So you’ve got the core basics of Twitter down, and you have attracted a healthy base of followers – that’s great! With that said, even Twitter pros with hordes of followers can fall into easily avoidable, yet all-too common traps that can severely impact your how you are perceived online. This rapid-fire guide exposes twelve simple mistakes that individuals and brands should avoid like the plague while building up their respective Twitter communities. If you’ve been a longtime Twitter fan, you’ve likely noticed a few of these yourself:
1 – Don’t Over-Push Your Product
If your Twitter feed reads like:
“Buy this product!”
“It’s on sale THIS WEEKEND ONLY!”
“Buy it now!”
You’re doing it wrong. It’s perfectly acceptable to advertise your wares and services via Twitter, but an avalanche of salesy tweets is extremely off-putting for most readers. Mix it up by posting jokes, asking questions, retweeting relevant content, and tweeting out things that are fun and engaging, because at its core, Twitter is a community, and no one wants to hang around an obnoxious carnival barker 24/7.
2 – Don’t Ignore Feedback
Whether a follower takes the time to share how amazing your latest video is, or to let you know how much you stink, take a moment to reflect on the message; yes, even the negative ones.
It’s easy to learn what your followers appreciate on Twitter by the number of retweets and likes popular tweets get, but there is a silver lining to the less favorable criticism too. Take Domino’s Pizza for example: After the international pizza chain keep getting feedback about how nasty their food was, they eventually took that message to heart, changed up their entire menu, and made a killer campaign that did an excellent job of showcasing that Domino’s was not only listening to their customers, but willing to do better.
3 – Don’t Misuse Hashtags
#While #Too #Many #Hashtags #Makes #Tweets #Annoying #To #Read, your Twitter outreach is missing out if you aren’t adapting to the most popular hashtags of the day. A single relevant hashtag will do the job, so just be mindful when selecting the right hashtag for your latest tweet!
4 – Don’t Write Lame Tweets
Unless your brand is all about chicken sandwiches, or you can somehow make your crummy lunchtime photo special for your readers, no one cares about your meals. Be creative, take your time before posting, and consider your brand’s voice when you are composing a tweet. If you’d like some additional tips for finding your social media voice, you’ll want to read “How to Find Your Social Media Voice.”
5 – Don’t Beg For Followers
Begging for additional followers in your tweets is even more obnoxious to your dedicated followers than repeatedly asking them to buy things. If you want 10, 100, or 1 million new followers, run contests, use noteworthy hashtags, and write top-tier content that will make people naturally reach for the follow button.
6 – Don’t Write Long Tweets
Be witty & to the point. While you could use all 140 characters for each new tweet, there are plenty of ways to both compact your message and engage your followers. As a matter of fact, I’ve devoted an entire blog post to helping you to say more with less on Twitter.
7 – Don’t Retweet Randomly
Retweeting an expertly written post that is complementary for your brand and will entertain your followers is a great tactic, but don’t think that retweeting is a replacement for writing your own material. Use this tool to show appreciation to supportive fans and outside content that fits your voice, but don’t overdo the retweet button.
8 – Don’t Spam Tweets
If you can reword the same message 200 different ways for Twitter, you’re a social media ninja-wizard, but if you repost the same message 200 times, your audience will think that you’re an ape who has mastered how to copy and paste. No one wants to scroll past the same exact message over and over, so if you have a point that you absolutely must get across multiple times, do your best to creatively reword the core message.
9 – Don’t Be An Ogre (Be nice)
There is a good way and a bad way to handle trolls on Twitter, and killing them with kindness is the best option in most cases. Unless you can reply with scathing wit that cannot be misconstrued in any way, (We’re looking at you, Wendy’s!), you take the risk of looking like an ogre when your reply is retweeted thousands of times for responding to nastiness with nastiness. Be nice, shrug it off, and concentrate on all of the followers who appreciate you!
10 – Don’t Be So Negative
Please keep in mind that Twitter is not your soapbox to complain about personal or world events, it’s the ultimate branding tool for instantly communicating with its massive community. Don’t be afraid to share impactful bad news if your audience would sympathize, but stop complaining about divisive, controversial, or outright unimportant topics.
11 – Don’t Force Yourself to Tweet About the Holidays
Here’s a fail that we see every year in some form or another; if you can’t think of an appropriate reason to tweet about an upcoming holiday, celebration, or day of remembrance, don’t. Nothing comes across as more tone-deaf than remembering #PearlHarbor with a goofy smiling pasta ring, so do yourself a massive favor by being extra careful to be as genuine as possible when tweeting about any special day.
12 – Don’t Be A Twitter Hermit
It’s far too easy to pump out fresh tweets out to your followers day after day and forget that Twitter is a two-way street of communication. Take the time to be social by responding to incoming tweets, positive comments, and those who are correctly using your hashtags. People will appreciate the interaction, and your brand will appear more approachable and friendlier on Twitter for your efforts.
It’s always sad when a well-meaning Twitter user plummets head-first into an easily avoidable pitfall at full speed, but at least you won’t have to worry about that; you’ve read this guide! Have you ever experienced or seen any of these mistakes firsthand on Twitter?