November 12, 2011
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Surely you’ve heard, read or even tweeted the latest social media fail personified by Ashton Kutcher’s recent Twitter mistake. The backlash was larger-than-life. But should we be quick to judge his ill-fated and promptly retracted tweet?
Admittedly, I was unaware that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was recently fired. That is, until I read about Ashton’s tweet that was heard around the world – quickly coming to Paterno’s defense without being cognizant of the atrocities behind the story.
At one point or another we’ve all had a reactionary social media moment that may have lacked proper research. But, with a social brand and any number of followers – from 100 to Kutcher’s eight million — comes responsibility.
The uproar surrounding his epic fail on twitter does bring up some relevant questions that every entrepreneur and public figure should digest and think about before they tweet:
1. Can you be trusted with your own Twitter feed?
What is your main objective for social media? Many entrepreneurs utilize social media as a personal and corporate branding tool. If so, can you be trusted with your Twitter feed? If your answer is, “Of course I can,” realize that may be debatable. If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter for business or pleasure — then you know what I’m referring to.
Not everyone should tweet. Frankly, some would be better suited to keep their tweets off the record and to themselves. And if you find yourself tweeting before thinking often… then you may want to send your representative.
But don’t worry. You can set your business up for social media success, bring in the big guns and preclude mistakes that would otherwise have your PR team burning the midnight oil — on watch for damage control.
2. Should you delegate social content management?
After realizing the err – Kutcher apologized and formally announced the delegation of his social media rants and prowess to a company that will likely keep a closer eye on what is tweet worthy.
Was this a wise move? Yes.
It is perfectly okay to outsource social media management for your business blog, Twitter, Facebook, bookmarking and so on. But, before you do think about your social media goals and what type of social media user you are.
There are 6 different types of online social media users: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives (Forrester Research). If you’re creating original content or curating and collecting then it’s a viable option. On the other hand, if people follow you for your opinions (i.e. The Critic) then you may want to think about what aspects should be delegated and your level of involvement in each area.
Many of us, myself included, don’t have the time to marathon tweet and share. Subsequently, delegation is essential. But if you do, take the time to review your content schedule, add your unique voice and then have your team schedule it using web-based tools.
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