how to use twitter for business

WTF? Friday: Seriously Screwing up on Twitter

By Uncategorized

WTF FridayThere probably isn’t anyone alive who hasn’t heard about Anthony Weiner’s stupid Twitter move.  I won’t rehash that here, but I will tell you that this isn’t, by any stretch, the last time someone is going to do something dumb using a social platform.

This week, bakery giant Entenmann’s f’ed up on Twitter by tweeting a hashtag they didn’t thoroughly research.

The hashtag, #notguilty was trending because of the Casey Anthony verdict.

Not-so-savvy Entenmann’s thought they’d take advantage of the trend, jump on the bandwagon and add #notguilty to a tweet about tasty treats.

Uh, no.

TechCrunch said this:

Depending on what you believe, the voice of @Entenmann’s either decided it would be funny to hashtag surf on the trending #notguilty hashtag or sincerely didn’t look and just stuck a random #notguilty in a tweet about eating tasty tweets, presumably to get pickup.

In any case, misuse of a hashtag by a business or a brand is a serious mistake, whether intentional or merely misguided. Understanding hashtags, what they mean, why the trend, when to use them, is imp0rtant if you’re using Twitter for business.

Don’t be a Weiner or an Entenmann’s, in this case.

Sign up for the Don’t Be a Weiner Workshop: Learn How to Use Twitter Like a Professional.

Five Lessons on How Not to Use Twitter

Five Lessons on How Not to Use Twitter

By Communications

I was absolutely stunned when, during a workshop I was teaching, I learned that a business owner had instructed staff managing the company’s Twitter account, to block anyone who wanted to follow the business on Twitter if they seemed irrelevant.


I know that the business community is still trying to wrap its mind around Twitter and how it can be used in a business context. Above all, what I want to share is this: Twitter is a microblog — updates are like tiny blog posts of 140 characters or less. If that helps make sense of Twitter to your and your business then good; you understand that a blog is published for anyone to see and find via search engines and the idea of publishing in this way (0r on any social network) is to attract people who find you and your content of value.

As a short and sweet guide to what NOT to do on Twitter, I offer you the following five thoughts:

  1. Don’t block people following you unless they are obnoxious spammers (in which case, block away)
  2. Don’t sell, sell, sell, instead, take the time to engage in conversation with those who follow you and those you follow
  3. Don’t regurgitate endlessly; there’s a trend among some Twitter users to tweet quotes from others — ad nauseum! I don’t care if Oprah, the Dalai Lama or Jesus said it; I don’t want to read a stream of tweets that’s mostly “quotables.” That’s just boring.
  4. Don’t — for the love of all that is good and holy — use AutoDM’s, as my aunt would say, like they’re going out of style. There’s a time and place for auto response and this isn’t it.
  5. While it’s important to stay on message — and I fully support that if you’re tweeting on behalf of a business you need to make sure what you are publishing there is relevant — but for goodness’ sakes, pay attention to what’s being said in the stream of those you’re following and join the conversation. Don’t just push out your content — engage.

In case all of this still leaves you scratching your head in wonder, one last reminder: you’re there to discover and build relationships, not merely crank out content. Honor that.