Donald Trump may be one of the world’s most successful investors but Monday saw the outspoken business magnate mocked for an unsavoury slip up on Twitter. It’ll take more than a comedian’s controversial joke to dent Trump’s reputation but social media experts warn one too many wrong moves could spell disaster for smaller businesses.
Twitter is not your soapbox, so step down. “Social media isn’t a bullhorn and shouting messages about doing business with you will only deter future business,” says media relations manager Stacey Miller.
Marketing expert Matthew Konstanecki agrees: “Pretend you’re entering a reception with a room full of strangers. How would you act then? Would you start blatantly yelling ‘BUY MY SERVICE!’?” Probably not, but according to Konstanecki, this is how small businesses often use social media.
“Instead, use Twitter to share, listen and give. While listening, if the opportunity arises and if appropriate, mention the product or service you offer,” advises Konstanecki.
Having long spells of inactivity can make your firm look dormant and outdated, like you tried Twitter but couldn’t quite figure it out. Try to post at least once a day, keep the tone of your tweets the same and regularly engage with your followers.
However, remember to keep your tweets, retweets and comments as industry specific as possible, says public relations director Ella Prutting, especially in the financial services field. Spamming your followers with irrelevant information or too much information will detract from anything interesting you might post.
Keep your cool
Twitter trolls are an inconvenient yet utterly unavoidable aspect of social media. While financial advisory firms are likely to be low on the list of targets, you could still encounter insulting and inappropriate comments.
Remember, it’s completely acceptable to delete hostile content or block offending users but if you do want to respond try not to be drawn into a lengthy exchange and make sure you remain composed. Never tweet while you’re tired, emotional or under the influence – it’s a recipe for disaster.
On the other hand, if a user disagrees with something you’ve posted and expresses their point in a constructive manner, it’s a good idea to engage with them. Acknowledge their criticism, thank them for their input and request a time to discuss the issue offline.