Tag Archives: business tweets


Apr 13, 2010

The 10 Tweets That I Leave On The Cutting Room Floor

My recent blog post on The Top 50 Tweets that Businesses Should Be Doing was quite the hit. Let’s go the other direction – what 10 tweets should businesses avoid making?

1.) Famous quotes – I say forget these – I don’t care what Frederick Douglas said. Just my personal opinion here. When I see someone’s Twitter page and it’s ten quotes in a row from Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins and yadda yadda, I throw up on myself.  If all you have to say is what other people once said…… I know tweeting famous or inspiring quotes can generate lots of retweets, and that’s a good thing – I just can’t seem to care. There are so many other ways to generate retweets that actually mean something. I still love you more than bacon if you’re a quote tweeter. OK, rant over! I expect some blowback on this, but as Humphrey Bogart once said, “Frankly my dear…..”

2.) Politics – let people get to know you, but not that much. Politics are just too divisive – you may be the nicest person in the world, but people have a hard time getting past political affiliations (if they don’t like your choice). I don’t know why it has to get so ugly, but it does. The only time it’s OK as a business to tweet politics is if it’s your job to piss off liberals or conservatives.

3.) As I mention here, you probably shouldn’t curse too much, call people names, engage in even light racism, solicit sexual partners, fence stolen goods, or talk about how your farts smell.

4.) Pictures of your kids – go any way you want on this – I generally avoid it. And not because I’m paranoid….. I just don’t do it.  My tummy just tells me it’s not right for me. Yes, I have pics of my kids on my Facebook page, but I don’t tweet them.

5.) Anything about not paying for whiter teeth. Seriously.  As Chris Brogan would say, “Don’t be that guy!

6.) Showing disrespect and contempt for a competitor – why bother?  Just kick their ass at business and be done with them.

7.) No settling scores on Twitter. I had a t-shirt model that stiffed me for three tees. I never called her out in public. I wanted to, but didn’t. Man, I was dying to sick the crüe on her (that being my Twitter following).  It’s three tees – I just let it go.

8.) The browbeating “why did you unfollow me” Tweet. “Hey you unfollowed me, WTF?” It’s a free country, they can unfollow you if they want. I’ve had people accidentally unfollow me. I’ve had people accidentally block me. I’ve had people purposely block me.  It happens.  Twitter is HUGE – there are millions of other people waiting to connect with you. Just move on.  (Full disclosure of hypocrisy: I experiment in this area. If it’s someone that looks nice, or someone that I would not have expected to unfollow me, I will sometimes find a tweet of theirs and respond, “Oh man, I got kicked to the curb. LOL.” It turns out that sometimes people accidentally unfollow others.)

9.) Hey @so-and-so, I unfollowed you because….. There is no need for this. If you absolutely have to express yourself to the person you unfollowed, send them a direct message.  It will be hilarious, because they won’t be able to DM you back! (you cannot DM those that aren’t following you).

10.) The response tweet that expresses confusion at a tweet of yours, like “who are you and what are you responding to?” This happens to me all the time, it drives me a little nuts, and it’s happening for two reasons, I think – let me explain with pictures.

A guy asks for assistance:

A few hours later, I provide the assistance he requested, and I let him know via this tweet:

He is confused as to what my “done!” tweet means:

Expressing such confusion is avoidable. All you have to do is drill backwards from my tweet to see what it was I was responding to.  See below:

When @yogy05 goes to look at his “@” replies, he will see the tweet you see above. All he has to do is click on “in reply to yogy05″ to go back to his original tweet – the one I was responding to. This will tell him what was “done.”  I think some people don’t realize that you can do this, or is it possible that one doesn’t have the ability to drill backwards when using certain smartphone Twitter clients?  Not sure, but it sometimes makes for disjointed and awkward conversations.





Apr 8, 2010

The Top 50 Tweets That Businesses Should Be Doing

As a business on Twitter, I’ve grown adept at using a good mixture of tweets in order to:

1. Create a large, useful, and fun community of fans
2. Sell some t-shirts – Twitter is my #1 sales channel
3. Become a thought leader in the area of social media usage for small business

However, I may be more the exception than the rule. I am still seeing so many businesses that have no idea what they’re doing on Twitter, and even more businesses that don’t even seem to be on Twitter.  The businesses using it think they can broadcast from their bullhorn to yell about their products.  The businesses eschewing Twitter think it’s “not for them” or “pointless.” “Why would I want to know what someone is having for lunch,” right? We’re not going to be that naive about this!

Below I have compiled a list of the top 50 tweets that businesses could or should be doing on Twitter.  The list should be comprehensive enough that a business with the worst writer’s block should be able to generate a useful, interesting stream of tweets.  Not every tweet will be appropriate for every business. Be yourself on Twitter (and everywhere!).  If some of these tweets aren’t you, don’t make them.  However, understand this: having a nice, well-rounded stream of tweets will do more for you than you think.

Overall, my goal is to show businesses that you shouldn’t just tweet about your products, and concurrently, you shouldn’t be afraid to tweet about things that have nothing to do with your products.  As long as the tweets are coming from you, they should allow people to get to know you, and that’s exactly what you should want to happen.

I encourage you to comment below if you feel I’ve missed anything, or if I’ve included a tweet that you think is just completely inappropriate.  Speaking of that, I will have a followup post containing a list of “cutting room floor” tweets that I feel are silly or not appropriate.  Some will disagree with me on those, and I want to hear from you!

These are in no particular order, and I don’t intend for you to use the list to make one of each tweet and then start over – you must be the judge as to the proper mix of tweets for your business. I try to follow the 80/20 rule (tweet 80% about others, only 20% about yourself), and I probably turn this more into the 90/10 rule when I tweet.  I encourage you to keep this ratio in mind as you go about your tweeting.

1.  Seriously, tweet what you’re eating. Tweet it. This is the most inane reason people give for not being on Twitter. “I don’t want to know what you’re eating for lunch.”  Yes you do.  Think about a live conversation between you and another human being – you’re standing together at a cocktail party, at the library, at work. “What’d you do this weekend?” “Oh we went to this great restaurant So-and-So Sushi, OMG it was awesome.”  Is this not a conversation that is had constantly between people that know each other? Well, on Twitter, you’re doing the same thing.  The only differences are you’re not standing in front of the person you’re talking to, you might not know the people reading your tweet, many others will get to hear (see) your conversation, and you’re limited to 140 characters. If I’m eating a steak with a cognac peppercorn reduction sauce, you’re going to know about it.  It’s who I am, and I want you to have a chance to get to know me.

2.  The response to a need – using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, monitor key words in your business niche, and respond to questions with helpful information.  Or, respond to any tweet that you think you can be helpful on – it does not have to be limited to your business or area of expertise.

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