Today I was interviewed by CNN International about Twitter etiquette. While some people use Twitter to keep their “followers” informed with what matters most to them, others are using this real-time information network to vent their frustrations, which may lead to a tarnished reputation, a potential job loss or a nasty lawsuit.
In March 2009, a potential Cisco applicant tweeted this:
Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.
A Cisco employee saw the tweet, and tweeted back:
Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.
This went viral overnight and the woman eventually lost her job.
Don’t let your tweets get you in hot water. Here are some etiquette tips to observe:
- No tweeting while meeting. Be courteous and give the person you’re with your full, undivided attention. If you want to tweet, do it later or step outside.
- Don’t tweet in heat. Nothing will be gained, and much can be lost, when you tweet in the heat of the moment. Cool down before sending an emotional tweet.
- Don’t drink and tweet. Sending a tweet while tipsy or intoxicated could work against your favor.
- Don’t tweet about a company unless you want someone from that company to read it.
- Keep classified information private.
- Think twice before you tweet. Twitter is a public medium and is visible to everyone. If your tweet can get you fired, be used against you in court, of impede your ability to get a job, don’t send it.
- What’s rude in life is rude on Twitter. When you’re mean and grossly offensive, even covertly, it colors the public’s perception of you. It’s best to be vague when venting about someone, or better yet, vent your frustrations in private.