Broadcasters or not, we shouldn’t behave badly on social media

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We think our tweets sound great in our head ...

We think our tweets sound great in our head …

Truth time: I’ve vented on Twitter with tweets that included some swear words a time or two. These were mostly related to the outcome of sporting events. I’ve admitted this in the past, but it’s relevant to talk about for this week’s lecture, “Broadcasters Behaving Badly.”

I work in media, but I’m mostly a behind-the-scenes gal, so I didn’t really think that my venting-about-sports tweets were too harmful until a few years ago. My tweets that contained expletives after one unfavorable sporting event’s outcome took one of my former colleagues aback. That made me think, “well, maybe I did go too far” and I ended up deleting the offending tweets. Of course, I did not mean to offend: I was just using Twitter as I always had, to vent.

So, if I get called out for bad behavior by any of my 1,300+ followers, the same will surely happen for celebrities who have millions more followers, right? Rumors and speculation can even get started as a result of their posts. Because the content they create is so heavily scrutinized, even the most innocuous of celebrity posts suddenly become misconstrued into something else (like Hollywood Life making the jump that Khloe Kardashian is pregnant because she posted an Instagram picture where she’s holding her stomach).

Whether they like it or not, notable individuals’ social media posts now become the subject of news and blog articles. This is because Twitter has cut out the middleman — the celebrity publicist — allowing celebs a platform to talk directly to their fans and everyone else. Twitter has made us all feel like we are able to take a peek into the personal lives of the well-known figures that we follow.

Not only do broadcasters and celebrities have to be careful about misunderstandings in their personal life, they have to take care to watch what they say, as they could jeopardize their professional interests as well. In 2011, comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his gig as the voice of the Aflac duck for firing off a series of tweets about the Japanese tsunami that Aflac senior vice president and chief marketing officer Michael Zuna said “were lacking in humor.”

Even politicians make Twitter gaffes, like Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, who tweeted that marriage was between “one man & one man” when he meant to say “one man & one woman.” Whoops.

I think that Justin had it right in lecture this week, as he gave us the rule of thumb “if you wouldn’t broadcast it on air, don’t post it.” As for me, I can’t promise to always be perfect on social media, because I’m not a perfect person. I might be feeling down and vent about it. However, I will definitely think more than twice before I hit the send button on anything


Love ’em or hate ’em, the Kardashians are keeping up with social media



Photo of the Kardashian Kollection at Dorothy Perkins in Thailand (Photo courtesy @Kardashianpedia)

Y’all are about to judge me so hard but I will admit my dirty little secret: I watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and its spinoff shows.

Put together, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe have 36 million followers on Twitter, with about half of those followers belonging to Kim. Hate all you want, but the reason these girls are so entrenched in our society’s conversation is because the E! TV show that documents their lives is the “fire.” But being a part of their fans’ world on social media adds the “gasoline” to that fire.

For the sisters, their overall objective on social media is to drive the awareness of their brand, which includes books, makeup and clothing. The Kardashians have stayed engaged with their fans by keeping up with what the conversation prism has to offer. Of course, they’ve got basics like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+, covered, but they have also jumped into super-new channels like short-form vlog site Keek. (I didn’t even know what Keek was until I saw them posting Keeks!)

But they also act as big sisters to their followers. By posting “Motivational Monday” inspirational quotes on Instagram and Twitter for their fans, the K-girls are working to, as Pam Moore says “simply be their sunshine on a rainy day.”

When it comes to “Tumblr Tuesday,” the girls take a page out of Guy Kawasaki’s playbook: curate and link. Each Tuesday, they shine the spotlight on one devoted fan that devotes their Tumblr account exclusively to the K-sisters, linking back to that fan’s Tumblr account and featuring pictures from that fan’s blog.

The girls also know their audience, so they know what type of content to share with them. Take, for example, a 2011 post on Khloe’s blog showing a first look at some promotional images for the sisters’ Sears Kardashian Kollection. Posts like this draw the fans in, making them feel as if they are behind the scenes as one of the family. It also entices fans to learn more about the Kardashian Kollection and in turn, buy the collection. Engaging content, Craig Silverman wrote in a guest blog for Mari Smith, “creates tremendous value for your community and can help grow your business, too!” (re: Hollywood Reporter’s 2011 article “How the Kardashians made $65 million last year.”)

But to further their brand, the girls have put a lot of their personal business out there (harsh family fights, childbirth, divorce, infertility issues, etc.) .

So here are my questions to you:

Do you think individuals, when branding themselves, have to portray themselves as both personal and professional to keep the interesting content flowing?

Do you think everyone needs to at least be on the (what seem to be) The Big 5 social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram)? Or will other networks in The Conversation Prism do?