Think before you tweet

For eleven minutes on Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump’s Twitter account went silent. The President’s personal and often controversial comments had been removed. Deactivated. Erased. Fake news no more. For many, a cause for celebration, albeit temporarily.

realDonaldTrump 404

The seemingly deliberate and rogue act of an employee on his or her final day shows just how easy it must be for Twitter to take action when they really want to. A simple push of a button, perhaps.    

Moving on from politics, briefly, to the less soggy-bottomed world of baking. Step forward Prue Leith, who had finger trouble of her own this week. The Great British Bake Off judge caused the most British of outrages on Tuesday by mistakenly announcing the winner of the popular show a full twelve hours before its final aired.

Citing her error on time zone confusion (she was in Bhutan), the tweet was quickly deleted – but, as we know, Twitter acts as an effective proving drawer when it comes to the rise and rise of erroneous tweets. There was no getting out of this one. Not since Baked Alaska-gate, or more recently the abrupt and widely derided expulsion of fan favourite Liam Charles (give the man a show!) from the famous tent, has the air been let out of GBBO’s soufflé.

Coming full circle back to politics. Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama offered her own social media words of wisdom and warning this week. Speaking at the Obama Foundation summit in Chicago, she said: “You don’t just say what’s on your mind. You don’t tweet every thought. Most of the your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day.”

Think before your tweet. It’s a policy that we instil in all social media work for our clients. What companies think is a potent social post might be way off the mark when it comes to the intended audience.

Give yourself a simple checklist.

  1. Is this factually accurate, grammatically correct and of interest to my audience?
  2. How might audiences perceive the wording of my post?
  3. Is this appropriately timed and relevant?
  4. What can I achieve – or lose – by posting this?

Check, check and check again. Failure to do so might make ‘sorry, that page doesn’t exist!’ the least of your worries.