster that was #McDStories when their latest Twitter campaign resulted in bad #McDStories of terrible service and negative health effects.
Twitter campaigns have become a tool used by even the youngest of users with a few setting off alarm bells to the dangers of the social media site as well as the benefits. Protests like #CutForBieber and #CutForZayn resulting from bad news about teenage girls’ favourite singers have become far too common. With young girls having the access to information and influence that can lead them to the point of self-harm, is it time that the laws and regulations were tightened?
People have lost their livelihoods over something as simple as a poorly thought-out hashtag or a naive approach to social media. Connor Riley was offered a job at Cisco until she tweeted:
“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
A member of the team saw this and needless to say, her job offer was revoked.
It is so easy to press the Tweet button and have your thoughts published on the internet for the whole world to see, do you really want your personal brand identity to be that of someone who doesn’t stop moaning? As Prakash Patel, CEO of Prezence Digital said:
“Before the digital age, people were always warned ‘think before you speak’ to now ‘think before you tweet'”
The opportunities that have come from Twitter have changed the way that business and digital media work today but it’s usefulness should not be taken lightly. The power that Twitter has can have a profound impact on anything and everything. A power that should should be implemented strategically and professionally.
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