Twitter Gaffe

Staying Relevant On Twitter: A Checklist

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of noticing and deleting the following tweets I had scheduled for two of my clients: a curated month-old article on how to deal with “Supply Chain disasters” and a link to a report that named India as the leading consumer of green technology in 2011.

Why delete these posts? Because the word “disaster” has a heavier meaning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and just that morning, Cyclone Nilam ripped through Southern India.

Twitter Gaffe

Image Credit: Salon.com

As the social media administrator for 3 separate brands from widely disparate industries, I have similar social media brushes with death almost daily. Like any content strategist, I schedule the bulk of my clients’ tweets in advance. However, if accidents like Celeb Boutique’s awful Aurora Twitter Fail have taught me anything, it’s that updating based on relevance is a high priority in the fast-paced world of social media. Not doing so can mean sacrificing quality, diplomacy, or worse, accuracy.

So how can I avoid generating insensitive or inaccurate content and stay on top of current events and industry news without being glued to the news, the blogosphere, and my Twitter feed for 23 hours a day?

Here is my must-have check list for maintaining frequent and relevant online content:

IN THE MORNING:

  • Give your editorial calendar a once-over (10 mins)

If nothing else, this is great for spelling and grammar (yes, that still matters!)

  • Take a look at Twitter trends (10 – 15 mins)

You never know what might come up – maybe a celebrity has worn something truly awful to a red carpet event and your working for a fashion blog or a designer. Also, don’t be afraid of a little snark… it’s what secretly fuels Twitter. Can’t think of what to write? Feel free to RT, but only as a last resort.

  • Take a look at the headlines (10 – 15 mins)

Reading the news can save you from accidentally tweeting something that may alienate a large portion of your audience.

  • Take a look at celebrity gossip/pop culture sites for top stories

May I suggest: Buzzfeed (WTF and Viral tags), PerezHilton, or Gawker 

  • Check Google Alerts

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend making google alerts for your brand name and industry

  • Check Google Reader

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend getting the RSS feeds for any and all industry blogs you read. It saves lots of time and screen space.

  • Get offline!

I know this is sacrilege, but sometimes talking to friends, family, and coworkers in person can give you nuance and context in a way that just can’t compare to your best friend Internetz. If you’re feeling especially stuck, schedule a walk to the water cooler or a midday coffee date with your chattiest friend.