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8 Ways To Screw Up Your Businesses Twitter Reputation

Tell the world what you’re doing in 140 characters? Easy, what could possibly go wrong? Well it’s funny you should say that, businesses have gone out of business and people have lost jobs, money and even their freedom just by saying the wrong thing on Twitter. Common sense will help you stay out of too much trouble but here are a few tips just in case.

Mixing Business With Pleasure

The worst thing you can do is mix your own Twitter account up with your business account, whether it’s your own business or you work on the Twitter account of the people you work for, never get these two mixed up. It’s probably not going to be the end of the world if you Tweet about a great industry press release you just read on your personal account, but if your broadcast to all your business followers how wasted you got last night and details of what you woke up next to there’s a good chance your boss is going to want a few words with you.

Forgetting You’re Representing A Brand

Twitter is meant to be informal, it’s meant to show the human side to your brand and engage customers but it is still a brand, you’re still going to have brand guild lines that need to be adhered to and a corporate tone of voice. Using any language that could be construed as inappropriate or coming out with anything political or controversial might be great for getting attention but there’s a good chance that behaviour is just going to attract the wrong sort of attention.

Not Everything Needs To Be Broadcast

Twitter gives everyone a voice but that doesn’t mean every thought that enters your head needs to be broadcast. Maybe what you have to say is just boring, maybe it’s irrelevant to your followers or maybe it’s going to cause offense. Before you start using Twitter you need to work out what your objectives are and what you want to get from Twitter and ask yourself before every Tweet if it’s going to assist those goals.

Not Having Control Over Your Own Account

If you’re working in an industry where one wrong move could be enough to get you into trouble then you need to have complete control over your Twitter account, don’t let the junior in marketing have the login, don’t outsource it if you don’t know exactly who’s going to be working on it. We’ve already talked about getting business and personal accounts mixed up and if that person is having a bad day, or has had a couple of drinks or maybe even by complete mistake starts posting on your account are you going to be able to fix it?

Being Inconsistent

A Twitter account is like a blog, you need consistency. Blasting out a dozen Tweets a day for a week then going a month without even logging in isn’t going to win you followers. You can’t schedule a certain time each week when you’re going to use Twitter, you need to have the appropriate tools to keep a continuous eye on it, the second anyone has anything to say about you, either good or bad, you need to make sure you’re replying straight away.

Forgetting Your Audience

We’ve already talked about the wrong Tweets falling into the wrong hands but you need to be aware of who is following you. You can see a list of your followers but that doesn’t mean you have a list of real names. There’s a good chance your competitors are following you or thought leaders in your industry. These people might not be customers but they do have the potential to have just as much power over you.

Going For The Hard Sell

No one likes walking into a clothes store or a gadget shop and having some little oink jump on them straight away asking if they need any help or if there’s anything they can assist with. No one wants to start following someone on Twitter just to have the hard sell rammed down their throat, they want to have a look around themselves, see if there’s anything that takes their interest, if they wanted to buy something they’d be on your website so leave the hard sell alone.

Too Much Short Hand

You only have 140 characters but that doesn’t mean every word has to be abbreviated, there’s a good chance you’re just going to end up annoying any followers who don’t speak fluent teenager/internet. There are some abbreviations everyone is going to know but some of these aren’t going to be responsible for the business Twitter account, no swearing and no abbreviations of swearing either.

Real Asset Management’s Twitter account talks about all aspects of fixed asset management and inventory control, giving you just the information without the hard sell.

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One Reply

  1. Nick Taylor Jan 31st 2012

    Or (in other words) try to communicate in a medium that values authenticity on behalf of a “brand”, which is the opposite of authenticity.

    Brands/corporates are all about command-and-control structures… the reason for this is because the “underlings” can’t be trusted to represent the interests of those at the top, because the interests of those at the top are not the same as the underlings, or customers.

    Brands are bogus and manipulative… and should really have no voice at all in any authentic conversation.

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