Tools for Business: Preventing Twitter Gaffes

Fly The Friendly Skies!

Fly The Friendly Skies!

If you were online on Monday you were probably aware of the cut/paste error heard around the nation: the US Airways tweet. In yesterday’s followup, Mashable talked about the aftermath and one aspect I want to focus on it this:

“Still, the incident illustrates the need for Twitter to prove that it’s serious in its play to welcome corporate dollars amid all the Bieber fans and breaking news. It needs to provide a better option to help brands safely navigate the real-time landscape, perhaps somehow keeping them away from that inadvertent trigger.”

This is a case where more safeguards are needed and there should probably be an automatic but customizable list that corporate social media managers must check off before sharing their tweet. Here are a few ideas to get that done with both Twitter and Twitter clients:

  • Problems arise when twitter accounts are confused. The Red Cross mishap resulted when the tweeter thought they were tweeting from their personal account and not the official Red Cross account. Double-check the account before posting.
  • When attaching an image, don’t show it as a link, show the actual image. The Twitter desktop does this,albeit a bit small. Do the clients?
  • Double-check language and block posting tweets when “dangerous” words are detected. The list should be customizable as many corporate accounts shouldn’t be tweeting about beer but Budweiser should.
  • Given that “US Airways sends more than 400 tweets per day (all of which are replies)” it makes sense that there is a limited list of responses that they already use. When a response tweet is not one of the predetermined tweets, it needs to be visually reviewed with an “are you sure you want to post this?” verification. This requires a deeper analysis of how varied actual tweets are.

What surprises me that the corporate tools (that I’m not familiar with) don’t seem to incorporate these features already. In fact, some features seem to encourage such mishaps with their support of multiple accounts. Correct me if I’m wrong.



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