How can we stop people getting fired for tweeting from the wrong account?

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

You’ve seen the headlines:

Employee fired for tweeting personal tweet from employer’s account

They are often worded kinder:

No longer with the organization

Relieved of duties


First of all, I can’t remember a single instance of this scenario where I would say it should have been a fireable offense. Maybe a suspension would have worked? Maybe that’s what is meant by “relieved of duties?”

But of course, it’s easier to fire that person than taking responsibility for a potentially  broken process.

Here’s my admission: I’ve also tweeted from the wrong account before – even one with a ton of followers.

I deleted it quickly and said “whoops. Sorry.”

“OK. Let’s move forward,” was the response I got, which is exactly what it should be. Of course, it helped that I was literally sitting next to that account’s brand manager when it happened. I know exactly why it happened, too.

So how is it possible that people are tweeting from the wrong accounts?

Potential reasons:

They use one tool or device – oftentimes their personal one – to have access to all the accounts that matter in their lives.

twitter profileThank you for the commitment until you say something wrong.

I suppose the solution could be for brands to staff up to 24/7 coverage or something close to it and only allow tweeting from organizational equipment.

Employees could also separate business and personal accounts. Use one app for one and another for the other. That’s actually easier said than done, but of course so is the 24/7 comment.

Personally, I can recall getting calls, text and emails from clients asking me for social media help in the moment. Had I not had access to their accounts from my phone, assistance would have been harder. One time, I was literally at Disney World with the kids.

It is worth noting that some of the stuff that ends up on organizational accounts, I can hardly believe people would post on their own accounts. But people believe what they believe and say what they say. It’s our authentic selves.

Either way, there are plenty of examples out there that just one tweet can cost you a job.

On the flip side, one tweet can also get you a job. Try to go for the latter.

No matter what we say, try to make it worth it.

Final note: This post is addressing this issue in general and as a trend and is not specifically discussion one or another incident. You already  knew that since you read this far down, but just making sure. 🙂

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