Check BEFORE you Tweet

Check to see who you are logged in as before you send that Tweet

I cannot even begin to recall all the public relations disasters that have occurred over the past year because someone forget he was logged in as his employer instead of himself. I will admit myself to having made this particular error. I have on at least three occasions forgotten I was logged in as @lowenthalabrams and posted something I meant for @JLE_JD. Fortunately for me, I am very boring and never post anything risque or insulting online. Also, since L&A is a law firm, it simply doesn’t have the number of followers that a politician or a major brand has, meaning even if I did post something stupid, chances are pretty good no one would notice.

The Most Recent Stupid Tweet

Today’s story involves U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. The staffer who handles the Representatives’ Twitter account must have forgotten he was logged in as Rep. Labrador and he posted, “Me likey broke girls.”  Not such a big deal, you think? Well, maybe it becomes a bigger one if you know the tweet was posted after a risque commercial, and also that Representative Labrador is a Mormon who is unlikely to be someone his supporters expect to watch a show with constant off color jokes.

In the scheme of things, this particular tweet is more embarrassing than anything else, but there have been occasions when an employee forgetting he was logged in as his employer and not himself.

Examples of Tweeting from the Wrong Account

In October of 2012, an employee of KitchenAid Tweeted “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics,”  In nonTwitter speak, the employee was saying that Obama’s grandmother died three days before he became president because she knew what a terrible president he would be.

The fall out was fast and furious.  Fortunately for KitchenAid, it had someone on board who knew that the best way to deal with this tweet was to apologize and take responsibility. As a result, this tweet became a non-story very quickly.

Also in October, must have been a rough month, an employee of StubHub tweeted from StubHub’s account instead of his own. His tweet read, “Thank f#$% it’s Friday! Can’t wait to get out of this stubsucking hellhole.”

Obviously a great embarrassment for StubHub to have such language on its account, never mind the suggestion that it is such a terrible place to work. I don’t know it for a fact, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the person who Tweeted the above lost his job, or at least faced some serious consequences.

How to Prevent Tweeting from the Wrong Account

Use tools such as Hootsuite or other dashboards that help you post. You need to check a box to send the Tweet out, so you cannot choose the wrong account. I use Hootsuite to manage a number of different accounts, but it works just as well to help me make certain that I am tweeting on behalf of the right law firm, organization or person.

Log out. That’s right at the end of the day, log out before you send a tweet. That way you can be certain you logged back in as yourself and not someone else.

Slow down. This advice isn’t just good for tweeting, it works for email too. A lot of people (including me) have sent emails to the wrong people with unfortunate results. Slow down and check from where (and to whom) you are sending Something, whether it be a tweet, a Facebook post, or any other form of electronic communication. There are many ways to check and see if you are tweeting from the right account. Just look and see before you send something controversial.

Did you need to Tweet that?

Frankly, slowing down is the best piece of advice I can offer. Not only do you want to think before you tweet on behalf of a company, but you also might want to think before you tweet on behalf of yourself.  Do you really want to post something so embarrassing that if a lot of people see it, it can make you look bad? In some cases, it is better to keep certain thoughts to yourself instead of sharing them with the world.


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