Are Your Tweets Bad For Business?

Sometimes you’re better off keeping your opinions to yourself.

A quick preface: Many tweets on Twitter are primarily used to draw attention and generate activity, by simply keeping followers updated on recent or upcoming events, business activities, and news alerts. Some tweets are “click baiting” or exploitative, and provide very little value to the Twitter community. Likewise, the same can be said for quoted retweets and replies.

In a knee-jerk reaction I will find myself typing out a reply to some tweet I don’t agree with. I then hit delete prior to tweeting it. Why? After realizing that it wasn’t so much a matter of disagreeing as much as that, I really didn’t like what the person tweeted.

There is a very important difference between disagreeing with and not liking something so much that you can’t be convinced otherwise. When you disagree, you still leave the door open to healthy debate or conversation. I do not agree with some political statements made about the candidates, but I am open to debate or casual conversation on the topic. However, if I do not like something, then it is not open for debate. I do not like parking meters; more specifically parking fines. In the past, I had an open mind about parking fine revenues potentially being used for good reasons. However, I came to the conclusion that they do more harm than good. So, as far as I’m concerned, it is no longer up for debate. All that can come out of me now is vitriol, which wouldn’t help in convincing anyone else on Twitter.

How can your quoted retweets and replies be bad for business? Because, only your customers’ or potential customers’ opinions matter. When you reply you are: relaying, updating, supporting, or disputing a fact, or giving your opinion to what the Twitter member was tweeting about. Potentially, many Twitter users will see your comment and base their opinion of you, and your business, on what you tweet. Some of these users might be current customers, potential customers, employees or business associates. If you’re not open to a healthy, non-confrontational debate on your tweet, then you could lose business and hinder B2B relationships. Some innocuous replies are less likely to have any negative repercussions.

If you don’t like Donald Trump, and you think he is the devil, then it might be better not to reply to a tweet about Trump’s campaign being like a satanic ritual. Some users might peg you as a simple-minded religious zealot.
There is the possibility that you want to make it clear to the Twitter community, as often as possible, about who you are and what ideals you stand for. This is fine if you only want to do business with those that share the same ideals. You can tailor your tweets to be selective and only appeal to those users who agree with you. If you happen to be anti-marijuana, and only want to do business with those who don’t smoke, then keep tweeting “drugs are bad”.

Alternatively, if you’re open to doing business with recreational pot smokers, then you might want to reconsider your comments. A potential client and casual smoker might be interested in your services. However, if they see your tweet “marijuana makes you lazy”, they might decide not to do business with you.

Another thing to keep in mind are knee-jerk replies to those ridiculous, ignorant, and sometimes infuriating comments. They can easily paint an unsavory picture of you to the rest of your followers. If your reply is confrontational, or taken in the wrong context, then you could be labeled as someone you’re really not.

Final thought: Your activity on Twitter should be aligned with your overall business strategy, whether an owner or an employee. Any knee-jerk reactions should be vetted by strategic reasoning. With this approach you can ensure your current customers don’t leave. And, you can potentially create new business through positive engagement. You are what you tweet.