Your Customers Read Twitter Too

I follow a lot of people in the WordPress community from my @themelab account, a number of whom run their own businesses based around WordPress. If you run a business on Twitter, there’s a good chance your clients and other (potential) customers follow you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Twitter postings from people which essentially mock their customers. Here’s some of the common ones I see from the commercial themer crowd:

  • Wow, this clueless customer of mine just posted a total newbie question on my support forum. Check it out! (screenshot link here)
  • Haha, someone who used a pirated version of my theme just got hacked and now their entire blog is ruined. Too bad for them.
  • This site just switched away from my awesome SEO-optimized theme and now it looks like total crap, say bye-bye to search rankings.

These are somewhat exaggerated examples but if you follow the same group of people I do, you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about already.

My point is, your customers read your Twitter stream, so it’s probably not a good idea to insult them (directly or indirectly) for doing something that was probably just an honest mistake.

I’ll admit I’m not a perfect angel about this, but I have been getting better about not posting all the newbie questions I get to Twitter. And trust me, I get a lot of those.

So remember, the next time someone asks you a dumb question, keep in mind that everyone starts out as a noob (that’s right, even you and me) so be patient and don’t be so quick to make fun of them on Twitter.

Even if a lot of your followers would find it amusing, the one person who won’t find it amusing is the one you’re making fun of. Think about it.

6 Comments

  1. I have seen those. 🙂 And worse. Enough so I can repeat the tweet verbatim, and it’s so bad it ensures I will never ever recommend the guy or his business. Ever.
    There’s another whose general attitude comes across as pretty terrible, and that alone makes me reluctant to purchase his product as well.
    I would hope if I ever tweeted something that dumb, someone would call me on it. (Feel free to, if you see me do something like that.)

    1. Yeah, sometimes I think people don’t even realize how they’re hurting their business by the way they act on Twitter.

      Maybe they think their business is so big, acting that way won’t really affect them much, but it really does make a difference IMO.

  2. Exactly right. The number of times I’ve thought “no, can’t tweet that” is huge.

    I know exactly what you mean and whilst I can relate to the support tickets asking where posts go, as you say, not everyone will be able to — we were all a noob once, believe it or not!

  3. Completely agree – something I’ve thought for a while. I always have in mind that anyone can read my tweets, so don’t write anything that I wouldn’t want anyone to know!

  4. Hi Leland! Nice looking site you’ve got here! Anyway, interesting post. I’ve seen tweets of that nature, and I can see how it can be off-putting for customers. On the flip side, I can see how tempting it is to want to vent customers’ questions on Twitter.

    On a somewhat related note, I also think it’s important not to go overboard with self-promotion in Twitter. I mean, some advertising is fine, but overdoing it can come across as boasting and really puts people off. The product should speak for itself, IMHO!

  5. Great post, I should add that you should also not complain about work on Twitter.

    I had a contracting gig with a company that had me do some writing. They were well aware that I was not a writer and that I hate writing with a passion.

    One day a friend sent me a message on twitter asking if I wanted to go on a photoadventure, I declined saying something like “can’t, I have to finish this post for ___. weak, right?”

    Yeah they saw it, and dismissed me for it.

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