Awhile back, we talked about how important a tool Twitter can be for your business and I gave you ideas for things you could Tweet for your company’s Twitter account. However, there are two sides to the Twitter coin. You see, while proper use can help you build relationships and reputation, improper use can do you great harm.
In other words, as much as you need to know what to Tweet, you also need to know what NOT to Tweet. Sure, it sounds easy enough, but you might be surprised with how many people screw this up and end up doing irreparable damage to their brand.
Luckily, you can avoid all that by knowing what sorts of things you should never Tweet. Here we go!
- Competitor bashing — You know that whole “let your actions speak louder than your words thing?” Did your mom ever tell you “if you can’t say something nice say nothing at all?” Well, both apply here. Leave the competitor bashing off your Twitter account as you’ll simply draw attention to them.
- Check out my vacation photos — Yes, pretty much everyone takes a vacation. But when it comes to your business account, the last thing you want is to be showing off extravagant photos of your Caribbean Escape. Doing so will only remind your customers how much money you’re making off of them.
- Political Tweets — Politics is polarizing — and if you polarize then you’ll lose business. That said, keep your thoughts about the election to yourself unless they are general (e.g. “Get out there and vote!”).
- The whiny Tweet — Unless you want your company to be known as the two year old who throw temper tantrums, stay away from whiny Tweets. If it could even partially be taken as you griping and complaining, don’t Tweet it.
- Religious Tweets — Along the same lines as the last one, religion is the other “don’t talk about it” topic. Why? Because often people have strong feelings for or against it. And if your Tweet finds you on one side of that fence, then you may lose customers from the other side.
- The shoot back — When you’re wronged, you want to respond in kind. The problem is, thanks to the quick 140 character nature of Twitter, it’s easy to shoot back a Tweet slamming the person or entity that wronged you. Don’t do it! Angry Tweets almost always find you looking like a jerk.
- The over exaggeration — Your credentials and your services need to speak for themselves. There’s no need to make outrageous claims of what you’ve done or what you can do. People can always tell when you’re using hyperbole and it’s a good way to lose trust.
- The straight up lie — Even worse than the last one, you can bet that if you lie, someone is going to find out. And when they do find out, count on it being spread all over the web. Bad for your look!
- The Tweets made by your intern — Being young doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to properly use Twitter. So before putting that social media savvy intern in charge of your Twitter account, you might want to reconsider. All it takes is one dumb thing Tweeted (I said plenty of dumb stuff during my younger years, by the way) and you’ll be doing damage control for a long time.
- The happy hour Tweet — Even one or two drinks is enough to loosen us up to say things we might not normally say. Now pair that with your Twitter account and we’ve got the match made in Hell. Count on saying something stupid or at the very least misspelling something and being accused of inebriation.
- Getting too personal — Sure you want people to get to know the people behind your brand. But how well should they know you? Be careful of the thin line between branding and over exposure.
- The crappy Twitter-only promotion — Yes, your Tweeps will love to get freebies and discounts in exchange for following you on Twitter. However, be careful not to offer something that isn’t of use. Doing so will make you seem like you’re just “mailing it in.” Keep those promotions attractive!
Have you ever seen a business post something on Twitter that they shouldn’t have? Tell us about it!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html