To Succeed On Twitter, Don’t Act Like OMGPOP’s CEO

There’s a lesson to be learned from others’ failures, and we’ve got a big one for you here. The CEO of OMGPOP – made famous in recent weeks by their hugely successful Draw Something app and their recent acquisition by Zynga – lashed out at a non-conforming employee on Twitter, drawing criticism and scorn from the gaming community and Twitter users over the weekend. The lesson? Keep your ultra-negative thoughts to yourself, or at least to internally-circulated memos. Don’t tweet in anger.

It’s a simple lesson, but one that needs to be hammered home.

If you’re tweeting something, expect that it will be read by everyone. Your colleagues, your competitors, your current and future customers, and maybe even your kindly old grammy.

And that means you should try to keep things professional.

Of course, Twitter is not just a marketing platform. People follow you for you so you also need to be yourself. And if you are vitriolic from time to time, or you like to throw in a curse word here and there, you’ll need to find a balance.

But tweeting in anger is usually a blanket no-no.

And as OMGPOP’s CEO Dan Porter learned over the weekend, the Twittersphere doesn’t appreciate an angry tweeter.

There’s a bit of a back-story leading up to the Twitter catastrophe Porter experienced this weekend. OMGPOP had created one of the best-selling apps on the smartphone market with Draw Something a few months ago. The success of the app got Zynga’s interest, and eventually led to the purchase of OMGPOP for about $200 million.

All of OMGPOP’s employees went over to Zynga as part of the acquisition… except one. And this one was quite vocal about his disdain for Zynga, writing a blog post about the “evil game company” that circulated quickly.

This public outcry has opened its own can of worms, but it’s OMGPOP’s CEO Dan Porter who ended up with the tarnished social rep because of his response. Here is his tweet (which has since been deleted) sent shortly after the former employee’s blog post:

Maybe the comments were warranted, and maybe they weren’t. That’s not really the issue here. The issue is that Porter tweeted his negative thoughts about someone he, until very recently, worked closely with (and maybe even hired!) on Twitter – a public forum where anyone and everyone is listening.

Sure, he was probably emotional, caught between elation at his newly-acquired status and frustration that the one dissenting employee was getting all the press. It’s understandable that he would want to vent. But taking to Twitter was a terrible decision. Going out for a pint, calling his significant other or writing out a furious email to himself would all have been fine ways to handle the situation. Tweeting about it only made him look bitter and attracted hundreds of negative tweets in response.

Porter did eventually delete the tweet and issued a statement saying that he was thinking not of Pierce but of all of the other employees who didn’t get a chance to shine in the spotlight – not really an apology to Pierce, but definitely some attempt at damage control.

But still, he wouldn’t have had all of this negative press surrounding his acquisition if he had simply held his tongue on Twitter.

(Oops keyboard image via Shutterstock)

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