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On today’s lesson of “What did we learn?” we examine one Ashton Kutcher – Twitter’s biggest cheerleader, short of Lady Gaga. A Twitter hero from the start, his eight-million followers boasts a mighty big audience.
As I’ve said many times, for many, social media is simply a better way to screw up to a much larger audience in a much shorter amount of time. Ashton proved that last week, when he defended Penn State’s fired coach without knowing all the facts of why he was fired.
Kutcher immediately took a ton of grief for his defense, and backpedaled, realizing what he did, and admitting that he screwed up.
He did the complete and total right thing. He screwed up, he admitted it, he apologized, and he owned it.
But that’s where his right moves ended. Instead of moving on, he took all the good that he did from his mistake and blew it – He gave control of his Twitter account to his handlers.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.
His handlers? Come on, Ashton. WRONG WAY TO HANDLE THE SITUATION.
The second you hand over your Twitter account to your people, your account stops being real, your voice starts being “crafted,” and you start being out of touch
Basic Twitter Rule for After You Screw Up:
1) Companies issue press releases. People Tweet. One of the reasons we like following celebrities on Twitter vs other means is that it’s them (mostly) doing the Tweeting. We know that Demi and Ashton would send each other notes on their arm, and we loved that. We had an “in” into their real world. Same thing for CEOs and the like. When Scott Jordan of the ScotteVest gets into arguments on Twitter, it’s really him – we like watching how he runs his business, and we learn from it. The second you give your Twitter account away to handlers, it’s not you, it’s not real, and people stop caring.
2) People screw up! That’s what make them people! They learn from it, and we learn by watching. Screw ups actually benefit us all. You’re going to screw up. There’s no doubt. You’ll be totally shocked by how badly you’re going to screw up. We all do it. Sometimes more than once. But we have to learn from it. I’ve learned from it, and I don’t bring my Droid out when I go out drinking anymore. I don’t tweet in anger anymore. We learn lessons. But we keep going! Giving your account away is a mistake. It says that you didn’t learn, you won’t bother to learn, and you’ll find new ways to make mistakes. If you’re a bad driver, learn to drive better. Don’t hire a driver.
3) Don’t Walk Away. You want to be beloved by your fans, your audience, your customers? Remember that the majority of them don’t have “handlers.” They can’t simply “walk away” when they do something stupid. If you really want to be taken seriously, you need to know that if you screw up, we expect you to apologize, and move on. We’ll want your stupid updates tomorrow, and we won’t want you to stop tweeting. But we’ll be pissed as hell if the next update on YOUR twitter account comes from your publicist. If we wanted to follow your publicist, we would.
4) In the end, being honest always beats being polished. We want our celebrities, our CEOs, anyone we follow, to be, more than anything, REAL. That means never knowing what’s coming next. If you’re afraid to be real because of one little screwup, you don’t deserve an audience to begin with.
Tell me what I’m missing, agree, or disagree with me below.