‘Go away’ and social media

Sep 21, 2010

I’m aware this might make me sound like a very grumpy woman, but is there any need for anyone to tell someone to ‘go away’? 


I heard somebody saying it to a man who politely asked for some spare change outside Starbucks in Cardiff today.  I was embarrassed.  It’s not really about an old notion of politeness or Britishness, what is sad about it is that the person who said it must have had such a lack of respect for another person who they knew nothing about.


Earlier on today I was looking at DirectGov’s Twitter account – I noticed there that the tweeter there had told @DirectGob, a spoof account (Bio:The nation’s official gobshite”), to ‘go away’. [This tweet has since been deleted, and I didn’t get a chance to do a screen grab.]


Dealing with other tweeters that undermine or harm the reputation of the organisation you represent it tricky but I’m pretty sure that by dealing with it that way won’t help. 


Most people will respond well to reasonable debate and chat. Perhaps @DirectGob might be inclined to satirise @Directgov a bit more kindly if the gob in question has been informed about what the DirectGov Twitter account is trying to do and is told why people find it useful. 


In this case, Twitter gave the organisation a chance to publicly tell their followers what they’re about and get a bit of sympathy too! So why not turn a confrontation into a meaningful chat about the value of engaging with people using social media?


Having a presence on social media means that an organisation can be where people already are.  Your audience can contact you conveniently without having to seek information (on a website for instance) that they may not know exists.  Also, many people may feel that the information available in other places is too formal, not relevant or too extensive. 


 Social media allows us to engage in a way that suits our audience and makes messages clear.


‘Go away’ is a clear message but it’s not a great one.



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Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

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