Saturday, 10 November 2012

Just another reason you should (not) be on Twitter


I chatted to a parent at my sons' school today and he had the need to tell me about the two South Africans who were suspended for Tweeting insensitive remarks this week and were subsequently suspended from their postions of employment. 

His comment to me was 'Richard just another reason you should not be on Twitter', of course he has some idea that I am involved in some way with Social media and he happens to be the CEO of a rather large company in the service industry.

My response was when will people start to realise that your private, social and work life are not three separate parts and that we are living one life and that we remain accountable for what we do at all times.

Social media only amplifies what we are saying, so if you have said it you have said it. As we rapidly move into a world that demands more and more transparency, we must realise that we can no longer hide away and hope things go unnoticed.

Unfortunately being the proverbial Ostrich and putting your head in the ground actually draws more attention to your actions.

Should you ever say something that is out of line or even out of character; don't apologise by saying you we're asked or told to apologise as this week perpetrators did.

The advantage of social media is that you get almost instantaneous feedback. Monitor this and when you start receiving negative feedback that is relevant and will potentially damage your personal brand. Move as quickly as possible to authentically apologise as errors do happen and people are sometimes willing to forgive.

What normally happens is that people normally say things that are offensive and then arrogantly hold the opinion with no intention of apologising until the real damage has been done, then coming with a weak apology that is not authentic will never help.

Social media is extremely effective and simple when you apply  basic manners and realise that we deal with real people and not audiences.

As we move into the more transparent world my advice is always to treat everyone as if they were in a relationship with you, think of them as your spouse and how you would communicate with them; as the old adage goes 'think before you speak' and try to imagine the response before you post or say something.

No one said that the journey would not have challenges along the way, but I can promise you it is exciting - see you in the social arena, called life!


Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net