Pleased to tweet you: the people behind the Twitter machines
Zorrilla and McNamara follow strict rules for tweeting on Pablo’s behalf: Pablo always speaks about himself in the third person, he always uses a combination of English and Spanish.
“Flattery gets him emotional, and he likes the women,” Zorrilla says.
McNamara and Zorrilla come from advertising backgrounds, and believe Twitter’s direct free contact gives the brand “a little bit of magic.”
National Library of Ireland
Carol Maddock, @NLIreland
Carol Maddock, social media co-ordinator at the National Library of Ireland, returned from London a few years ago and decided the library should take cues from galleries and museums around the world that were using social media.
Maddock uses the National Library’s Twitter account to interact with people who are using the library’s services or looking for information the library might have.
She says the account “puts a human face on the library, taking the edge off walking through the door. I talk to people as if I was introduced to someone at a do.”
The library isn’t above a bit of Twitter banter andoccasionally interacts with the other cultural institutions around Dublin’s city centre on Twitter “like arguing siblings”.
There is always a “bit of craic online”. But Maddock steers clear of politics, religion and money, much like she would offline. If there’s ever any question of the intention of the tweets, Maddock liked to include a “smiley face or a wink to let you know it’s all fun”.
Her favourite tweets are about the “marvellous stuff” hidden inside the library walls. She refers to the library as “Library Towers” and often highlights the library’s architecture through photos.
On Halloween, she shared spooky images from 1800s publications, dubbing the series “#HalloweenHowlers”. “I love what we have and what we do,” she says. “Twitter is a great way to share that.”
Professional pitfalls: When Twitter backfires
As with any powerful tool, misuse of social media has the potential for doing a lot of damage.
A few Irish businesses have got themselves into hot water on the social media front recently.
Herb Street restaurant owner Vinny Mullen found himself on the receiving end of a barrage of complaints when an off-colour remark about Olympic boxer John Joe Nevin was made from the Herb Street account, it seems that Mullen was not the author of the tweet .
Since the incident, the restaurant has put internal safeguards into place to ensure a similar incident doesn’t happen in the future.
“We’re back [on Twitter] very, very cautiously,” says Mullen. Now he makes sure tweets are only “restaurant-specific”, leaving no room for misinterpretation. He warns that “if a small business doesn’t understand the power of social media, it can be very dangerous”.
Cinnamon Cafe and Food Hall in Ranelagh learned that lesson only a few weeks ago, angering Twitter followers by getting into a heated exchange with a customer who complained online about slow service.
Following the incident, Cinnamon’s Dee Donoghue says they have designated just two users among their staff of almost 50 for their corporate Twitter account .
Donoghue says the incident, for which they apologised, provided a learning opportunity for the restaurant.
“It put us in a position where we’re making ourselves better. As a new business we’re trying to move forward all the time.” Emily Westbrooks