Is “Tweet & Delete” A Viable Twitter Strategy?

During President Obama’s State of the Union address in February, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) was observed by the media sending questionable tweets, then deleting them from his Twitter profile.

PR Daily dove into Cohen’s reasoning behind his tweet and delete “strategy,” if it can be called that.

But the bigger question is whether or not this tweeting and deleting thing is a new, viable way to approach Twitter.

In a word: no.

For one thing, nothing you tweet and delete ever truly disappears from the Internet, as Cohen found out the hard way. Anyone who moves fast enough can grab a screenshot before a tweet is deleted.

And have you heard of Politwoops? Created by the Sunlight Foundation, the free service helps you discover tweets that your politicians shared and then promptly deleted. Politwoops not only lists the deleted tweets, it tells you when the tweet was deleted and how long the tweet was up before it was deleted.

Here are some of the tweets Cohen sent during SOTU:

Turns out Victoria Brink is his daughter, in addition to being a 24-year-old bikini model.

But then he tweeted the following, after media noticed his deletions and became suspicious:

At that point, Cohen released a statement claiming he had tweeted and deleted intentionally to help promote a cause. Apparently Cohen was using the “tweet and delete” tactic as an attention-grabber.

In reality, tweeting with accountability is an absolute responsibility for everyone on the platform, especially accounts in the public eye like brands and public figures.

Give Nancy Messieh of The Next Web’s account of her interaction with a journalist who deleted his tweeted replies to her, then blocked her inexplicably, for another example of how deleting your tweets leads to a bad taste in your followers’ mouths.

If you send a tweet that you regret sending, for whatever reason – you misspelled something, you realized you were in error, you’d like to correct yourself – resist the urge to delete and just follow up with a clarifying tweet. Otherwise, you risk losing credibility.

What do you think about “tweeting and deleting”?

(Image via Shutterstock)