Recently, we shared a post about the ways your business can fail at Facebook.
But Facebook isn’t the only social network out there, nor is its format the only outlet for your business’s marketing efforts.
What about something shorter like Twitter?
Given that you’re limited to a couple of very short sentences at most, it’s easy to see Twitter as a handy funnel, directing attention to your website or your other social media accounts.
And this is a common and perfectly acceptable use of Twitter. But that’s not all you can do with this microblogging platform.
Remember, social media is about sharing, not outright selling.
Just as you can fail at Facebook and its ilk, you can totally fail at Twitter by ignoring the established etiquette.
If this is something you want to avoid — and we hope it is — read the commonsense guidelines below.
Failing at Twitter in 3 Easy Steps
The first way you can fail at Twitter is by not sharing. By this we mean doing any of the following things:
Sharing only your own information
Posting links that lead exclusively back to your website or your social media outlets
Refusing to retweet interesting industry-related items simply because you didn’t come up with them
Ignoring your followers
So how can you steer clear of those self-centered approaches to Twitter?
Brighten your worldview, at least in terms of your industry or service niche.
Did you find an interesting blog post that deals with your specialty? Retweet it. Your customers appreciate the additional information.
Did someone reach out to you with a complaint or a quick word of thanks?
Acknowledge it, and if it’s a complaint, do your best to deal with it in a sensitive way.
This leads us to our second surefire Twitter fail: being insensitive. Insensitivity can crop up in a variety of ways:
Trying to be funny about current events, especially on sensitive topics
Making fun of others’ worldview, beliefs, or cultural differences
Being negative about or toward your competitors
Posting profane or vulgar tweets
In other words, being totally unprofessional. If you wouldn’t say it to your boss or to a customer, don’t tweet it.
And although tweets can be deleted, when someone else retweets them or posts the content on a blog or some other outlet, they never truly go away.
Finally, there’s one more commonsense (and yet all too common) Twitter fail.
And that’s posting without thinking.
Yes, you may find your post witty, urbane, and funny. But have a fresh set of eyes take a look at it — and preferably, a set of eyes that doesn’t share your sense of humor.
What do they think about it? When in doubt, do not post. For examples, try searching online for corporate and celebrity Twitter fails.
This is what you want to avoid.
By employing techniques like professionalism and planning, you can use Twitter as more than just a gateway to your other social media accounts.
It can become part of your brand and thus part of your company image. As small businesses continue to use social media, it will continue to gain importance.
So it’s best to learn the rules, plan ahead, and proofread whenever you use this social media platform.