If you’re a small business owner using Twitter you’re already one step ahead of the game. So many professionals are scared of the risk and time commitment that comes with a social media strategy, but Twitter can pay off in big ways if you use it correctly. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs are shooting themselves in the foot with Tweets rather than boosting sales.
Here are seven kinds of Tweets you should never, ever send.
7. “Wish the government would get its act together and Obama would stop being so childish!”
No matter what your political affiliation, you should generally avoid being overly political on Twitter. Not only are you probably not going to change anyone’s mind, you’re likely just going to alienate customers and cast your company in a specific political light. Keep the politics private and vote (don’t Tweet) as a business owner.
6. “Customer in the store smacking her gum – so annoying… #petpeeves #rude”
You’d be surprised how many businesses allow Tweets like this one to go out on the company handle! The trick here is having control over who’s able to post Tweets to the company account as disparaging remarks about customers are most likely to be made by bored, uncommitted hires. Be sure the whole staff knows everyone on social media is to be treated as a potential customer.
5. “Why pay more for FEAT Brand Socks when they’re inferior to ours? #oursocksrock”
Twitter is a great tool to connect with other small business owners, but not if you’re going to badmouth them. Irreverent is one thing, unnecessarily negative is another. In general, if mentioning another brand on Twitter you should be polite and complimentary or the message should be private.
4. “Well, @Adam6008 if you hated our food so bad don’t worry about coming back! #customers #business”
Customers have learned that Twitter is a great place to talk to businesses and typically get a response. The thing is, if you’re going to be on Twitter as a business you have to be ready for some criticism and have the ability to respond in a constructive, professional manner. Have a game plan for complaints before you ever start Tweeting in the first place.
3. “OMG LOL, look at this video of this funny dog #cute #animals #playful #wastingtime #distraction #lulz”
You’re a business, not a 13 year old girl. People generally aren’t going to follow your Twitter account for silly snippets of online content unless they’re relevant in some way to your business. Keep it casual and conversational, yes, but always professional.
2. “Hated to let Joe Smith go today but excellent customer service is part of our business plan.”
Never, ever should you air internal company business on Twitter. Unless you’re saying great things about an employee Tweeting nicely at them directly, keep the work politics to a minimum. It’s just awkward for everyone.
1. “Sale on the new app! $5.99 free downloads #sale #free Get it now while it’s still here! Did we mention SALE?!”
It’s tempting to talk ad nauseum about your product or service because you’re eager to get the word out. But Twitter isn’t just a big classifieds section, it’s a community where people share information. If you post salesy content too often you’re likely to get unfollowed or simply ignored, so plan your super-specific business Tweets accordingly.
Twitter isn’t complicated, but you do have to go into it with a plan. There’s never been a better medium for reaching so many people at once but with only 140 characters you’ve got to have a point – and it better be a good one.
Ryan is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects. Image courtesy Andreas Eldh