I was fired for a tweet

Take it from someone who was relieved from her duties of handling a social media account: You need procedures in place to prevent personnel and PR issues. She offers a three-prong approach.

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Here’s what happened—and the lessons you can learn from me.

One day, the university police sent an email alert describing an incident that had happened near campus. Students were talking about it, and I wanted to be a part of that conversation as the voice of student government online.

The organization had given me freedom to post tweets without first asking for approval. So, I sent a tweet commenting on the incident. An hour or so later my boss called and asked me to take it down. The next day, I was called in and let go.

After dealing with the shock, I started to look into the legality of the matter.

In hindsight, I should have realized that the university wouldn’t want the student government to talk about such matters on a public Twitter account. I felt I was just speaking to students and didn’t see the bigger picture and, as a result, failed to realize the gravity of the error.

Social media managers have a great deal of power and responsibilities. Their mistakes are often public and can lead to their termination or spark a social media firestorm for the company.

How can an organization protect itself from social media disaster?

Establish rules

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