How to Kill Your Brand 140 Characters at a Time

The Twitters is Rad

Twitter, we all love Twitter in the IT world. Well most of us do I believe. It’s that great place to find information quickly or communicate with colleagues, vendors, partners, and friends all within 140 characters. Just because we love it doesn’t mean that all of us know how to use it.

I’m definitely not the first person to talk about this subject and I probably will not be the last. I am also not some Twitter Certified Professional (as if that is an actual thing). I’m an IT professional that uses the service as my main social media platform every day and every night. So I think I can speak on this to some degree.

Have a look at this excellent blog post by a good friend for an example.


Individuals with Twitter accounts do stupid things all day long just like any other social network. The difference comes into play when you are a person , or a group of people, that is managing your company’s social media presence via Twitter. Your company expects you to uphold their brand and not say the wrong things or inject yourself in the wrong conversations. Most companies also expect that if you are representing your firm with your personal Twitter account or an account that has been made for you that references your firm’s name, that you also uphold the morals and ethics of said company. At least this is how I see most companies and or employees speak and act on Twitter. But for some this simple process is very very difficult to understand and adopt.

out-of-control kids

You Had One Job

Back in September during VMworld San Francisco, I started to see a tech company emerge from Twitter like an out-of-control 5 year old child at the supermarket. Injecting their self into adult conversations, retweeting and favoriting conversations that had nothing to do with technology at all or there brand. I quickly found out that I was not alone with my feelings towards said company & their lack of “control” when in the Twitter-sphere.

I met up with the Tech Evangelist of this company along with a friend of mine who was also directly affected by this nonsense even though he loved the product this firm offered, we both had to vent. On my way to this meeting, this same 5 year old kid of a firm injected themselves into yet another Tweet! Really? Did that just happen? The Evangelist heard our stories and understood our valid request to have these individuals retrained in how to contact IT Pros in a more professional manner. I am confident those involved couldn’t give a crap and would rather think of this as a “Spray & Pray” tactic hoping for someone to answer them.

So What, You Say

I get it, it’s only Twitter and yes I can Mute or Block these fools (And mind you I have). But that is the exact point I am trying to make. This misuse of a social platform was enough to drive away a potential customer, me. Being an IT Pro nowadays also means that a good majority of us are also using these social platforms to communicate with other IT Pros and share great things in tech that we love or think are worth the investment. We are also sharing our bad experiences. Warning other IT Pros to stay clear of vendors that can’t control their sales staff sending emails or tweets 9 times in 4 days to see if I have time to talk is one of my favorite pastimes.

Word of mouth is back and it’s not going anywhere. Because we live in this fully connected social media energized planet it is so easy to make or break anything via our social voices. A word to the wise, control the kids before the folks you hope to sell to help redirect your potential sales elsewhere. #RantOver


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