How Ghostbusters Taught Me The Greatest Lesson On Social Media At Work

Oh, no. Here we go again. Another inappropriate corporate tweet.

You may have heard by now about the incredibly, graphically inappropriate tweet that US Airways sent out earlier today. Needless to say it is NSFW. Like epically NSFW.

Holy guacamole. How in the heck did this happen? As a social media marketer, I feel beyond terrible for US Airways’ marketing and PR team. I can only imagine the heat they are feeling- not just publicly but also from within their corporate walls. The tweet was public for an hour (a freaking hour!) before it was deleted, but the damage was beyond done. In the aftermath I saw less vile toward US Airways and more humor as people poked fun at the situation. Mashable even curated a list of the best reactions to the Twitter fiasco.

Okay, so now what? Excuse me while I Encyclopedia Brown this situation.

US Airways is launching an investigation, of course. So far it seems like everyone is really, really, really hoping that their Twitter account was hacked.

But what if the account wasn’t hacked. Oy. Here are a couple scenarios:

Someone was checking porn on their corporate-issued computer or device and accidentally copied/pasted the link in the tweet. I think the chances are slim on this one, as I’m sure US Airways has methods in place to prevent employees from viewing porn at work. So that leads me to…

Someone was viewing porn on their personal mobile device, which they also use for work, and accidentally pasted the link on the corporate account. I can actually see this being the likely scenario (assuming they weren’t hacked). Besides the fact that the potentially kinky social media person was viewing porn at work, this scenario proves a very important social media lesson that we all learned in Ghostbusters: Don’t cross the streams.

Check out this clip from the movie:

So crossing the streams is bad. How bad? As explained in the movie, “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.” I am sure that is how the marketing and PR teams at US Airways are feeling right about now.

When you mix business with pleasure on your mobile device- having access to both your work and personal social media accounts in one place- you are opening yourself up to this kind of disaster happening. This is why it is best to keep them separate. Kind of like church and state. No matter how careful you are, when you combine work and personal social accounts on one device you are risking not only your job but your personal reputation as well as your company’s.

The lesson here? If you do social media for your company, consider keeping the social streams completely separate on separate devices. And if you have to watch porn, at least wait until you get home. Yeesh!




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