Watch Those Twitter Mouths!

By Dream Local Digital | Jan 10, 2013

When you write a tweet, do you take into consideration exactly how many people are able to read it?  While I was scrolling through my Twitter feed a few months ago, I came across a tweet by The Guardian.  It read, “Fifty Shades of Grey nominated for National Book award” and included a link to the full article.  I shared it with my friend, Alexis: “@priestleyal My inner English major just died a little >> Fifty Shades of Grey nominated for National Book award ‪http://gu.com/p/3bnze/tf .”  Alexis and I share disappointment and annoyance at the series’ popularity, since it has very little substance as a work of literature.

After exchanging tweets back and forth, I noticed the tweet was favorited, but not by Alexis.  It was @fiftyshadesnews, a Twitter handle that is apparently devoted to all information regarding the Fifty Shades series and has a following of 9,058 Twitter users.  I was surprised, slightly shocked, and immediately felt awkward; then I had a pretty good laugh about the situation.  Alexis, who was new to Twitter at the time, found the exchange amusing as well.  “I think I like Twitter now,” she texted me when I told her about it.

Flash forward to today: Dallas-based NHL and NFL teams get into a petty “my-sport-is-better-than-your-sport” argument, involving over 14,000 retweets from fans, and a blogger in Kuwait, Rashid Saleh al-Anzi, is sentenced to two years in prison for insulting Kuwait’s leader, emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.  This is one of several recent arrests related to political opposition through social media in the Gulf region, according to Mashable.

It is important to remember that Twitter is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with others, but it can also cause a whole world of damage when it is misused.  On a website with over 500 million users worldwide, tact and strategy are important, especially if the user represents a professional organization.

Have you ever had a foot-in-mouth moment on social media?

Alyssa McCluskey is an online marketing strategist at Dream Local Digital. To contact Alyssa, email amccluskey@dreamlocal.com or follow her on Twitter at @McCluskeyAlyssa.

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