Today Emily Thornberry has time to tweet at leisure after her resignation
Never underestimate Twitter management skills!
Never think 140 characters +image is innocuous. Twitter can make and break business. We have seen time and again it can destroy reputations and careers.
The latest casualty of ill-conceived tweeting and social media savvy, is Emily Thornberry. As a senior UK Labour MP she should have known better but her image dubbed, ‘the white van man’ tweet has caused offence. Thornberry has been criticized severely for failing to respect the electorate. Unfortunately it’s too late for her reputation. But take note: Twitter management skills should not be underestimated. One slip can be an unmitigated disaster that remains on the internet forever.
Don’t be fooled that twitter management is an expense you can overlook
Be warned, tweets are seen and within minutes everyone is ready to pounce when blood is sniffed. The difference between intention and effect is a chasm. Many businesses have discovered this to their considerable cost. Twitter management may seem like an expense that can be ignored. But what is the long term business impact of an errant tweet? It’s worth considering.
So what’s the take away from this latest Twitter storm?
It’s something savvy digital marketing strategists have known all along: be prepared, be thoughtful and have a plan. Yes, Twitter is about spontaneity, it’s about ‘the now’. Yet, step back a moment and remember the adage: ‘Act in haste, repent at leisure.’ A sound Twitter management strategy as well as social media in general should be essential.
Social media professionals are central to a brand’s reputation
To dismiss Twitter as an arena for ego centric updates is to completely misunderstand what Twitter has become. To manage successful social media campaigns knowledgeable, thoughtful and professional managers are required. Never has the need for quality training been more appropriate.
‘Official’ Tweets should be ‘quality’ and at the very least respectful.
No matter where you are in the Twitter pecking order, tweets must be well considered and respectful. Testing and objectively assessing an image such as that used by Emily Thornberry goes with the territory. However she is not alone. Remember this Twitter management PR disaster for Starbucks? Release the tweet and it rests out of context in a fellow tweet’s feed. What might seem ironic in the office suddenly looks inflammatory, tasteless, insulting and inappropriate on social media. Read the whole Emily Thornberry Twitter fiasco here
The image drew criticism from all quarters Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, commented the image was “derogatory and dismissive of the people”. It was “like the Labour party has been hijacked by the north London liberal elite, and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view”.
Do not underestimate the power of social media. Employ a professional to handle your strategy. If in doubt leave it out. Twitter etiquette really is that straightforward. What do you think? Do continue the debate in the comment box.
Image attribution please contact me as I cannot find it.