For several blog entries now I have reiterated how great and powerful a tool Twitter is for any business that is implementing a successful SEO marketing campaign. However, in the same way that Twitter can significantly help your company, brand, product or service, it can seriously harm you as well.
That usually happens in two distinct ways. The first is when you or any representative of your company, including employees, is not careful about what you decide to tweet. You tweet the wrong thing, and suddenly the whole world is at your neck about it. How many celebrities have we seen suffer backlash from off-white comments they unwisely shared with the world through their Twitter accounts? The same can happen to any individual, and any business, regardless of celebrity status.
Not only that, what you decide to tweet about can have some very serious and dire consequences. For example, a recent case that has been in the news for the past year is about a Rutgers University student who is being tried for bullying his gay roommate into committing suicide. The startling thing about this case, however, is that a great deal of evidence is coming from the student's social media accounts, mainly his Twitter.
The student used his Twitter to express a variety of complaints and other negative statements about his roommate and his sexual orientation. When the tweets that you make can be used against you in a court of law, it really is of the utmost importance that you monitor what your company and any of its employees tweet about it. Make that a top priority so that you can reap the benefits of good SEO while avoiding professional and legal damages.
The second way that Twitter can be used to harm your business is by giving unhappy customers a platform for voicing their complaints – and by spreading the word and gaining supporters for their negative views. Altogether, it can create a huge backlash against your company, and seriously hurt its image.
Just take a look at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure fiasco that occurred only a few weeks ago. When the organization released a decision to cancel future funding to Planned Parenthood, Twitter activity opposing the measure soared. "Twitter-ers" used hashtags like #standwithpp and #shameonkomen to express their displeasure with the charity's decision. Twitter complaints were so overwhelmingly large in volume, and so vehement, that Susan G. Komen for the Cure buckled to the pressure and retracted its statement. Even so, the sting of Twitter disapproval will take a long time to fade.
As you can see from these examples, there really is one type of Twitter harm that you can avoid, and that is by watching what your company and its representatives express on their Twitter accounts. As you continue using Twitter in your SEO campaign, be sure to keep these potential dangers in mind.