Benefits and Pitfalls of Rapid-Fire Social Media

Ronn Torossian on rapid social mediaTwitter can be an amazing marketing tool. When it comes to getting a sentiment or message out fast to a vast number of people, Twitter is tops.

However, this prime social media Public Relations tool can also create havoc with your overall brand. Ronn Torossian breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly about PR in 140 characters or less.

The Good

If brevity is the soul of wit, Twitter is brilliant. Capped at 140 characters, the true power of Twitter is that it forces you to be concise. Handled by a professional PR agency, your message can be concentrated into its most impactful – and quotable – context. Messages, images, even video links can be shared quickly and easily.

This means your content can be packaged, sent and received in an instant, then shared exponentially across the globe. Having a sale? Starting a new product line? Re-branding, publishing a book, releasing a movie or a record? Twitter can blast that good news out to everyone. Plus, the conversation dynamic of Twitter allows fans to respond, repost and re-tweet in real time. This keeps the buzz at a fever pitch indefinitely.

The Bad

But if you send out something on Twitter, there’s no getting it back. No matter how fast you take it down, your message is out there. It’s like firing a bullet. Once it leaves the gun, there’s no getting it back. Even if you reconsider, assume that one of your followers already took a screenshot, capturing the moment forever.

The lesson here is think before you Tweet. How will you feel about the message when you are not so fired up? Because, chances are, that is when other media sources will get a hold of it and start reposting it all over cyberspace. Suddenly you are answering questions about why you felt a certain way – and you may not even feel that way anymore.

The Ugly

When you are in the moment, it can be easy for the frustration or anger to get the best of you. The nearly instant responses of back and forth Twitter messaging has the feel of an actual conversation. The rough reality here, though, is that this is a conversation being witnessed by untold millions, none of whom will ever hear the entire context of conversation.

Suddenly snippets of your argument are being posted and re-tweeted across the web. And it is impossible to explain “what you really meant” on that exponential a scale. You simply cannot counter all the misquotes and out-of-context sound bites.

And you cannot stop them either. Since none of us can completely trust ourselves to be discreet in the midst of a heated exchange, do you really want to have that argument in front of millions of people? Especially when most of them can’t quite hear you or came in late?

Ronn Torossian  point is simple. Save your fights for more private and less permanent situations. When it comes to Twitter, fight about it and then forget it is not an option.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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