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Why was a UK train operator asked to verify a Joe Biden tweet?

Twitter smartphone

Why was a UK train operator asked to verify a Joe Biden tweet?

A bizarre incident unfolded on Twitter over the weekend that serves as a reminder of how strange interactions on the platform can get if the wrong account is tagged into a tweet.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden tweeted a claim that his administration has created more jobs than any president in American history, despite him only being halfway through his term. As with any claim like this from a politician, some Twitter users questioned the claim while others simply liked and retweeted it, but it was one Twitter user’s request for the claim to be verified that led to a train franchise from this side of the Atlantic getting unexpectedly dragged into the debate.

Canadian Twitter user Anand Rajakrishnan wanted Guinness World Records to check up on Biden’s claim, but instead of tagging in @GWR, he tagged in @GWRHelp, which is the handle for South West England train operator Great Western Railway.

The operator, nonetheless, accepted the opportunity to get involved with a tweet that has so far had nearly 1,500 likes and over 50 comments.

Twitter can often take a turn for the surreal when queries are directed to the wrong accounts. In 2020, the indie band Shed Seven had an amusing exchange with an irate customer whose shed hadn’t been installed. Meanwhile, the comedian and author Tony Hawks has been mistaken for skateboarding legend Tony Hawk so many times, he has started to embrace it and put “skateboarder” in his Twitter profile.

The two learnings here are to make sure you are always tagging the correct account in your tweets to spare yourself embarrassment, but also to treat the situation with humour if it happens to you. Rather than ignore the mistake, take the opportunity to get involved and make an appearance where people would least expect it.

For the latest in digital marketing tips that can help you grow your business, have you signed up to EngageWeb.Club yet? For just £5 + VAT a month, one of the many perks is access to guidance on how to develop an engaged following on social media.

John Murray

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