Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Ashton Twitter Account

What’s that old saying? Live by the sword, die by the sword. If anyone is experiencing that right now, it is Ashton Kutcher. Amidst the insanity that has been the Penn State University scandal, Kutcher sent out this Tweet that he regrets greatly.

This wasn’t Kutcher’s first blunder on Twitter either.

Despite his slip-ups, the one-time Twitter “King” usually recovers well by owning up to his mistakes, which he did last night following 30 minutes of ridicule from the Twitter universe. Ashton responded to much of the criticism with great humility and remorse. I applauded him greatly for the way he handled the situation; until today that is.

I was very upset when I heard that Ashton (whom I greatly admire for his business prowess and activism) had officially given the reigns of his Twitter account to his PR team at Katalyst Media. Given the nature of social media, I completely disagree with that decision.

Going away from Kutcher, we all make mistakes in business, on social media, wherever. The beautiful thing about making mistakes is that you always have a chance to learn and adjust as long as you approach the situations with humility.

Even Rick Perry understands that!

In social media, silence is never the answer. Not addressing issues or shying away from the medium all together in fear of another slip up takes the conversation out of your hands. Social media has given individuals, celebrities, and brands to listen and create conversation – the silent treatment in the face of a mistake or crisis, gives the outside voices an opportunity to mold the conversation to their liking. If anyone understood this, I thought it was Ashton Kutcher.

Now, Kutcher’s Tweets will be calculated and message driven, rather than the authenticity that made him the first user to reach one million followers. Something makes me think that approach won’t be too successful.

Transparency is everything in social media and that is nothing new. As social media managers, users, or however you may use these mediums, we should take a lesson from Kutcher’s recent slip ups.

When recovering from a mistake, the best and sometimes only thing you can do is understand what you did wrong and apologize. Most of the time, if you address the issue with authenticity, your critics will move on since there’s no more story to feast on. Going silent or making an unwarranted change rarely works out. Right, Reed Hastings?

Ashton Kutcher has lived by the sword for a long time, as many of us have as well – unfortunately for @aplusk, he just turned the sword on himself.

 

About Harrison Kratz

Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, one of the top online MBA programs at the University of North Carolina and sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, @KratzPR!

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