Is it Appropriate to Tweet That? Personal & Professional Etiquette to Consider

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By Juila DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily

When I come across tweets in my feed that I find to be off-putting, offensive, or just generally odd, it certainly gives me pause to consider what may or may not be fair game for Twitter, and the unspoken rules of etiquette that can apply. Below, I've laid out several scenarios and types of tweets, with items to consider before you blast one off into the social media world.

 

Religious/Political/Overall Strong Point of View:

It's really important to consider who your audience is, and if your handle is a direct link to your blog…you may want to be sensitive around this topics, or be prepared for others to argue with you via Twitter or quickly unfollow when you divulge into these topics. While I think it's good discuss a variety of topics from fashion to some personal items to current news, it's always good to keep in mind that if you feel strongly about these topics, so do other people, and if it can effect your followers and ultimately, readership.

Sharing Personal Information:

The beauty of blogs lie in the genuine, personal nature that most likely links your site directly to you, the founder, however, sometimes over-sharing can also  be a deterrent for followers and readers to be interested and want to interact. It truly is an ambiguous, yet fine line between the right amount of confidential information coupled with the professional and on-brand functioning of your Twitter account. Sometimes it depends on the delivery method to push it into acceptance; I find that if it is something personal that happened to someone that uses wit, self-deprecating humor, or makes me laugh and groan simultaneously while conveying the story, it makes it above the limbo stick into “appropriate” territory. As a rule of thumb, think of it like this: if you were meeting someone for the first time over lunch, would you feel comfortable sharing this 140 soundbite with them?  If your gut tells you no, then reconsider the wording of this particular tweet before you send it out.

Tweeting at Events:

More often brands are prefacing events with the necessary Twitter handle and/or hashtag, encouraging tweeting of information and images live from the event. I find that it can be a distraction, and sometimes just downright rude to have my eyes downcast and glued to my phone while at an event, so I tend to reserve one tweet while I'm on my way or within the first several minutes of arriving and getting acclimated, then reserve the rest for when I'm walking back to the subway or am back at home or at my desk. That way, you can give your full-on human attention to the reason for the event, speak with the brand representatives, and even network and engage with new colleagues.

Asking for Permission to Immediately Tweet:

Honestly, sometimes it's not okay to do this. For reasons usually regarding secrecy surrounding a collection until launch, certain brands require you to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to not discuss or share via social media what you just saw, or sometimes not even consider the social media component prior. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes companies are split into different teams such as traditional/digital, or short lead/long lead, and if a publicist you are speaking with isn't part of blogger outreach, he/she might not even be aware of the brand's correct Twitter handle (TRUTH: this has happened to me when I've inquired on MANY occasions!).

The best thing to do is diligence on your end when you first arrive; ask if the event has a hashtag or preferred Twitter handle, and if it's okay to immediately post about the event and take photos for Twitter, Instagram, etc. If you are handed a press release or jump drive, scour the document (it will most likely be found at the top) to gain knowledge of the release date, so that you know when the information can be broadcast by the media. Most likely though, it's fine to tweet ASAP, and the publicists will appreciate that you even asked, as it's much easier to do it this way than to hear from someone the day after an event asking you to delete a tweet!

When You Receive a Pitch to Tweet:

Have you ever received an email from a brand asking you to tweet about an upcoming launch, event, or promotion, where sometimes even examples of tweets that they'd like you to send are provided? Sending a tweet can literally take a minute, and is much easier than writing a post, but does that mean that you should do it? Going back to my point at the top, if it seems “odd” for you or your brand, aka your blog, to be aligned with such a tweet, then don't do it. There's nothing that turns followers off faster than starting to feel like a Twitter feed has been turned into a promotional catch-all, so reserve sending these out for items that you really can get behind.

 Is there any “tweeting etiquette” you'd like to add?

[Image Source: Shutterstock.com]

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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8 Responses

  1. Sophie

    I don’t really agree with the first point. I believe our views and opinions are what make us stand out and if you’re going to censor yourself for fear of losing followers or readers then, to me, that is just being entirely false.. and also a little boring? I enjoy discussion and if one of my followers disagreed with my point of view then I’d love to hear their side of the story.

    I would add not to moan about brands that you work with or even that have contacted you as a blogger.

    I’m constantly shocked at how many high profile bloggers will moan that, for example, someone has emailed them offering some apparently measly amount of money to feature their brand. I think a lot of bloggers forget that their non-blogging readers don’t know about that side of blogging and it comes across like they’re just in it for the most money possible instead of their love of fashion.

    Also, this: “Oh my God, I just found a really awful blog. I don’t mean to be bitchy, but wow.” (Paraphrased)
    Your followers don’t know who you’re talking about and in some cases might get the wrong impression that you’re talking about their blog.

    Sophie :))
    onetenzeroseven

    Reply
    • Julia

      Hi Sophie,
      Per point #1 — I totally agree that individual views and opinions make us who we are and the reason why people want to follow and interact, but just like having a conversation at a cocktail party with a stranger, it may not be the right platform to talk about certain topics or have an idea if the person you’re chatting with may feel the same way. I’m not saying to censor yourself — but just be cognizant and accepting of the fact that what is said may solicit a swift click of an unfollow from followers.

      I think your addition of curbing the ‘complaints’ department is spot on — it’s true and easy to forget that readers/followers may have no clue what you’re referencing!

      Reply
    • Clara

      It depends on what kind of blog you have. If you’re not willing to alienate people, don’t write or tweet about controversial topics.

      On the other hand, if you’re willing to ruffle some feathers, go for it. I recently wrote a post on the Steubenville rape case (which is NOT the kind of thing I would bring up at a cocktail party lol), and if anyone reads it and decides they don’t want to read my blog anymore, well that sucks but so be it. My blog succeeds because I’m passionate about what I write, and I think you get more readers by being interesting than by censoring every potentially-non-universal opinion you might have.

      Then again, if your blog is about shoes and your twitter is all “I hate Obamacare” or something, maybe you should just get a different twitter account where you can talk about shoes.

      Reply
  2. Sabina

    I think if you’re already officially working with or working for a company then yeah you should ask before tweeting. Otherwise, there’s no reason to ask anyone permission to share info and speak your mind. Let alone a musing that’s 140 characters or less.

    Reply
  3. Ashe @ Ash in Fashion

    Similar to point #1, I’d add: be careful about the tone you’re using, because so much of it can be lost on in 140 characters.

    There are so many times that we may make a comment, especially about a matter close to our hearts or that we have strong views on, and if we’re being sarcastic, contrary, or otherwise contradicting our normal views, it may be confusing to those reading it. Your sarcasm or humor may be lost. There’s a time and place for those thoughts and reactions, but 140 characters can do more harm than good.

    Reply
    • Julia

      Ashe,
      Yes, that is EXACTLY to my points- it’s so hard to read the tone sometimes!

      Reply
  4. .

    It’s like you’re reading my mind here in IFB, I constantly think about all of these things! It’s so great that you wrote a post about it, since in today’s blogging world a lot of the etiquette is gone. With all of these social networking sites and blogs and stuff, we are literally living our lives online and we often lose sight of what is appropriate and what isn’t. So thanks for this reminder!
    xx,
    minnie @ http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • julia

      Thanks so much Minnie! I really appreciate that, and totally agree! 🙂

      Reply