Khairy’s advice for politicians turning to social media

KUALA LUMPUR: Khairy Jamaluddin is one of the more active politicians on social media in the country and he had some pointers for fellow politicians getting into Twitter or Facebook.

The MP for Rembau and Umno Youth chief, said politicians engaging in social media should keep the ‘8Cs’ in mind.

These would be Careful, Constant, Credible, Cool and contemporary, Candid, Conciliatory, Convertible, and ever ready to embrace Change.

“Politicians must not set up a (social media) profile and then fail to keep it updated,” he said.

He also said it is important for politicians to understand that social media is for them to interact with their followers, and through that, the public.

“And remember, people don’t want to know your schedule. They want to see who you are behind the officialdom,” Khairy said.

“So it is also okay to tweet about the (football) team you’re supporting, or a movie you’ve watched.” (Khairy’s a Manchester United fan, in case you don’t follow him on Twitter.)

It is good to be cool and contemporary, but politicians should not try to be someone they are not, according to him. “Just be relevant with the times and remember that the news cycle on social media is shorter than on traditional media,” he said.

He said politicians should also learn to choose their battles on social media, where they have to contend with “trolls.” A troll is someone who posts inflammatory or negative comments in social media.

Khairy also believes there is nothing worse than politicians picking a fight on Twitter or Facebook. “Don’t fall into that trap,” he said, adding that such spats only put the politicians involved in a bad light.

He was participating in a panel discussion at the Malaysian Social Media Week 2012 event. For more details on the event, go to The Star Online is official media partner for the event.

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