Twitterquette Refresher for Chaotic Times

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Twitter marketing specialists witness the power of the platform on a daily basis. With a few well-chosen words, a marketer can tweet messages to followers that carry more weight or power than many traditional advertising campaigns. Yet this double-edged sword can slice a marketer in half if the wrong words or sentiments are chosen. The horrific events that happened early Friday morning in Aurora, Colo., brought out the best and worst in social media. In light of these events, we here at Brandsplat thought it might be time for a quick list of Twitter dos and don’ts for marketers during times of tragedy.

Don’t preach or judge: If you use Twitter in a professional capacity at all whatsoever, the rule of thumb is to keep your opinions about highly-charged news stories to yourself. You don’t want to apologize to clients later or have to retract a tweet, so just zip it. Send texts to your best friend instead of venting online. Your career will thank you for it.

Do use Twitter to spread positivity: Is your business doing something to help the victims? Are you involved in a great community project? Do you have fun photos of you and your co-workers at a fundraiser? By all means, tweet those darn things. Twitter can get clogged with ranting messages from CrazyTown, so messages of happiness and hope stand out and get great retweets, too.

Don’t make jokes: Playboy model and insensitive jerkface Tricia Evans got taken to the rack on Monday for making a tasteless joke about the tragedy. And justifiably so. If you have to ask if it’s too soon or in poor taste, trust us — it is. Leave the subversive yet smart joke telling to the pros.

Do more research: Part of any great Twitter-for-business strategy is wisely and repetitively using hashtags. But a hashtag can backfire if you don’t know why it’s trending. UK-based Celeb Boutique hopped on the hashtag #Aurora on Friday but used it to promote the company’s dress, also named Aurora. Naturally, Twitter users roasted the company, which then had to apologize. We say avoid the whole mess and just do five minutes of research before you have to unstick your foot from your mouth.

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