Minding Your Twitter Manners: Tweeting Politics

Last night’s Presidential debate dominated the Twitterverse (and rightfully so).  In fact, Mashable is reporting that it was “the most tweeted event in U.S. political history”.  If you are active on Twitter, I imagine you were following “#debate” tweets at minimum, and perhaps sharing your own thoughts about the debate as well.  Today’s post is for those who were active in the #debate tweets last night –to help you remember your Twitter manners whether tweeting from your personal or business profile on Twitter.

Here’s a reminder and crash course on Twitter manners:  

  1. Avoid political ranting on Twitter.  No matter what your political views may be, it’s best to avoid slandering anyone (politicians included) in your tweets.  Remember that your tweets are public (even those who set their profiles to “private” aren’t 100% safe), therefore HR managers can easily scan your tweets and make an assessment about your character. Keeping your Twitter manners in check can help you to make a good impression.
  2. Manage multiple Twitter accounts with great care.  If you haven’t read about the KitchenAid Twitter fiasco, head over here.  This isn’t the first time a social media manager has made the mistake of posting a personal tweet on a business or brand account.  It’s best not to mix business with pleasure in the Twitterverse or elsewhere.  Instead, set up a separate Hootsuite or Tweetdeck account for your business profiles (Twitter, Facebook, etc) to provide an extra level of protection and require your social media managers to do the same.
  3. Deleting tweets isn’t as easy as a click of the mouse or tap on the tablet.   If you’ve tweeted something and quickly regretted it, you may have felt safe in deleting the tweet.  Perhaps you were lucky enough that no one happened to catch the tweet.  This isn’t always the case.  Remember, anyone can print screen (and therefore save an image of the tweet) or retweet in an instant.
  4. Keep your reputation and avoid profanity.   The internet has a way of making a person feel stronger and bolder hiding behind a screen and a little twitter bird. More so than he or she may be in “real life”.  Remember your Twitter manners and at all costs, keep it clean.
  5. Take care in posting photos.  Snapping a photo with your iPhone and sprucing it up with Instagram or another photo app is easy and fun.  But, before you share that photo with the Twitterverse, ask yourself if the photo builds your credibility and personal brand.  Even the occasional pic of you sharing a martini (or three) with friends may be socially innocent but sends the message that you are a lush. Especially if there are many different versions posted over a period of time. If you were watching the debate last night with friends, the pictures shouldn’t surface today on Twitter for your entire office to view.

I love Twitter! Continue to enjoy building relationships rather than building walls of confusion and doubt. You are what you tweet. Don’t forget your Twitter manners in this digital world.

Tweet you later,


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


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