tweet fail

Social media may be new, but the pros learn fast – especially when they learn from mistakes.

New social media networks, tools and strategies develop at breakneck speed in a seemingly endless stream of technology, interaction and innovation. It’s a lot to keep up with and even more to completely master. Along the way, mistakes have and will continue to happen. However, if you do things right and plan ahead for the worst, you may avoid some the most common and devastating “twit slips.” Read on, and learn how you can help save your business from these 7 big twitter fails.

how to avoid 7 deadly twitter sins

1. Too much of a good thing ultimately equates to nothing. Why is your birthday so much cooler than almost any other day? Well…it’s different. It comes only once a year, it means something when it does AND it’s just for you, not your family, friends or the world at large. Social media contests and giveaways work the same way. We’re not saying only run one tangible promotion a year, but conservatively analyze when and how often you run social media promotional contests. Offer a promotional contest every day, of every year, on your every social network and you run the risk of cheapening your brand and what it brings to the table.

2. Don’t forget Plan B. Campaigns don’t always go as planned. No matter how “brilliant” your idea, you must always have a protocol in place for and be ready to respond to the worst. Take note of this major fast food giant’s recent Twitter fail. The restaurant chain asked customers to share their franchise experiences using a specific hashtag and did not get the response they hoped for or anticipated. They quickly removed the hashtag push and instead focused upon a concurrent hashtag campaign to divert attention away from the negative comments as quickly and efficiently as possible.

3. Keep private information, un-posted information. 99% of the time, communicating about personal or sensitive matters should occur in person, over the phone or via a self-destructing voice-recording device. Whether you’re an expert secret service officer or a top social media guru, advise your charges against creating electronic records of potentially damaging information. For a great example of TMI gone totally viral, see one powerful politician’s major over-share in one of the biggest social media slip-ups of 2011.

4. It’s not all about you. Don’t get us wrong; your Twitter page IS about you and your business. But even more than that, it’s about your network and your impact upon them. Be active, follow people and @ mention others. These are great ways to get them to repay you in the same regard and continue building the klout of your social media presence.

5. Spam is gross. No one likes those random tweets like “Big Vegas gaming opportunities! Get started now,” or “Looking for a fun time? This girl is.” Whether or not you’re in either of these businesses, make spamming a cardinal sin in your social media policy. People go on Twitter to engage, learn and share, not receive unsolicited or irrelevant sales messages.

6. Be careful with third party post engines. Since social media’s explosion, third party post engines have debuted and then dominated the social media tool market. A host of multitasking, dashboard-creation tools have developed that allow users to quickly and easily post to multiple identities or networks all at once. However, take care, every product has its benefits and its downfalls. Last year, one big time automobile company learned the hard way about these products’ downfalls. One of their social media team employees mistakenly posted the f-bomb through the company’s feed rather than through the intended a personal one. These mistakes don’t go unnoticed and should not be taken lightly. However, with proper account maintenance, well-strategized post-loads and timely PR response strategies, dire consequences can be avoided.

7. You can’t say it, so spell it out – RIGHT. This may be something that seems pretty common sense, but always make sure to check your tweets for spelling errors prior to posting publicly. We all know there’s certain standby abbreviations and acronyms, but even with these, make sure you’re not typing “LO;” or you risk confusing your followers. Along the same token, pay close attention to following Twitter protocol when it comes to RTs, @ mentions and other key Twitter lingo.

prep your posse

Following these tips will help you avoid any major Twitter catastrophes, but for true social media success there’s no substitute for constant vigilance and fresh creative strategy. Don’t leave the health of your online brand to amateurs. To correctly maximize your presence online, partner with a forward thinking social media organization with the man power, connections, prowess and experience to take your business to the next level.

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