In my four and a half years as a Twitter user and advocate, I can say that I have seen it all. From bad jokes to discriminatory and racist slurs, there is always something going on on the micro-blogging site.
No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. However, some mistakes are more costly than others. They will actually destroy your reputation before you even have the time to say: “I should have known better.”
So why do people continue making them? Probably because they feel protected behind their computer screens.
Our mission is to create raving fans; we plan to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the political arena. cot.ag/NZFBFI
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) July 19, 2012
As a brand, you have a huge responsibility. Not only do you have to uphold a higher standard of personal conduct than what others expect, but you also have to act as a role model.
It is fine to have opinions. However, those that promote discrimination or are disrespectful in any way should never come into the picture when you do business. So, leave them at home where they belong. Your goal is to serve your audience to the best of your abilities, not force your personal agenda on others.
In a nutshell, use Twitter as a tool to reach out to people in positive ways. Be kind to everyone. Remain professional and ethical. But, most importantly, avoid controversies.