We’ve discussed Twitter’s use on this blog before, how it can prove to be an extremely useful tool for social media marketing (see here for our tips on Pinned Tweets and getting more Retweets).

Since social media’s inception, gaffes have been common. From Ed Balls tweeting his own name, to the hashtag hijacking of 2014’s #myNYPD, mistakes, stupidity and [errors of judgement] spread like wildfire. Even if you delete the tweet, someone has likely taken a screenshot of it – there’s really no escape.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few hints on things to avoid Tweeting:

Consider Hashtags

Sounds simple, but the fact of the matter is, more gaffes are made on twitter by not reading hashtags or jumping on a trend without knowing its background. Consider Susan Boyle’s infamous “albumparty” hashtag, or when an American Pizza chain jumped on to a domestic violence campaign’s hashtag without realising what it was about.

Assume your employers can see your Twitter activity

Twitter is famously a melting pot for thought-provoking messages, and hate-filled trolling. Before you decide to tweet something potentially controversial (see below), think about reactions from your boss or manager, or even coworkers. If you wouldn’t bring it up at the office, or even at a work event, don’t bring it up on Twitter.

Your clients CAN see your Twitter activity

Don’t speak ill of your clients online, anywhere. It can, and will, come back to haunt you and damage your reputation and image, as well as severing ties with other clients. Clients want to see your tweets and feel that you’ve got something exciting and worthwhile to say – there is an implicit trust that you’ll live up to this…and isn’t it better to prove people right? Social media doesn’t always have to be full of provocative views and attitudes. It can be a place to positively engage with others – use it as such.

Think before you Tweet

Finally, the most important and simple rule of them all. Consider what you’re about to put out into the world. The greatest mistakes are made by those who simply don’t think about what they write. Some believe there’s a race for content on social media – that posts must be made as often as possible, and adopting this method certainly ups the probability of upsetting someone and alienating yourself from clients and followers. Let’s face it, you can’t be wrung out by followers if your controversial tweet doesn’t exist.

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