Twitter has proven to be a great tool for companies to engage the public and build their brand. On the flip side, it has also shown itself to be perfect for people and businesses to make fools of themselves and kill their public perception. Who’d have thought you could prove yourself to be a complete Twitter bonehead and ruin your brand in 140 characters or less?
Scared I’m talking about you? Let’s look at the signs and you can judge for yourself:
The number of people you follow is at least triple the number of people that follow you. Yes, we understand that you’d like as many people as possible to follow your company. But when you’re following 2,000 people but only about 500 or so are following you back…well that shows the world that you’re probably just following anyone and everyone in hopes to boost your numbers. Not a great strategy and looks really pathetic. Kind of like the guy trolling the bar talking to every girl he sees in hopes he will hook one.
You only Tweet about you and your company. Newsflash – it’s not all about you. In fact, one of the primary purposes for Twitter is to share good content. If you’re always Tweeting about your own company, people are obviously going to view you as self-absorbed. Rest assured, you’ll end up losing followers. After all, if your public relations experience has taught you anything, you’d know that no one really cares about you anyway. They just care what you can do for them.
You don’t respond when people reply to your Tweets. What’s so great about Twitter? It allows people from all over the world to engage in easy conversation. Businesses too. But guess what, if you aren’t responding when people try to engage you – well your company is just straight up crappy. UNFOLLOW!
You get defensive and argue when people bash your brand. The obvious downside to Twitter from a PR perspective is that it gives disenchanted customers the perfect platform to talk crap about your company. And make no mistake, at some point this will happen. The question is, how do you respond? Perfect example: Denver Nuggets basketball player Kenyon Martin. After being upset by his “fans,” he went on a Twitter rant, letting us know that “all haters should get full blown aids and die.” Yikes, really? Bet his PR people had a heart attack on the spot. Can we say Twitter bonehead?
You Tweet the same content over and over. Remember the days of AOL chat rooms? People would enters these rooms randomly and talk to strangers, usually beginning by asking “A/S/L?” (age/sex/location). Creepy, I know. Anyway, every now and then some moron would pop in and start saying the same thing over and over. Usually something dumb or a link to a site you should be afraid to click on. Eventually, he would get booted for spamming. Fast forward to 2011 and Twitter boneheads are spamming us nonstop. Guess what – if no one clicked on your link the first time, they aren’t going to click on it the 50th time 5 minutes later either.
Let’s stop there. Now hopefully you’re being honest with yourself. Are you being a Twitter bonehead? If so, please stop. Of course, odds are if you already are one then you’ll be in denial, and now you’re stuck. Good luck with that.