Think twice before your post/tweet goes wrong

Social media has made it so much easier for us to communicate with one another. Today, government agencies, private sectors & non profits utilize social media to engage with their followers. However, it is important that they make sure the content their posting is respectful and transparent.  When it comes to government agencies, the three social media web strategies i would recommend are;

  1. Focus on quality over quantity- Bombarding your followers with tweets or posts will not necessarily help you get them to be engaged, doing this will actually make them think your a spammer. On the other hand, if you send out one post/tweet which has valuable content this will definitely give you better results i.e. your followers will be more likely to like and share your post/tweet with their friends.
  2. Have a different approach for each social platform- As a government agency you need to keep in mind that the audience for each platform is different. That being the case, you might want to take a completely different approach. For example; LinkedIn is more business focused compared to Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Remain transparent at all times- Governments should not publish content that would mislead their followers, the posts/tweets should always be clear and concise. In addition, they should respond to comments and direct messages in case further clarification is required.

They have been incidences where organizations have posted content that is disrespectful to followers, and as a result they faced major backlash.


The tweet shows an image of two African American drummers and a man in between them wearing a mask. The tweet asks which drummer is not like the others? This Tweet conveyed racism and after a short period it was removed from Twitter but unfortunately people had already taken screen shots and it was all over social media. The Home Depot sent out a tweet apologizing to everyone who got offended by the Tweet and claimed that they fired the people who were responsible for this.

Tweeted by SpaghettiOs

The Tweet on the right was tweeted By Campbells soup’s sub brand SpaghettiOs. The tweet states lets take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us. The problem with this tweet was the the smiling mascot holding the American flag. After Campbells received criticism from the public, they pulled down the tweet and they sent out a tweet apologizing to the public “We apologize for our recent tweet in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day. We meant to pay respect, not to offend.”

It is definitely crucial that an organization’s fixes their mistake when they post/tweet anything disrespectful on social media because it can ruin their reputation. Furthermore, if they just ignore it their business can shut down because people wouldn’t want to associate themselves with an organization that offends anyone. On the other hand, they have been organizations that have made positive impacts by acknowledging and paying respect to certain causes in the world.

The Tweet on the left was tweeted by Google during the period of the Paris attacks, Google enabled free international calls to Paris via Hangouts. This was a way to support the tragedy that occurred in Paris. This was definitely a great way for Google to show support to what happened. In addition, during the period of the Paris Attacks Facebook gave people the option to change their professional with a background image of the Flag.

Organizations need to be very careful whenever they post anything on the internet otherwise the consequence’s could ruin their reputation. My advice to any organization or person posting content would be to- Think twice before your post goes wrong.


Do you have any advice for organizations that frequently use social media?

One Comment

  1. Boyd Neil (@BoydNeil)

    December 4, 2015

    The Google Hangouts example is very good . . . ‘think twice’ is a good motto for community managers.

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