In general, it’s a very good idea to avoid foul language, insults and aggressive arguments when using social media. This type of behavior tends to turn-off followers or even worse, denigrate your brand (company or persona). Dropping F-bombs while insulting anyone who say something unfavorable about you or your brand via social media almost always comes off unprofessional. There are only a few people who can get away with doing these things and not lose their jobs or destroy their image with online fans. Most likely, you are not one of these people. UFC President Dana White (@DanaWhite) does it all the time.
So why is White able to tweet “I’m going on a blocking spree today. Who’s first f@#$ers?” or “Welcome back Dan Hardy!!! Suck it Hardy haters!!!!!!!” to his 2.2+ million followers without hesitation? What makes it OK for White to go after his own product “I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!” (during the Guida vs Maynard fight on FX) and even the refs (typically a sports no-no) “Officiating is kicking combat sports right in the NUTS!!! A ref let’s 2 guys lay in a clinch against the fence for the last 5 mins of 3rd rd”? White is also a huge boxing fan (direct competitor of the UFC) and insults governing bodies via Twitter ->
The reason White can do these things on Twitter but you should not is very simple: The UFC fans LOVE it! White’s nothing-held-back style fits the UFC target market perfectly. As the UFC mouthpiece, he gets to be “that guy” on Twitter because it fits the brand and exact target market. Your business or profession, probably not. Unless your brand target is testosterone fueled mixed martial arts enthusiast, hard-core 1% bikers or death metal music fans you might want to avoid a potty mouth. Do not tweet like Dana White because you are not Dana White.
Here are a few tips for “keeping it clean” while using social media:
- Try to keep your online conversations as polite and positive as possible. People like that, which is the point of social media.
- Talk like you do with friends, family and co-workers. Would you say that in front of your grandmother, boss or a client?
- If you are the owner, upper management, in the marketing department or act as an official spokesperson/representative for a company everything you say on social media is a direct reflection of that brand.
- If you use social media for professional networking, career advice/advancement or promoting yourself/causes/associations see note 3.
- If you are in sales, customer service or people say “that’s (name) from (company name)” often see note 3.
- Never forget that social media is public and the internet is a catalog. Even a deleted tweet or post might come back to haunt you.
- I can’t believe I have to say this, but DO NOT DRUNK TWEET. See notes 3 and 6 again.
- There is nothing “unfair” about not getting a job, promotion or raise because of stupid things you say on social media.
- Social media searches will become as common place as background checks, drug test and references very soon. A couple of stupid comments could easily destroy the image your well-written resume had created.
- Notes 1-9 are ten times more valid if you work in marketing. One hundred times if social media is in your job description or title. You really should know better.
Full Disclosure: I am a huge UFC fan. I also curses like a sailor when watching University of Oklahoma football games, but never online.