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Twitter Marketing 101: What You Should Never, Ever Tweet About

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Okay, so the founders of Twitter-based the company name on "talk rapidly and at length in an idle or trivial way" or the ridiculous chirping between birds, but, if you take that to heart, then you're shooting yourself in your social media foot.

Granted, the name is catchy, but you have to understand that it has less to do with silly conversation than quick, spurts of dialogue. Ignore the triviality and focus on the length of Tweets (140 characters, if you don't already know).

Nowadays, many companies not only have a main Twitter page but also allow their staffers to have a business-oriented account. Business Twitter pages are a great way to connect with colleagues, business associates, and customers, by putting a face to a huge conglomerate. This is a key way to drive trust and relationships going forward. Not sure if a business Twitter account is right for your company?. Well not to worry.

This is where we come in. We are dedicating this post to those of you have the joy and privilege of having a business Twitter account. However, these tips apply universally to anyone with a Twitter page, albeit personal or professional.

1. If you can't say it to your mother, grandmother or spiritual advisor with a straight face, then never, ever Tweet it.

2. Don't Tweet under stress. You're prone to lashing out and posting something that you're going to regret, regardless whether it's complaining about a project or supervisor. Don't. Just don't.

3. Never Tweet if a phone call or a face-to-face meeting is better or more productive. It's unprofessional and, quite frankly, lazy.

4. If you're going on vacation, taking a personal day or out sick with the flu, don't Tweet about it. It's unnecessary and TMI (too much information).

5. Don't Tweet about your raise or bonus. That's just showing off.

6. Post anything about your personal life.

7. Don't gossip about internal politics. No one cares whether your cube-mate steals from the communal fridge.

8. Don't complain about a lost bid.

9. Never, ever blow off steam with your personal thoughts on your customers. If your customers are frustrating you, not your ideal market or not spending as they should, keep it to yourself.

10. Even if it is a company sanctioned happy hour or holiday party, don't Tweet or post pictures of your CEO doing Jell-O shots in a dive bar.

11. Don't $%#@ where you eat. Don't Tweet the link to your personal Twitter account, Flickr or Facebook page. Keep business and pleasure separate. These things will haunt you.

If you're about to Tweet, take a minute and ponder the potential consequences. Will you be sacked? Will you cause unnecessary embarrassment? Will you jeopardize a future career?

Think as if you're in a jury: if there's reasonable doubt, even a flicker, don't hit "Enter."

Because, above all, your business account is all about promoting your company, projects, and promotions. That doesn't mean you need to be robotic in your Tweets, but mindful.

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