11 Twitter mistakes that are killing your brand

Joanna Michaels, Beyond Social Buzz

Although Social Media has been around for almost a decade, many small business owners still struggle to get it right. Publishing on Social Media platforms is dead easy, however there is much more to it than knowing how to post an update. For Social Media success, one needs to understand and swiftly navigate the unwritten rules of all different platforms.

Twitter seems to be the perfect example where almost everyone is there but not everyone really knows how to use it. Another thing common among small businesses is the fact that the majority of them don’t make time to plan their social media strategy. Instead they dive in and start doing.

While making mistakes is a natural process of mastering our skills, the thing about those made on Social Media, is that they are almost impossible to erase, and can make your business ‘famous’ for all the wrong reasons.

In one of my previous posts How to use Twitter for Small Business Marketing I outlined a few best practice tips for Twitter success. In this one, on the other hand, I will focus on the eleven worst practices I have observed on Twitter over time. Keep them in mind while navigating the Twittersphere.

1. Boring content– always ask yourself before hitting that ‘tweet’ button whether your post is interesting, educating or at least entertaining to your target audience. Tweeting the right content shows your followers that you understand their interests, needs and wants.

2. Over-promotion – this happens when your salesly posts are not balanced by content that adds real value to your followers. Most businesses have blogs nowadays and it is absolutely fine to share your content via Social Media. However remember to show variety. Aim for the balance between self-promotion and quality content created by others, especially if it adds value to your target audience. Twitter is a social media platform, so …be social!

3. Posting too frequently– posting too may times during the day will simply flood your followers timeliness and is not going to work. Try to spread your content throughout the day and post during times when your audience is online.

4. Inconsistency – Twitter users will soon give up on following you if you are active one day and then go quiet for several weeks

5. Auto DMs – nothing disappoints more than following someone who you think is worth your attention only to be hit with generic auto spam. Ouch!

6. Automated Customer Reviews – I cringe every time I see a post like this “Another customer awarded us 5 out of 5”. Too automated and too tacky. Stay clear.

7. Follow back requests – Asking people to follow back, Like you on Facebook or share your posts. Don’t ask. Earn it.

8. Being an Egg-head – if you don’t add a photo to your Twitter profile it automatically pushes you into the ‘spammer’ category. People want to interact with humans on Twitter, not eggs.

9. Generic #FFs – FF is a shout out, a recommendation, a show of appreciation to another user. So don’t use it purely for naming a few accounts and hoping for some new followers. It provides no value to anyone.

10. Being a Taker – Twitter is a two-way street. I’m allergic to Twitter users that frequently request RTs yet never return the favor. Twitter supports the idea of collaboration and sharing, so keep that in mind when posting. Return RTs, help others grow their business and give support.

11. Hashtag overload – too many hashtags will make your posts not only look desperate and spammy, but also difficult to read. Aim for a maximum of three hashtags per tweet and make sure they are relevant.

Final Thoughts

Treat your followers in the same way that you would treat them during a face-to-face interaction. Such an approach combined with a clear Twitter strategy will help you to avoid these mistakes.

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