How NOT to Use Twitter in the Professional World

I must confess: I’m a Twitterbug. When I first heard of Twitter, however, I was rather skeptical and thought, "Why, oh why, would I want to know if some guy in Hoboken likes his hoagie from Georgio’s, or how much he misses ‘Perfect Strangers?’ How does that impact me?"

Yet lo and behold, I eventually discovered the myriad professional uses for Twitter, and we’ve even applied it to our Chamber communications protocol with measured success, enabling us to spread our message to more businesses, policy wonks, and legislators than ever before. However, employers — and employees — should beware of the many ways such social media can backfire if one becomes a little too candid; it’s a valuable lesson for communications staff, CEOs, and potential hires alike. Case in point:

I saw this exchange on Twitter, which is a painful lesson in how NOT to use Twitter in this tough economy.

A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

"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."

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

"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."

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

Remember a couple months ago when the PR guy’s tweet about Memphis came back to bite him? This is another example of the need to be careful with what you post on Twitter, and social media in general.