Yesterday, a story broke in gizmodo and buzzfeed about both Barack Obama and Corey Booker following a Twitter account called sideboob.org.(sorry, no link, you can Google it) As the name implies, sideboob.org is a website showing the sides of breasts of various celebrities.
As both Twitter accounts have people besides the President and the Mayor of Newark, using the accounts, it's likely a young staffer watching the account ended up following the aforementioned Twitter account from Obama's account and Booker's account instead of their personal accounts. This is one of the more classic mistakes when you are managing other people's social media and it's a mistake we have made as well, for example posting. "Enjoying a Gin and Tonic" complete with picture on a restaurant Twitter account that doesn't serve booze. From that mistake we implemented a couple of rules and brought in a few platforms to keep these mistakes from happening.
- Keep personal and company Twitters on iPhone and keep clients on the computer - We set this rule up to make it really easy to keep clients and personal stuff seperate. You can Tweet all you like personally at work, just do it from your iPhone. When you are "on" watching a client's social media, you are on your computer. When you are off, you most likely are just using your iPhone, so it keeps things simple.
- Use the new Twitter/Tweet Deck - The new TweetDeck under the name Twitter has its flaws but one thing it does do well is show which accounts follow at certain Twitter handle and which do not.
- Consider using a more robust solution like Radian6 that allows some amount of workflow and approvals. Rather than just letting anyone whose working an account "follow" anyone, kick that follow upstairs or to another pair of eyes just to make sure there are no mistakes.
Lastly, use some common sense. Social media management can sometimes be a bit boring and the Internet and all of its wonders are merely a click a way. But if you are monitoring the president's Twitter account, should you really be on sideboob.org? Probably not. That's more of an after hours activity.