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*embedded clips are from cable, viewer discretion is advised*

Stephen Colbert, one of the better utilizers of Twitter to advance his brand (satire), is at it again. This time, he is calling out Senator Chuck Grassley and his unique Twitter style --

He begins with an incredibly accurate statement - “These days, all politicians have a powerful media outlet at their disposal, Twitter.”

In fact, everyone has that powerful media outlet at their disposal. We’ve seen Twitter have a hand in everything from telling your followers how much you hate mondays to taking down dictatorships and oppressive regimes.

But it has to be used effectively. Something Senator Grassley is not doing.

The shorthand style Colbert mocks in the video clip may be fine for tweens and teens to shoot messages back and forth to one another, but it comes across as ridiculous when it comes from a United States Congressman. If Senator Grassley really wanted to tweet the point he was trying to make, spreading it out over a couple of successive tweets or making use of a service like TwitLonger would have helped to make sure his message wasn’t lost in translation.

The other part I want to address is the #IGotTheTweetsLikeGrassley Twitter hashtag. Colbert has used this strategy before, even engaging his audience over social media, encouraging them to join him in skewering his targets. Clips below are from The Colbert Report, showing Stephen putting the Twitter hashtag to use --


#preparethem (starts about 4:40)

#InMyHeart (starts about 2:35)

To bring this full circle, the bottom line is to make sure to understand the new media space in which you are operating. Use platforms like Twitter in ways that advance your message, your business, your cause. Ineffective or incorrect use can be just as damaging as no use at all.