When does the automatic marketing posting to social media stop? When five Dallas police officers are killed in an attack? Ten? The 49 killed in an Orlando nightclub didn’t do it.

We witnessed live on Facebook and Twitter last evening bullets flying, police officers crawling down the street to rescue colleagues who were shot and ambulances and police cars racing the killed and wounded to hospitals.

At the same time, and for hours afterwards, companies and individuals tweeted articles, marketing quips and self promotional items as if nothing was taking place. Of course they did, they auto-tweet 24/7, 365 days a year.

The irony is that many of these folks are the ones advising businesses and professionals how to use social media to build a brand by being genuine and authentic. Really?

These tweets came in the midst of most tweets last night being about the tragedy, including tweets from the Dallas Police Department and witnesses. Some folks may have seen the marketers “advertising” at a time of high Twitter traffic. Maybe they were?

I am sure if I looked I could find lawyers and law firms tweeting right through. They hired consultants who advised them to tweet incessantly and taught them how to use the tools to do so. Rather than use one common sense and decency, just listen to that which doesn’t make sense.

I liberally tweet items I read. I use an app called Buffer to space out/schedule tweets during the day. Though I’ve been tempted to tweet around the clock to reach people overseas, I have limited my tweeting to when I am on line.

When something like last night happens I don’t want to be tweeting. It doesn’t feel right. In the case of Orlando, Buffer sent out 2 items the next morning that I read the night before. I deleted them.

When to stop tweeting? It’s just a gut feeling as to what’s right and what’s good taste. I am sure I will make mistakes.

It’s also hard to know in a world filled with tragedy where to draw the line. I’ll probably err on the safe side by not tweeting when the event really hits me – like last night, the deadliest day for police officers since 9/11.

For lawyers and law firms, I’d advise on being conservative – maybe not using any autofeeding at all. Ideally, most your posts are coming from lawyers themselves and they can post when they are on-line and present.

You have much more to gain by demonstrating sound judgment and good taste than auto-posting and risk broadcasting through a tragedy.

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