How to avoid tweeting from the wrong account

Posted on November 23, 2020

 

Last week, an embarrassing incident involving the Instagram account of none other than Pope Francis showed how uncomfortable it can be if certain social media actions are performed from an inappropriate account.

The incident is under investigation, with the suggestion being it was an error from one of the team of employees managing the Pope’s account. Though a particularly awkward example of a social media logout gaffe, the Pope is certainly not the first person to find himself in such a position. Last year, Australian politician Angus Taylor appeared to congratulate himself on Twitter rather than presumably tweet praise from a different account, and Scottish Conservative MP Annie Wells committed a similar faux pas a couple of months ago.

It’s easily done if you manage multiple accounts, but there are a few steps you can take to minimise the risks of social media silliness:

Always log out

Make a habit of logging out of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts when you’ve finished using them. This will stop you absent-mindedly going to social media and forgetting you’re logged in as a business rather than your personal account.

Many will argue it’s good practice to do this from a security and privacy point of view anyway, since social media sites are known to track your activity while you are logged in. Facebook in particular is notorious for this – I Googled to see if there was a recent story about Facebook getting into trouble for sneakily tracking users, and sure enough, here’s one from last Wednesday.

Check who you’re logged in as first

Before you like, share, follow, post, tweet or retweet anything, train yourself to always have a glance at your profile picture. It’s a quick, visual sign that you’re interacting from the right or wrong account.

Take extra care when using scheduling tools

If you’re scheduling social media activity ahead of time, perhaps using a tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck, it’s especially easy to make a mistake. Social media professionals might use these tools to schedule posts and tweets from several accounts in one sitting, so real attention to detail is called for to make sure you don’t interact using the wrong account. Again, look at the profile pics and double check your posts.

Don’t use fake accounts

If the two aforementioned politicians were indeed trying to big themselves up using fake accounts, it’s hard to have any sympathy for them. It’s dishonest behaviour, and if you don’t slip up yourself like they did, it’s probably only a matter of time before algorithms wise up and get onto what you’re doing. Knock it on the head before you get rumbled!

It’s too late, I’ve already done it!

If you’ve gone and made the mistake already, simply delete it as soon as you can, and you might get away with. If you find that someone pulls you up on it, or worse still shares a screenshot of your blunder, apologise and give an explanation. If the mistake is fairly harmless and light-hearted, a bit of humour might go down well.

If the idea of social media bungling sends you white, speak to the Engage Web team to learn about our content development services, including social media management.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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