Social Media: Your Biggest Proponent or Worst Enemy

No Comments Yet | by Elise Perkins

It’s been quite a month for Donald Trump. After his unfortunate remarks on immigration (among other issue areas) while announcing his Presidential bid, he’s now in hot water over a since-deleted tweet about Jeb Bush’s Mexican wife, Columba.

It’s not his first offense. Check out this war he waged with Modern Family writer Danny Zuker back in 2013.

Or, this compilation of his greatest (err, worst) twitter hits.

This research took me a total of five minutes to complete, and should be a reminder, especially for brands, that social media has a long shelf live.

A former boss once asked me, incredulously, if anyone had ever accidently tweeted something without meaning to.

I referred him to former Congressman, Anthony Weiner.

There is no such thing as deleting a tweet. People spend inordinate amounts of time online. If you are a big fish, rest assured they will catch your mistakes, and then screenshot them and share them for the world to see.

(Side note: remember when we used to think that Snapchats vanished into thin air?)

Now, I’m not referring to editing mistakes where you discover a typo or a broken link. Those are to be-expected and should be corrected.

I’m talking about the racy, thought-provoking, or “should I really post this” content that you sometimes decide to share.

Donald Trump certainly isn’t the first to send his opinions out into the ether and get slammed. Actually, Paula Deen may have just outdone him with this (also since-deleted tweet), #TransformationTuesday tweet of her as Lucille Ball and her son in blackface as Desi Arnaz from 2011. You’ll of course recall that Deen lost her three-show contract with Food Network back in 2013 for a lawsuit accusing her of racism towards her former employees.

The truth is that social media can either be your biggest proponent or your worst enemy. It is a serious medium and it demands (mostly) precision. Treat it like you would a press release, or an op-ed. Be accurate, use facts, and…pro-tip coming atcha… don’t be a bigot. Unless, of course, that’s your brand. And if it is, be prepared to do battle.

About Elise Perkins

Elise Perkins founded ep communications in 2014 after seven years of working for trade associations and think tanks. Today she focuses on building brands for businesses and people, using a savvy mix of content and influencer strategies. She sits on the board of Washington Women in Public Relations.

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