Some tips for companies new to Twitter

September 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone that starts on Twitter can take a little time to find their feet and get into their own groove with it. This also applies to companies. So to help all those companies that have just decided to dip their toe in the water and feel the Fail Whale nibble on their pinkies, here are some of my pet hates all dressed up as tips on how to get into your groove quicker and get more out of Twitter.

Only use a clearly corporate account. Don’t have ‘personal’ accounts that are purely corporate. By all means have multiple accounts, but keep the branding across them and have clearly defined roles for each.

Also, if you put your company name in your bio and you’re always on duty. “My views are my own” is not a get out clause. If you were going to say something controversial you either wouldn’t put your company name in the bio or you’re a twat. “My Views are my own” do not excuse a slip or a misunderstanding. An Apology does. If you’re worried that anything you say might impact negatively on the business, keep work and personal separate. If it’s a personal account that is only used for work related stuff, remove the ‘own views’ line from the bio.
(I’m not entirely sure I’ve explained that one properly, but hey-ho)

Step away from the hashtag. Don’t hashtag your company name or what will become your company Twitter for example, if Company A uses the name @BusinessA, don’t stick the hashtag #BusinessA in every tweet for no reason. If you’re tagging a username, tag the fucking username. Overloading on hashtags gets you nowhere. Hashtag for a reason, when it adds something.

Make sure links go somewhere. Don’t post “We’re really rock n roll now” followed by a link to the front page of your website when the minor press release you’re alluding to is in the “News” section. People will click the link, find nothing however tenuously linked to rock n roll, wonder what the fuck you’re on about and not bother next time. They won’t go digging about for some vague bit of news, no matter how clever the tweet was. People will be less likely to (re)tweet even the most interesting news if they have to sort out copying & pasting and shortening links for themselves.

Have fun. Twitter is a ‘social network’, relax and loosen up, stop tweeting in the style of a press release. Don’t just tweet about stuff your own company is doing, tweet stuff from around the industry, non-controversial funny stuff, and if you can pull it off, like Waterstones and Betfair Poker, just plain weird.

Reply to people, don’t rely on the masses to come to you. You could even let people within the company, not just the boss or the PR guy, take charge of the account for a time. You never know, some of them might be Twitter gods and really get you’re follower count up.


March 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Last night during BBCs’ Question Time, a tweet appeared from Boris Johnsons’ @MayorOfLondon account…

I love David Starkey. Wish he was my uncle. Few things better than #qt, wineand a good out shout at the TV.


…and subsequently, quickly deleted. Probably because Starkey was being rather batshit, boarish, rude and generally being a cunt. The BBC got what they were after from the cunt-chair that evening, then.

This morning a Boris backer tells me it wasn’t Boris/whoever does the MayorOfLondon tweets. He’d been probably been hacked.

Fair enough, although the speed with which it was deleted and no mention of it afterwards, and there being just the one ‘out of character’ tweet suggests someone suddenly thinking it wasn’t the best of tweets from the Mayor rather than someone nefariously gaining access to the account to cause mischief.

Do Not Feed The Troll

February 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Someone really should have a word with Dave about Nadine Dorries. The sort of word that you’d have with someone that had their shirt poking out through their trouser zip…

(source, source) (h/t @dlandoncole, screenshot by @unslugged)

There is so much in that tweet that says so much about Dorries, that it is a little gem that just sums her up.

It’s hysterical. It tries to shut down her opponent immediately. It is threatening, whilst taking a victim stance. And as to the law, it is completely wrong. It is also completely at odds with a couple of other tweets from Dorries over the previous two hours…


and the tweet that got the reply from @mrhazzers…


Now, without implying @mrhazzers was trolling (he wasn’t, it was a good point that Nadine continuously refuses to address), that’s a funny old laugh Dorries has got.

*If you don’t know what @mrhazzers is referring to then you want to read the following:

#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part One)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Two: Flitwick & humphreycushion)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Three: Chris Paul and a special surprise… or two)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Four: A Burglary, Carter-Ruck & Me)

US State Department wants info on pretty much everyone on Twitter

January 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

From 21st Century Fix…

This, via Dave Winer, came my way this evening:

US subpoenas Twitter, seeking information on WikiLeaks’ 635,561 followers.

The article he links to can be found here:

A Dutch investigative journalist blasted the US Department of Justice for requesting information on everyone following WikiLeaks’ Twitter account and everyone they follow.

So this doesn’t only mean that I now potentially form part of a US government criminal investigation. It also means – if I’ve understood the slightly ambiguous phrase correctly – that if by any chance I decided to follow you on Twitter, you, as the recipient of the attentions of someone who also follows WikiLeaks, may just as easily find yourself the object of the attentions of some random US National Security official who – at some time in the future – will end up sticking his or her legalistic nose in your electronic communications, bank details, personal associations and cloud data.

But not because you yourself followed WikiLeaks. Simply because someone else who followed you also followed WikiLeaks.

On saying stuff on the internet

November 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a bloody travesty.

The man convicted of “menace” for threatening to blow up an airport in a Twitter joke has lost his appeal.

Paul Chambers, a 27-year-old accountant whose online courtship with another user of the microblogging site led to the “foolish prank”, had hoped that a crown court would dismiss his conviction and £1,000 fine without a full hearing.

But Judge Jacqueline Davies instead handed down a devastating finding at Doncaster which dismissed Chambers’s appeal on every count. After reading out his comment from the site – “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!” – she found that it contained menace and Chambers must have known that it might be taken seriously.

I’m not sure what I can add that hasn’t been said elsewhere. So I say anymore except to point you to Scepticisle and the Heresiarch.

Oh, and this business with Gareth F Compton. Yeah, I said I’d be bloody upset if someone ask for me to stoned to death, but would I call the cops? If it was on Twitter and a one off, a opposed to series of comments like that, then no. OK, Gareth maybe a dick and a hypocrit, but still, just like Paul Chambers, he doesn’t deserve more than a ticking off.

A Daily Mail tweet that caught my eye..

September 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Do you notice anything a little out of place in the following Twitter timeline?

A timeline full of links to the Daily Mail itself, since it started on Twitter and then, *pop*, a tweet to somewhere else.

Ooh, curious, I thought. It didn’t sit right. News outlets, the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, the Sun etc, all use twitter as a broadcast medium, as variation on the RSS ‘thingy’. They are simply there to give a link to a news item. They don’t retweet, they don’t #ff and they don’t direct you to anywhere except their news pages.

There are exceptions to this, for example Guardians Comment is Free Twitterfeed has an actual person manning it that replies to you and everything, but that isn’t the main feed for it’s news items. The feed for the news item is always just a broadcast.

So when a link to somewhere not the Daily Mail appeared it made me think wonder what’s going on. Had the Mails’ feed been hacked cracked compromised? Has a Mail employee got his own site to promote and thought he’d get a few hits from the Mails followers?

Nothing quite so exciting, I’m afraid. is the website for the Mails’ City & Finance section of the paper and they’re running a competition, obviously, to win an iPad.

To enter you’ve got to fill in a load of details about money stuff and search for an independent financial advisor. Once you’ve found the advisor nearest to you, you can enter the competition. Presumably you’ll also get a call from said advisor in the very near future as well (as the whole thing is in the ‘advertising-feature’ section of the site, as indicated by the URL).

So, it may be nothing dodgy going on but what does it say about the Mail when the only thing it can tweet about that isn’t sending you to it’s main website is not how to reduce your mortgage or how to play the stock market but a competition.

I hope whichever Mail reader wins the iPad isn’t stupid enough to use it to preen themselves on cancer-giving Facebook.

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