How to avoid insulting Kanye West from your brand’s account

george photiosAfter media agency Carat admitted Virgin Australia’s tweet telling Kanye West to ‘EAD’ came about as a result of an error by a junior staff member George Photios looks at how companies can avoid the same thing happening to them.

There have been plenty of misfires on social recently, the most recent being Virgin’s overtly honest tweet to Kanye West. However, with users having access to so many accounts across so many properties it’s easy to post the wrong content to the wrong page.

Whether you’re from within an agency posting to multiple clients’ accounts, or working client-side on multiple properties, it can get quite confusing. But there are a few simple processes which can remove much of the risk.


Firstly, minimise access to company accounts through staff’s personal devices, especially with Twitter. On a computer, it’s much easier to tell which account you’re logged in to (you can always see the profile photo), whereas on a smartphone, you start typing the Tweet and can quite easily miss the profile picture of the page you’re posting to.

Another (more costly) option is to give staff a phone just for access to company social networks.

Cheap smartphones provide full access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, and cost much less than the damage a mistweet can cause. This phone should only be used on those accounts, and personal accounts accessed through personal phones.

instagram logoAny risk of accidentally posting to the wrong account via a smartphone would be completely removed. This option is especially useful for Instagram, which requires native smartphone access in order to post. On a computer, use one browser for your work accounts, and a separate one for personal accounts to stop yourself from posting weekend selfies to a commercial audience of 500,000.

There are also plenty of third party providers which can be used to prevent any deliberately harmful messages. Don’t give staff with publishing rights access to the page natively. That way, any posts they make will need to be approved by an administrator before going live. Native access only really needs to be given with insights permissions, so there’s no risk of posting harmful content if a third party solution is used by content publishers.

The last point and perhaps the most obvious/important is staff training. Junior staff especially are not too familiar with navigating around a social network and can make these errors quite easily.

They need to be made familiar with the identifiers on a page of which account they’re logged in to.

On Twitter, the profile image is at the top right of the screen, on Facebook the profile image shows which account you’re about to post/comment with. On Instagram, you just need to keep your wits about you.

As a last-resort, teach all staff to look at the post once it’s published. Not only to make sure they’ve posted from the right account, but to ensure there’s no spelling errors, the image is cropped correctly, and the text displays as desired. This habit will extend to personal profiles also, so no matter where they’ve posted, the post can be quickly deleted if need be.

RELATED: Carat claims responsibility for Virgin Australia tweet to Kanye West telling him ‘eat a dick’

George Photios is campaign director at digital marketing agency G Squared



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