I just got the following email message from American Majority about the importance of conservative activism on Twitter. If you have a smartphone, you really should be on Twitter because it is where our narrative can be pushed into the news rooms, board rooms and into the backrooms where the lawmakers make their deals. You do not have to be “techy” to have your voice heard on Twitter! And, it’s free!
Last month a senior White House official was fired after he was identified as the owner of an anonymous Twitter account. What reportedly began as an outlet for snarky comments about D.C. life removed him from that same D.C. life due to insults aimed at public figures at the White House and Capitol Hill.
This isn’t the first time a career – and a reputation – has hit rock bottom due to comments on Twitter. Nor will it be the last. We saw this on an international scale last year when more than one Olympic athlete was banned from participating due to tweets sent during the Olympic Games. And of course, the U.S. has infamous Anthony Weiner to thank for making Twitter history.
What’s the takeaway for the conservative activist? I think that examples like last month’s firing reveal three things.
1. They show that a single Twitter account, or even a single tweet, has incredible power in American life and politics. This week we saw thousands of conservatives live-tweet on election day. If you wanted real-time results, Twitter was the place to be.
2. They tell us that because of this potential influence, what were once informal and personal social media channels are now scrutinized as serious public statements.
3. They emphasize that we must handle our Twitter accounts with common sense. Why? Because people are listening.
Created in 2006, Twitter still presents both new challenges and new opportunities. The American Majority team is a huge proponent of social media activism, and specifically, Twitter activism. We’ve seen the real impact that conservative activists, politicians, and organizations are making as unique media sources through timely, relevant comments and social interactions.
But while some are excelling by articulating the conservative view, pointing to solid resources, and establishing relationships, others are failing. Miserably.
Most problems with Twitter arise from accidental, thoughtless, reckless tweets. Apply the same common sense principles that you use with the rest of your public communication and you’ll be golden. Strive for clear, meaningful conversation and never forget that “anything you say or do may be used against you.”
Keep America Free,
Also, at the Washington Post’s blog The Fix, Chris Cillizza writes about how Twitter has changed politics and political journalism. The most interesting takeaway to the conservative activist is the ability to “amplify” our message. So, please, get on Twitter and get to work!