There are two sides to the Twitter coin. While proper use builds relationships and reputation, improper use harms you.
Know what not to tweet. It sounds easy enough, but the number of people who screw this up and irreparably damage their brand might surprise you.
Never share these 12 types of tweets:
1. Competitor bashing tweets
You know the phrase, “Let your actions speak louder than your words”? Did your mom ever say, “If you can’t say something nice say nothing at all”? Well, both apply here. Leave the competitor bashing off your Twitter account. You’ll simply draw attention to your competitor.
2. Vacation photo tweets
Yes, pretty much everyone takes a vacation. But the last thing you want to share on your business account is extravagant photos of your Caribbean escape. Doing so will only remind your customers how much money you’re making off of them.
3. Political tweets
Politics is polarizing. If you polarize, you’ll lose business. Keep your thoughts about the election to yourself unless they are general (e.g. “Get out there and vote!”).
4. Religious tweets
Religion is the other “don’t talk about it” topic. People often have strong feelings about religion. And if your tweet places you on one side of that fence, you may lose customers from the other side.
5. Whiny tweets
Unless you want your company to be known as the two-year-old who throws temper tantrums, stay away from whiny tweets. If it could even partially be read as griping and complaining, don’t tweet it.
6. Shoot back tweets
Thanks to the quick 140-character nature of Twitter, it’s easy to shoot back a tweet slamming a person or entity that wronged you. Don’t do it! Angry tweets will make you look like a jerk.
7. Over exaggerated tweets
Your credentials and your services should speak for themselves. Don’t make outrageous claims about what you’ve done or what you can do. People can always tell when you’re using hyperbole and they will lose trust in your brand.
8. Straight up lies
If you lie, someone will find out. Your lie will then spread all over the Web and damage your image.
9. Your intern’s tweets
Being young doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to properly use Twitter. Reconsider putting that social media savvy intern in charge of your Twitter account. One dumb tweet will put you on damage control for a long time.
10. Happy hour tweets
Even one or two drinks loosen us up to say things we might not normally say. Pair that with your Twitter account and it’s a match made in hell. Count on saying something stupid or at the very least misspelling something and being accused of inebriation.
11. Overly personal tweets
Sure, you want your followers to know the people behind your brand. But how well should they know you? Be careful of the thin line between branding and over exposure.
12. Crappy Twitter-only promotions
Yes, your followers will love freebies and discounts in exchange for following you on Twitter. However, be careful not to offer something that isn’t of use. Doing so will make you seem like you’re just “mailing it in.” Keep those promotions attractive.
Mickie Kennedy is founder of eReleases, where a version of this article originally ran.