The Number One Rule of Using Twitter Dashboards: Know Your Accounts

“I can’t believe how long it takes to get a coffee in this town!” While this is a pretty innocuous statement, you might feel differently if it came from your favorite coffee brand’s Twitter account. You might also wonder who was in charge of updating that account, and who dropped the ball on screening its tweets. If you’re a social media manager or part of a social media team who uses a Twitter dashboard as part of your toolkit, pay attention to this golden rule: know your accounts, or face the consequences.

It’s a lesson learned the hard way by Chrysler and a former social media marketer whose tweet quickly propelled the car manufacturer to notoriety and lost him his job. was able to sit down with Scott Bartosiewicz, the young “social media pro” who was the person behind Chrysler’s most embarrassing tweet ever:

“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the motor city and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive.”

Chrysler tweeted this expletive-containing tweet two weeks ago – but not by choice. Apparently, the tweet was meant for Bartosiewicz’s personal account, but was somehow published on Chrysler’s.

The fallout from this fateful f-bomb is well known by now around the social media water cooler: Bartosiewicz was fired from New Media Strategies where he worked, and New Media Strategies was let go as Chrysler’s social media management company.

If you read the full interview with Bartosiewicz, he claims that the Chrysler account had been deleted from his TweetDeck platform when he sent out that tweet meant for his personal account. And while TweetDeck has said they’ll look into the problem, they also clearly think it’s unlikely that a tweet could be sent from a deleted account.

However, the technicalities of the situation aside, this does prove to be a wonderful lesson for any social media manager who uses a dashboard (and most of you probably should be):

Know, and double check, which account you’re posting from.

It’s one thing to accidentally post something meant for your business account to your personal one, but it’s a whole other bag of worms when it’s the other way around. Reading that you just got out of the shower or how frustrated you are at having to wait in line is not what people following your corporate account signed up for.

Many social media marketers will suggest that you use two different dashboards for your personal and your business accounts, and this could work for some. Try using HootSuite for business, and TweetDeck for personal. This will keep them separate and prevent any cross posting from happening.

The level of embarrassment from a personal tweet reaching a business account varies from a mild laugh-it-off to a full blown disaster like Chrysler faced. However, it can be avoided by remembering to double check which account you’re posting to before you hit “tweet”.