Whenever we talk about using Twitter to grow your business, one of the first things we say is that you have to be authentic. And it’s true. Social media is all about building personal connections, and you can’t do that if you’re a soulless, emotionless corporation Tweeting out uninspiring nonsense. Simply put, being an influential Twitter user requires showcasing your personality and letting people get to know you better.
Of course, there are dangers with this. Big ones. As soon as you pull the guard down on your company and start “getting real”, you run the risk of slipping up or saying something controversial that alienates your customers.
Here are 7 ways that keeping it real can go wrong on Twitter.
1. Sharing your political views—Business and politics are rarely a good mix. As soon a company starts running its mouth about politics, they start alienating customers. Like it or not, this is a very divided country, so no matter what issue you speak out on, you’re probably going to make 50% of your customers mad. Will you make them mad enough to stop doing business with you? Who knows. But do you really want to take that chance?
2. Being all-around offensive—Never forget, you are representing your brand with every Tweet you send out. And while you want to highlight your personality and be real, dropping F-bombs or making inappropriate comments probably isn’t the smartest way to present your brand in the social media space.
3. Getting into arguments with your followers—One of the great things about social media is that everyone has a voice. When you enter this territory, you’re on level ground with your customers, and they can say whatever they want to you. And many will. You have to be careful that you don’t take the bait and fight back, because you’ll end up looking petty and unprofessional. My advice—Grow some thick skin.
4. Complaining about certain customers or partners—Twitter isn’t the place to air your dirty laundry. If you just dealt with the customer from hell, keep it to yourself. No one wants to do business with a company that talks bad about its customers or partners.
5. Watering down the brand with boring personal updates—Personally, I create separate accounts for my business and personal social media use. I don’t want to inundate my real-life friends with my business junk, nor do I want to bore my business audience with silly personal updates about my life.
6. Drinking and Tweeting—Drunk Tweeting is never a good idea for businesses. NEVER. What’s the best that could happen? You say something ridiculous and get a few laughs from your followers, but in the back of their minds, they’ll be thinking about how unprofessional you are.
7. Being an unlikeable person—Some people are just downright unlikeable. Maybe they’re arrogant, or maybe they’re annoying. Whatever the case, if you’re unlikeable and your representing your business, your business may become unlikeable too.
What are some other dangers businesses need to watch out for when Tweeting and getting social?