Twitter. The Good, The Bad, and Character

Twitter –  The  worldwide, instantaneous megaphone AND listening device. It’s

  • Brought millions to the streets.
  • Given businesses – small and large – a voice to engage and grow their customer base.
  • Provided comfort in times of disaster by reuniting families.

But then, there are times the <enter> key is hit and and the world sees what it should have never seen.

In Jay Baer’s excellent “Convince & Convert,” he discusses the 3 Types of Destructive Corporate Tweets.  It’s a must read.

Reading it, one thought kept running through my head:

Character Counts

Most of the issues when a mistake happens, and the response to it, can be minimized by hiring for character as the first priority. Period. Every associate represents your company. To your customer, they are the company.

Who will represent the company? What are their key qualities? Excellent communication skills are a given. A leader inspiring multiple teams to effectively use social media will improve your customer experience.

But if  you insist the company choose associates with character, you will have fewer social media mistakes. And when they do happen, you’ll see a response that follows  Jay’s  “Three A’s – Acknowledge, Apologize, Authenticity.”

How important is character in your company? How do identify people with character? What qualities do you look for on your team?

I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.

– Don Kincaid


About donkincaid

Marketing | Customer Satisfaction Getting, Growing and Keeping Customers - Profitably
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5 Responses to Twitter. The Good, The Bad, and Character

  1. Nice Summary Don.

    The radio stations I work for are not active on Twitter but are on Facebook.

    Social Media is being used by the air staff as another way to interact with their listeners and so the rules are slightly different.

    While the official station accounts are kept clean, it’s the personal account of one of our air personalities does cross the line. He is not rude, but he is himself.

    We hire for ability, potential and personality in all departments and while character as you defined is not really on the list, there are certain values we want our co-workers to have such as honesty.

    • donkincaid says:


      Thanks for your comments.

      I agree that honesty is a key value. Also, the entertainment world and character is an interesting topic. I believe you can still appeal to almost all target audiences and exhibit good character.

      That raises the question, “What is character?”

      I’m not an expert on the subject and we are all fallible. Defining it can be challenging. One way, simply put: “‘Do I do the right thing even when no one is looking?” Of course, there is always someone looking in this digital world. And when we make a mistake, how do we react?

      That’s why it’s key we should work hard to look at character when hiring associates or choosing vendors. It’s not only about talent or expertise.

      I’m anxious to hear other opinions.



  2. Bobbie Garner says:

    I appreciated Jay’s post also. Hiring for character is important – however, I have seen employees with great character that just didn’t know how to get the job done. It’s truly a balancing act. The only guy I know of who was personable, honest, kind AND knew which wire to cut before an explosion was MacGyver. 🙂

    As for twitter mishaps – I think that’s the beauty and fun of participating. If it’s all so scrubbed and sanitized before it hits the feed -we’d all get bored and quit reading. (although some of those examples were just plain insensitive and for those – I think firing was appropriate.) Jay gave great advice when he suggested using separate tools for private profiles to avoid some mishaps. One safety plus – Hootsuite just launched and “are you sure you want to tweet that” button.

  3. donkincaid says:


    I was always in awe of how he knew how to pick the right wire. 🙂

    We absolutely need to have the right skill sets covered, including character. Yes, it’s a balancing act and character is one of the legs needed on the stool. I’ve found the times a short-cut in hiring happened, problems happened.

    Character is needed throughout the company, including the manager. Many mistakes shouldn’t mean automatic dismissal. It is a two-way street.

    I look forward to more discussions!

    – Don

  4. Pingback: Character: Do You Trust Your Recruits to Baby-Sit Your Children? | A Desk is a Dangerous Place

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