This week has been an interesting one on Twitter!
On Monday, Margaret Thatcher’s death was announced and, as with any major news, Twitter went into hyperactivity mode.
These updates included many tributes to the Iron Lady. But, there were certainly many many updates that were definitely not paying tribute. In fact, quite the opposite. These updates were celebrating her death, making jokes about it and generally were of a negative and sometimes vicious nature.
Now, I’m definitely all for freedom of speech and opinion. But I really didn’t find Twitter a nice place to be on Monday. I’m a pretty positive person. I know life isn’t all about dancing through fields of roses, but I do like to generally maintain a positive outlook on the world and my life in it! So, I struggled with reading many of the updates on Monday and, in the end, just avoided Twitter! I also don’t believe in gaining pleasure from the death of someone, so I did find some updates uncomfortable reading.
Another storm broke out when the first Youth Crime Commissioner, Paris Brown, was found to have tweeted an offensive update some years before taking on her role. Paris has now stood down from her role and is deeply upset about the whole situation.
So, can you be opinionated on social media?
Absolutely yes! It’s important to stand out, not be a fence sitter, avoid ‘vanilla’ and build conversation through debate. But, I do believe this can go too far. When representing a brand on Twitter, everything you post is related to that brand. And you are using social media as a way of building brand awareness and attracting customers. Would you send out an email to your database pleasuring in the death of Margaret Thatcher and building jokes around it? Probably not! So, why do it online for the same people and more to see?
For those who were against the policies and actions of Margaret Thatcher, would it not have been enough to say this in a tweet without vicious or celebratory comments attached? Your opinion would still come across in your update, but without the negativity attached.
And, the unfortunate case of Paris Brown has shown that even what we post in the past can come back to haunt us and change our future.
Remember, what you say out loud is in pencil, what you say online is in ink.
If you want to find out more about managing your online reputation and building opinion without outrage, you should book on to Social Media Success Secrets on 30th April, as we’ll be covering this on the day! CLICK HERE TO BOOK samflynn.co.uk/socialmediass