With Twitter starting to add user photo galleries today, small business owners on Twitter may want to be even more prudent than normal about what photos they share and retweet via the company Twitter account. This new feature is extremely prominent on profile pages and might cause some problems depending on what shows up there.
If you don’t see them now, you will soon. The user galleries show up in the right column of your Twitter profile page and your most recent four images are displayed there by default.
You can’t control the images that appears there, short of deleting them. So, when someone visits your Twitter profile to check you out, to decide if they’ll follow you or not, you want them to see something good … or at least to not see something bad.
Beyond those four images, there’s a “view all” link that leads to your full gallery, which includes the most recent 100 images associated with your account.
How to Take Care of Your Twitter Photo Gallery
Your Twitter profile isn’t only used when someone is deciding to follow you or not; it’s used when people are researching your company and deciding to do business with you.
So, for the sake of reputation management, take good care of this new photo gallery:
1. Be careful about the photos that you post.
2. Be careful about the photos that you retweet.
Yes, your image gallery includes images uploaded by other users IF you use the old-style retweet. If you use the new Retweet button, the images won’t appear in your gallery.
3. Be careful about who has access to your Twitter account.
If you’ve assigned Twitter to one of your employees, make sure s/he is aware of the new image galleries and the need to be prudent about what images are posted, retweeted, etc. That’s especially true if you fit this next one….
4. Be careful if you use a Twitter client that offers multi-account management.
I have about 5-6 different accounts setup in Tweetdeck and I occasionally tweet from the wrong account. And there are definitely some tweets (and images) that may be right for one account, but wouldn’t be appropriate for another. If you use a client like that, be careful of posting or retweeting images from your company account.
But There are Pros, Too (That Outweigh the Cons)
First, if you do accidentally post a photo that shouldn’t be in your gallery, you can delete it — so all is not lost the minute an accident happens.
Second, I think the image galleries are ultimately something a small business should try to take advantage of, not fear.
If you’re a restaurant, bakery, winery, landscaping company, salon, printing company, real estate agent or any small business with a visual element to your business, the new image gallery can make a compelling case in your favor if you fill it with good, attractive images.
That’s not to say that your bakery should never post any photos other than the cakes you make. And it’s not to say you can’t have a personality and have fun on Twitter by sharing unique/interesting images — you can.
The bottom line: Just make sure the images you post and share on Twitter give the right impression of your business. Because starting now, they’re being archived for all to see.