As someone who spends their days on strategizing social media campaigns for businesses, it’s easy to forget how many people struggle with things that seem obvious to me.
Although I don’t often do private 1-on-1 sessions, I opened up a few spots recently and while working with a client I was able to spot some simple Twitter mistakes he made that really made him look bad.
In fact, he was mortified when I told them the truth. This person is someone I would regard as highly intelligent and in a field where communication is very important to his business. We all make these mistakes when we’re first starting out and there’s nothing to be ashamed of – as long as we can fix them before they create any lasting damage.
Here are the top 16 Twitter mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Using a Service That Calls Out Unfollows
I cringe every time I see someone send out an automated tweet alerting their followers that I’ve unfollowed them. Not because I’m upset to be called out but because of how tacky that looks for them.
Despite what some app developers will tell you, shaming people into following you is not a valid strategy – it’s tantamount to Twitter blasphemy.
2. Pointless Small Talk
It might seem like the polite thing to do at first but don’t ask strangers how they are doing today on Twitter. It’s weird, phony and would take a long time if everyone had to thoughtlessly answer that question over and over. Trust me, I’m Canadian and we would not do anything to threaten our politeness status. 😉
3. No Profile Photo
Did you know that many Twitter applications that help people find who to follow and unfollow have a setting to filter accounts without a profile photo? This immediately puts you at a disadvantage when trying to grow your following on Twitter.
It’s not just apps, humans don’t like Twitter accounts without profile pictures either. People will assume you’re a spammer and move on.
4. Asking People To Follow Back
Don’t ask for it, earn it.
5. Tweets About You Outweigh Tweets To Other People
Is your Twitter profile filled with tweets about you, your business and whatever you are promoting at the moment? Of course you need to promote yourself but the majority of your tweets should be engagement related or aimed at adding value to your target audience.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule before? If not, you need to drop everything and read this immediately.
6. #Too #Many #Hashtags
A rookie Twitter mistake is putting too much stock into hashtags. I’m not against them, when used properly they can be a great tool to connect conversations across Twitter. When you start #hashtagging #every #word it starts to become irrelevant and completely defies the purpose of hashtags.
It’s excusable for a teenager but not for a business!
7. Poorly Optimized Profile Description
Your profile description is showcased to every new person you follow. Why waste that incredible opportunity with a poorly optimized profile bio? Highlight who you are and what you do.
8. Asking Random People To Share Your Posts
Musicians tend to be the worst for this but businesses are guilty too and frankly, it looks even worse when they do it!
9. Building A Reputation For Calling Out Brands
Creating a reputation for chewing out brands and businesses on Twitter is not a great idea for business owners, professionals or anyone with a personal brand worth protecting. It makes you look callous, cheap and difficult to deal with. None of those are the kind of distinguishing features your prospects are looking for.
If the first thing people think of when they hear your name is the tirades you unleash on brands through your Twitter feed, you’re leaving the wrong impression.
10. Lacking Consistency
Twitter is noisy. You have to be consistent and tweet often on a daily basis to get serious traction. I’ve tweeted between 20-40 tweets a day (content + engagement) for over three years and that has brought me to a place where I get literally thousands of shares on my articles every month.
When it comes to Twitter, you need to be consistent to see any real results.
11. You’re Too Broad
People like to follow other people on Twitter because they fill a certain hole in their content stream that you can provide. My followers stick around because I’m dedicated to providing a focused stream of quality content on social media marketing and social selling.
Continue to provide the content your followers know and love you for or you’ll start to confuse your message. That doesn’t mean you can’t share a great article that’s off topic for you or an inspirational quote that touches you. However make sure that the majority of the updates you share are on brand and providing value to who you really want to connect with.
12. Lacking Human Touch
Sometimes sticking to your topic 100% of the time can be a bad thing because people start to forget you’re a real person. Lighten up and post the occasional personal post or something that’s just plain interesting, not because it’s necessarily relevant to your audience.
To this day, the most popular post I ever had on Facebook was a picture of a dog hugging a teddy bear. Did that turn into business for me? No…but my audience loved it and it got me over half a million impressions for free. I won’t argue!
13. You’re Too Formal
This is Twitter after all. Some might argue this point but it’s important to remember to be human while you are being professional.
14. Not Making Use of Twitter Lists
This is the number one tool you have to keep in touch with a specific group of people that you hand select on Twitter. I’m a massive proponent of Twitter lists because they have been instrumental in my success on the platform.
One way I use lists is to keep track of the people that are sharing my content so I can go back regularly to return the favor. This was a HUGE driver of social shares for me because I kept engaging the people that drive my content the farthest by sharing the love back to them when they post great articles.
That’s one small example of the type of win-win situations you can create with lists!
15. Any Form of Automated Direct Messaging
Do you use services like True Twit Validation? Stop it. They annoy your followers and nobody wants to play along when you use them. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Good. You’re on the right track.
16. Begging For Followers/Likes/ReTweets
When you beg someone to follow back, like your Facebook page or retweet a post, it does not help your overall strategy – it will hurt it. Who wants to do business with someone that’s so desperate that they need to beg for actions that must be earned to have any true value?
What Twitter Mistakes Frustrate You Most?
Do you occasionally cringe when interacting with others on Twitter? We want to know which Twitter mistakes frustrate you the most and what action you would prefer to see instead. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.