The Biggest Mistakes that Businesses Make on Twitter

Twitter has become one of the most useful tools for businesses that want to interact with their clients and other companies. Using Twitter improperly, though, can give your business a bad name. Just look at these 4 biggest mistakes that businesses make on Twitter.

Mistake #1: Everything is About You… All the Time

Companies that consistently tweet information about their products and sales do little more than annoy their followers.

Twitter is meant to act as a community where people and organizations can share information with each other. If you look selfish, then no one will want to follow you.

You can solve this problem by re-posting tweets from other people in your industry. It also doesn’t hurt to celebrate the successes of other companies in your industry. Doing so doesn’t hurt you. It makes you more popular.

Mistake #2: You Don’t Realize That Real Events Happen in the Real World

The Biggest Mistakes that Businesses Make on Twitter

Image via Flickr by FuFuWolf

As Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, Gap, the clothing store that falls somewhere between Old Navy and Banana Republic, had the gall to tweet an insensitive statement that completely failed to recognize that real events happen in the real world.

The tweet started off fine by saying, “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe!” Then it immediately took a dive into PR hell by stating, “We’ll be doing lots of shopping today. How about you?”

No. No, they won’t be shopping at gap… because they’re busy trying to keep their lives together instead of worrying about a store that sells last year’s fashions. Who knew that the stores name referred to a gap in decency and common sense?

Sorry for the vitriol. But Gap deserves it for that one!

Mistake #3: You Gave a Moron Access to Your Corporate Twitter Account

Imagine this scenario: you’ve just finished fighting for the best job promotion that you will ever have, and then someone makes fun of you and your dead grandmother.

That’s pretty much what happened when an employee at KitchenAid accidentally posted a tweet to the corporate account instead of his personal account. The tweet read, “Obama gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’.”

This is more than bad PR. This is the kind of statement that should make companies run out and buy business insurance online before they get sued for letting some idiot post insensitive statements to the whole world.

Mistake #4: You Don’t Read the News Before Tweeting

Depending on your political position, the NRA can seem pretty out there at times. But the organization usually knows better than to say something that’s so outright offensive that even people stocking canned meats in their bunkers feel shocked.

But then comes a deadly shooting at a movie theater in Colorado. The NRA should have been on its best behavior that day, yet somehow its official magazine managed to tweet, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”

The organization claims that the tweeter was unaware of the news. That’s pretty hard to imagine, but let’s take them at their word: somehow America’s biggest pro-gun organization uses Twitter, yet didn’t hear the biggest gun news of the day. It makes you cringe for the future.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that you’ve seen businesses make on Twitter? Did you laugh or feel offended?


  1. That’s one of the things that drives me nuts about businesses…. and I had a LONG chat with a major communications vendor here in the US this week. (ok. it’s been going on for 2 months) about how they treat their customers in the stores vs how they say they treat their customers on the phone (better) and then what they do online — say FB or twitter – when a good chunk of the company isn’t checking to see what’s cooking on their twitter or FB or any other place. They use it to SELL.. they do not use it to engage.
    Last Sat I had that same communications co contact me– via a district mgr who told me that they never ever used Facebook or twitter.. which is just plain dumb if you are working for a wireless division of communications–
    if you can troubleshoot and find out about things faster or problems in an area due to weather and alert local stores that you are responsible for– why wouldn’t you do that?


  1. […] The Biggest Mistakes that Businesses Make on Twitter […]

Speak Your Mind