That elusive "social media presence" is something accounting firms, journalists and, surprisingly, even your Aunt Karen can be a little flummoxed by.
There's the danger, at least in the corporate setting, of being a little too present, like the American Red Cross employee last February who accidentally posted about getting drunk to the organization's Twitter account, instead of her personal one.
Or not present enough, as with a professed social marketing and communications strategist in September, whose recently fired Twitter ghostwriter (one of three) took to his former boss' account to reveal the strategist's Internet absence.
The American Red Cross handled the mishap with humor and quick thinking, devising a winking follow-up tweet about confiscating the keys. The Dogfish Head brewery, which was mentioned in the employee's original mis-tweet, even took the opportunity to encourage Red Cross donations via a special hashtag.
The sincere apologizing and wit of the American Red Cross demonstrated that Internet readers crave authenticity above all else. And the inevitable mistakes that will come from the humans behind all corporate tweets, Facebook updates and LinkedIn links can usually be fixed with some light-hearted humility.
It's hard to know for sure, but the social media professional might have tried going down that road as well. Either he or one of his remaining ghostwriters eventually poked fun at the incident, which had become a viral joke.
But without knowing the source of those follow-up tweets, the real story is lost.
The marketing guru might have momentarily gained a couple thousand new Twitter followers and possibly tricked a captive audience into falling for what might have been a publicity stunt, but it's still unlikely they will seek his expert advice any time soon.
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