The latest trend among lawmakers: think twice before tweeting

Social Icing We’ve all heard our share of cautionary tales when it comes to the importance of online discretion; yet somehow, there are always a few folks who manage to miss the memo. Take Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, rising star and rumored mayoral candidate for New York City: all it took were a few racy self-portraits and several hundred poorly-chosen characters, and Weiner suddenly found himself the butt of every late-night talk show gag on television…all thanks to Twitter.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: Weiner can’t blame Twitter for the mess he’s made of his career. And we couldn’t agree more. But from a social media standpoint, you have to admit…Twitter (and Facebook, and YouTube) have become pretty darn powerful; so powerful, in fact, that in the wake of Weiner’s public disgrace, Twitter saw a sudden and noticeable drop in use from Congressmen across the board.

According to a study conducted by the site TweetCongress, Twitter activity among Weiner’s congressional colleagues dropped by 28 percent after media outlets released photos exposing Weiner’s…well…you know…to the public. The numbers continued to fall as details of Weiner’s online relationships surfaced, reducing Democratic congressional activity to a mere 120 tweets on June 6 — nearly 30 percent less than the standard rate prior to the Weiner scandal.

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Of course, as CBS News points out, there is no solid evidence connecting the decline in congressional Twitter activity with Weiner’s social networking indiscretion and subsequent prominence in the media maelstrom. However, it doesn’t take much research to realize how significant social media has become in the political arena – and how dangerous even minor cyber-errors can be to a lawmaker’s reputation.

The simple fact is that social media has swept the nation – and that includes the movers and shakers in both state and nation-wide government office. Only a handful of the 535 members of Congress fail to maintain Twitter accounts; and those who do take advantage of the popular social medium are still learning how to navigate its inherent risks.

Now, you may not hold a prominent public office or stay awake at night worrying about your online reputation; but chances are your San Diego business could stand a social media makeover all the same. Twitter and Facebook are rich and valuable tools in the online marketplace, and you should never feel compelled to avoid them out of fear or mistrust – but we completely understand if you’re a little squeamish about taking the plunge. That’s why we’re here to help: at Social Icing, we manage your online presence (and your reputation) with expert care and custom support, ensuring that your customers and clients see what you want them to – no more, no less.

If you only take away one message from Rep. Weiner’s Twitter scandal, we hope it will be this: think twice before tweeting. However, we urge you to consider an even easier and safer alternative: leave the tweets to us, and rest easy that your company’s web presence is in safe, secure and socially appropriate hands

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Written by Lauren Westerfield

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