Rules for tweeting politicians

THINK TWICE: Trump connects with his followers. Photo credit: 360.TV

IN an era where more and more people are getting their information courtesy of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, political parties and individual politicians are using this area of media to get their messages across.

President Donald Trump is the perfect example of someone embracing this outlet to reach the masses.

However, politicians can risk their careers by oversharing on social media, but can, at the same time boost their popularity simply by including a few personal tweets, says Dr eBen Marder, social media expert at University of Edinburgh Business School.

He’s been working on six essential rules for politicians using social media:

Think Twice, Post Once

People often become short-sighted when making posts in the heat of the moment, but politicians shouldn’t use social media to vent their frustrations – think about all the different people who might see the tweet and the impact it will have.

Be personal, but don’t overshare

Research shows people are more likely to vote for politicians who talk about their personal lives on social media, not just politics, but great care should be taken. Oversharing can be detrimental.

Be careful who you follow

David Cameron’s account famously automatically followed the account of an escort. People will know who politicians follow, so if you don’t want the public to know, best not to follow.

Proof read

Typos may be a common mistake on social media, but for politicians, given their position and reach, mistakes can cause serious issues.

Check the background of photos

Politicians often post pictures of themselves working, but whatever else is in the shot might become the centre of attention.

Be cautious about deleting comments

The chance that deleted posts have not already been seen are ultimately non-existent. Deleting a post is more likely to draw attention than divert it.