5 examples of what ‘not to tweet’

There’s plenty of advice out there on what you should tweet but here are five types of tweets that should be avoided together with examples.

1. You might think it obvious not to swear but it happens. An example is the @ChryslerAutos account that has tweeted, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.”

2. Don’t thank somebody and at the same time tweet or DM promoting your product or service. This gives the impression that you’re not very sincere. Does this sound familiar? “Many thanks for your follow. Buy my great ebook here with 50% off.”

3. Don’t tweet photos that are not ‘on brand’. Images should be in-line with brand values. For example, Nike’s Twitter images are aspirational. Smaller businesses and freelancers should focus on business content and not tweet holiday pics. For an exanple of what ‘not to tweet’, Google “Anthony Weiner” – for text not images!

4. Don’t be inappropriate. Arguably, the most inappropriate tweet ever came from from fashion brand @KennethCole during the Egyptian Revolution. “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is not available online at http://bit.lu/KCairo -KC.”

5. Don’t be guilty of bad timing. Within weeks of industrial action in 2011,  QantasAirways ran a Qantas Luxury competition on Twitter, asking people to describe their dream luxury inflight experience accompanied by the hashtag #qantasluxury. Twitter users took the opportunity to lambast the airline with criticism of its industrial action and poor service.

The last examples illustrates that businesses need to be aware that hashtags can inspire all sorts of responses from Twitter users. Earlier this month in the UK , @Waitrose invited people to complete the sentence, “I shop at Waitrose because….#WaitroseReasons.”

Although very funny, perhaps the following wasn’t quite what Waitrose was expecting:


Opinion is divided on whether the campaign was a PR success of failure but as the majority of the tweets were and continue to be aspirational they re-inforce the Waitrose brand in a positive way.

For information on how I can help you make the most of Twitter and other social networks, please visit my Social Media Training page.

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