As some of you might have guessed, I was totally biting my tongue (or my virtual tongue) on Twitter during the federal cabinet shuffle today. It occurs to me that it might be useful to explain why I do that so readers can decide how they want to approach moments like that.
As I mention in my social media training workshops, I don’t have a set of rules that I share but principles that I encourage others to consider as they create their own rules. First, there is no such thing as a personal-only Twitter account. Tweets are public and can be found by anyone looking to see what you said. Your audience is not just your followers. It is very easy for your tweets to reflect on you and your job. You should have an idea of the persona that you want to have in social media and you should consider whether that persona could in any way impact your ability to do your job – before you start tweeting or posting.
What that means for me is that even though I have definite personal political perspectives, I keep them off my main twitter account. That’s the decision that I have made. I totally respect those who include partisan tweets in their feed but it is not something that I am comfortable with. I would like to be able to advocate on behalf of whoever engages me with the government of the day. If I, or my clients, have problems with a specific policy then that is fair game but partisan tweets are not. [Now and then one slips out but this is the rule that I TRY to follow.]
So while I tell people that they need to share their personality on Twitter in order to build trust and engagement, there are limits to how much personality you may want to share. Where you draw the line is up to you.
If my social media musings are useful, then I might share a few more over the summer. It’s hot and I don’t want to get into anything terribly wonky in this weather.