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WebTrends_June26_CSmall businesses have some powerful communication tools at their disposal, ones that they can use to reach a potentially unlimited customer base. One of these tools is Twitter, a social network that gives users 140 characters to reach out to other Twitter users. While Twitter is a useful tool, it can cause companies to lose their reputation if they tweet about the wrong things.

Here are five types of tweets that can seriously damage your reputation.

  1. The making things up tweet. Beyond the obvious moral reasons, it’s never good for a business to tweet something that’s made up. Be it false sales, achievements or facts, you can guarantee that someone will know and call you on it which could create a PR nightmare. Always be sure that what you tweet is true and can be backed up.
  2. The denying allegations tweet. There’s a pretty high chance that users will take to Twitter when they have something negative to say about your company. When this happens, one of the worst things you could do is deny the allegations, even if you’re right. Doing so will only result in more negative tweets, all of which are very public. If you do get a negative tweet, the best thing to do is encourage the tweeter to contact you privately.
  3. The mad as heck tweet. Doing anything when you’re angry is never a good idea, especially when using a medium as public as Twitter. If your first reaction is to be angry at a tweet, it’s best to step back for a bit and think about what made you angry. If you’re still angry, get an employee or friend to read the tweet and talk about what actions you should take.
  4. The inflammatory tweet. It’s best to not tweet anything that could make your followers angry or upset. Remember your Twitter account represents another way for your customers to interact with you. If they’re upset about something, the chances of you getting their business again are slim. If you’re not sure if something is inflammatory or not, try asking your employees or a friend, or just don’t tweet it.
  5. The negativity tweet. Negativity in the workplace is something that could cause a business to go under quickly. The same goes for a negative tweet, it is a sure fire way to tarnish your reputation. As a rule, don’t publish anything negative.

Twitter, when used correctly, is an extremely useful communication tool for small businesses. When businesses mishandle their tweets, they could create publicity issues that could irreparably harm a business. If you would like some more tips on, or need help managing, your tweets, please contact us.

Published on 26th June 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.


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