Running a Twitter account for a brand is possibly the most difficult task humanly possible. Tweeting by yourself is hard enough. There are confines you must abide by. But to do so on behalf of someone else is nearly soul consuming. Every moment, you have to live as them. Think as them. Imagine if they were 14 and extremely random.
Recently, IHOP messed up big time. They tweeted a picture of some pancakes captioned “flat but has a GREAT personality”. It’s pretty easy to see how they made this mistake. Every day you must walk a perilous tightrope, saying stuff like “waffles are bae”, “if you give me onion rings you’re bae tbh”, and “burgers and chill imo”. Brand managers are treated like gods when we subtly hint we want to have sex with the food. We’re pariahs when they say they remind us of undesirables who we will still have sex with. When we fail, we’re disavowed, similar to soldiers in sensitive black ops missions.
It makes me sad to see people go down for tweeting wrong. I’ve thoughtfully compiled 3 big no-no’s for running a brand account. Let us mourn the dead and use these rules to go forward.
3- Don’t Say You’re Horny For The 2 Broke Girls
In February of 2013, an aide of Representative Paul Labrador (R-ID) tweeted “me likey Broke Girls” (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/house-aide-fired-leering-tweet-boss-acct-article-1.1258171) on his boss’ account after a racy commercial. He was fired for it. His family was shamed.
It hurts to see how easy this mistake is to make. Any red blooded social media pro is spending at least 6 out of 8 work hours a day thinking about how horny the Broke Girls make him. Wow, they’re bursting out of those uniforms. Not talking about it is almost like being on fire and refusing a glass of water. But you have to. You can’t tell people about it. That’s for off-hours. It’s an easy mistake to make but we’re gonna say not saying you have an erection because of the sitcom commercial is the third most important rule of social media.
2- Don’t Retweet Foreign Terrorist Group Accounts
With the FBI declaring retweets of violent groups such as ISIS as endorsements (http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/09/19/3703465/isis-retweets-are-endorsements/), you’ve got to really watch who you’re retweeting.
If you see someone say “can I get an RT because waffles are on fleek”, check. If. They. Are. Sharing. Beheading. Videos. And. Celebrating. The. Destruction. Of. Ancient. Monuments. I cannot stress this enough. Beyond the legal consequences, the harm to a brand from retweeting someone who later shows up executing an American on video is almost incalculable. Even if someone seems to really earnestly love your cereal, make sure they haven’t signed a blood oath against America.
1-Don’t Tweet “[Our product] is [racial slur]”
This one’s important. In rap music, the repurposing of historically ugly words has been seen as empowering. For whatever unfair reason, this does not extend to social media management. Even if you really want to do it: don’t.
That about covers it! To those let go of social media teams, we won’t see you end as apologetic press releases. We will carry you into battle with us. You planted your roots in this list. You’re all diamonds.