We’ve all seen them, and you may have even sent some. Trouble inducing tweets have been the undoing of several high-profile people and others you’ll never meet. The media is full of cautionary tales about lost jobs, dashed ambitions and worse, yet somehow these Tweets keep coming.
Just in case you need a refresher, here is my list of the top five terrible tweets everyone should avoid.
Feeling a little hot under the collar? Take a chill pill before you reach for your phone. Firing off a tweet in anger is a mistake, especially if you call out the person who peeved you in the very public Twittersphere.
It’s one thing to Tweet a company about a major #fail in the hopes of getting results, but making things personal really isn’t necessary. Losing your cool or being vindictive only makes you look bad, and when it comes back to bite you in the behind, you’ll be angry all over again.
Drunk and Disorderly
Had one (or a few) too many? It may be too late to stop the Twitter train when you’re in full party mode, so if you’re prone to sharing a little too much when you’ve been drinking, find a friend to hold your phone. (A real friend, not one who will change your password or Tweet inappropriately on your behalf.)
For business professionals, this applies when you’re at company events, dining out with clients or hanging out with co-workers after work. Of course, drinking too much at anything work related is a bad idea, so set a limit and stick to it.
Oh, So Desperate
From painful Tweets about an ex who just dumped you to job search tweets, “Someone hire me, please!” begging doesn’t play well on Twitter. This applies to endless sales pitches, shameless and incessant self-promotion and constant appeals for donations, votes or retweets.
Dial it back a notch and you’ll be much more likable.
You’re Too Sexy
Unless you’re a Kardashian or are soliciting illegal activity, your sexy Tweets should be kept under wraps. Just ask former-Congressman Anthony Weiner who stepped down last year following an infamous photo tweet. In the heat of the moment it may feel right, but hindsight will certainly show otherwise.
(While I’m on the subject, those sexy new followers really aren’t who you think, so don’t bother following back. Sorry.)
Just Bad Judgment
And the Olympic gold for suspension of rational thought goes to…Michel Morganella, a Swiss soccer player sent packing after a racist Tweet about South Koreans. A close second to Michal’s feat came from Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou, who was kicked off her country’s Olympic team for mocking African immigrants.
Anything off-color, offensive or threatening doesn’t belong on your feed. If you’re not sure why all this matters, keep in mind you don’t want to run afoul of the law. Terroristic threats can that lead to prison in the U.S., and in Britain, “tweeting messages considered menacing, offensive or indecent can lead to prosecution,” reports the Associated Press.
What have I missed? If you’ve got some to add to this list, feel free to share in the comments.
About Joey Sargent
Joellyn “Joey” Sargent is principal of BrandSprout Advisors, an Atlanta-based consulting firm that accelerates business growth. Joey’s fresh perspectives on business challenges help her clients build brand awareness, engage customers and increase market share.
Drawing on global leadership experience in branding, strategy and communications, Joey merges traditional marketing with social media and digital strategies for maximum impact. She has worked with companies ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500 and holds an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Feel free to follow her on Twitter at @brandsprout , check out Joey’s blog , or visit her website.