During the past few years, Twitter has developed into a well-known source of information. Whether it’s for news stories, job listings or sharing content, Twitter provides real-time information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And that real-time information comprised of 140 characters can spread internationally in the matter of minutes (or even seconds).

It seems the more controversial the tweet, the faster it can spread and become water-cooler talk. Let’s take a look at one such tweet, which came from the social media manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets after the team won a playoff game at the end of April.

May 2015 Image

Social media outlets also allow brands a place to develop their identity. Some brands (like people) stay neutral or vanilla and don’t venture into attempts at humor. Other brands (also like people), will attempt to be funny, jump into the latest news sweeping Twitter and attempt to be funny.

When tweeting in the heat of the moment, like during a sporting event, split-second decisions get made. Chad Shanks, the man behind the tweet, toed the line during his four years with the Rockets. The brand he developed was edgy and funny, but the audience interacted and enjoyed it.

However that one tweet, actually those two emojis, cost Chad Shanks his job. He went from holding the job for four years to losing it in one click of the cursor.

Now, in the staffing industry, most brands aren’t tweeting during live events or chiming in on the latest craze sweeping Twitter, like The Dress (BTW, it’s white and gold). Some companies do want to be more active and personal while most stay conservative and stick to business.

Social media allows companies to create an extension of their personality for the online community. There’s no right answer on whether being edgy or being conventional is more effective. What we do know is don’t be someone you aren’t. It’s easier to come across as authentic when it’s a true reflection of your personality.  In the long run, people respond to authentic. Being someone you aren’t might work in the short term, but won’t be effective in the long term.

The point of this blog post isn’t to scare people away from social media. It’s to be educational, reinforce best practices and continually learn.

Just like when you think twice before talking, always think twice before hitting the send button. If you don’t, the response could have unforeseen circumstances.

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