Twitter Advice: Correction

A few days ago I published a post titled Twitter Advice in which I said:

“I’m not so sure putting an intern in charge of the firm’s Twitter account is a bad idea.”

Well, after spending some time on the phone today with a senior exec from a decent sized bank, talking about his firm’s social media strategy, let me say this: I WAS WRONG. Putting an intern in charge of your firm’s Twitter account is an absolutely terrible idea.

Now mind you, the firm for which the exec I was talking to doesn’t even have a Twitter account. But after hearing what his firm goes through in running a site which enables consumers to post comments, I’m pretty convinced an intern wouldn’t last five minutes there.

Twice a day — every weekday — a committee at this bank meets to review the comments that have been posted on their site. The committee discusses, argues, and wordsmiths their responses to the comments. They argue over whether certain words (e.g., suggest) can be used in their response.

No intern should be subjected to this level of lunacy.

The bank in question is in the process of determining its Twitter approach, and, indeed, trying to decide who will “staff” the Twitter account. The exec I spoke to (did I mention he is a senior exec) told me that HE may have to be that person when the account is first launched, since the bank isn’t sure there’s anyone else who can trusted to understand the marketing, strategy, customer service, and legal ramifications involved in responses.

And to think that for a moment there, I thought it might be OK to put an intern in charge of the account. What the hell was I thinking?

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