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Use caution before committing to Twitter

01 Jun, 2020 Social media

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.

Acerbic New York blogger BL Ochman has compiled a list of reasons why organizations should think carefully before plunging into the use of Twitter for marketing and communication activities. No doubt Ochman has seen what Donald Trump has done with Twitter, and she suggests being careful about using it as a corporate communication tool.

Image: Twitter logo.

“Should your company be on Twitter? Not necessarily. Top 10 reasons not to join Twitter:

  1. Every Tweet has to be approved by the legal department. Twitter is a social network where conversation is fast and interconnected. If you have to wait a day, or even a few hours for your 140-character Tweet to gain legal approval, Twitter will be the wrong platform for you.
  2. You plan to use Twitter like a giant RSS feed, broadcasting nothing but headlines and deals. People follow people they find interesting. If all your Tweets are a one-way street: Block!
  3. You think using Twitter is a social media strategy. It’s a tactic, a tool, not a strategy. It works if you already have an online following who’ll view your Tweets as a way to interact with your company on a human level
  4. You think it’s a good idea to have someone tweet as if they are the president of the company. Authentic and transparent are the keys. It’s fine if someone besides the CEO tweets for your company, as long as they say that’s what they’re doing
  5. You are not going to respond when people direct tweets at you. Twitter is like the new water cooler. If you walked out to the water cooler and talked non-stop to people gathered there, they’d certainly be happy when you left. Ditto for Twitter.
  6. You think paying for followers might be a good idea. Followers are earned on Twitter. Be interesting, make only every 10th Tweet about you and you’ll gain and keep a following.
  7. You think all that matters on Twitter is getting a lot of people to follow you. Quality trumps quantity.
  8. You want to protect your updates. If people have to ask permission to see what you’re posting on Twitter, you’re defeating the purpose – which is conversation.
  9. You plan to track Twitter with Google Analytics. Google Analytics won’t give you true tracking. You need to track the URLs you post with a service like budurl or and use one or more social media tracking tools so you can get real-time stats on Twitter
  10. You think you can market to people with whom you have no relationship. Listen first. Monitor what’s being said about your brand, your organization and your products. Then join the conversation and become part of the community. Then your occasional marketing messages will be accepted, or at least tolerated, because you also add value to the community.”


About the author Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in the eBooks available from

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