Have you ever stopped to think that what you tweet is a reflection of you? It seems like an obvious concept but the ideas that you put online are generally things that you have thought about or just popped into your head.
One aspect that draws people to social media is anonymity. It allows them to create aliases and post ideas from an anonymous account that may not necessarily represent their own thoughts. This way, you are able to take on people that you would otherwise not have the courage to or verbalise ideas that would seem too edgy for your personal account. You, therefore, do not receive the backlash on a personal level and attacks are limited to your alias. The problem with this, however, is that more people are wary of these types of profiles and dodge them accordingly. These days, more people are posting their thoughts from their personal profiles and sparking debate with other real accounts. They are more aware of the “trolls” and tend to avoid them more.
One of the main issues with social media, especially Twitter, is that any idea you may have is immediately available to millions of people and once it is out there the chances of retraction is extremely low, especially if it is a controversial tweet. Once that idea goes viral, the context in which you posted it is far removed from what the public make of it. Very often your tweet will be shared so far and wide that it is impossible for you to provide context. Whether or not the post was meant to offend, it very often does. For example, if I was to tweet “I absolutely hate the black ones” and I am in a position of relative power, that tweet can go very far very quickly without anybody knowing that I was, in fact, referring to wine gums. There are a lot of racist people out there that send these types of tweets, actually referring to people, all the time which is why I should have the presence of mind to tweet “I absolutely hate the black wine gums”.
Here’s a list of 10 ways to avoid your business being hated, ignored or on the next episode of Carte Blanche:
- Re-read your tweets and provide brief context if the idea in isolation will make people angry.
- Strike a balance with your tone – don’t be too negative, too positive, too serious or too funny.
- Try to avoid unnecessary miss-spelling or shortening of words where possible. Ths is anoyng 2 rd.
- Try to tweet with a specific purpose – retweeting everything you come across doesn’t make for good reading.
- Take note of the word “social” in social media. Try to engage with your audience more and not just post content that could bore the reader.
- If you are posting something based on fact, back it up with evidence.
- If you make a mistake that may offend, act quickly to amend it by apologising immediately and not just simply deleting the post. Do not do it again – people don’t forget very quickly.
- Try to be moderate in your self-promotion. The best promotion is from other people anyway.
- Do not retweet your own tweets. While it is understandable that Twitter moves quickly, retweeting your own tweet is like giving yourself a high-5. Let someone else do that.
- Be consistent with your tweeting. People are easily turned off if you only tweet when you have something to sell.