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14 things marketers should never do on Twitter

Is your Twitter presence infuriating rather than delighting followers? We asked B2B marketers to share what most riles them up about their peers on Twitter

Twitter enables any voice to echo around the world instantly and unfiltered. It's a platform that promotes the ultimate freedom of public self-expression, and one that marketers often use to commit hideous self-sabotage. 

This blog was originally scheduled under the title Five things marketers should never do on Twitter, however it soon became clear that five would barely skim the milk. Taking blunders like spelling errors as read, we've instead narrowed it down to 14.

1. Be boring. Ask yourself the newsdesk qualifying questions: ‘Is it of interest to my audience?’ and ‘Is it in my audience’s interest to know?’ If your tweet fails on both counts, don’t bother sending. Save your “Happy Friday!” for the lift.

2. Voice opinions on sensitive topics. Treat Twitter like you would a Christmas lunch with the extended family: avoid sensitive subjects like politics and religion – as hard as that might be. 

3. Interrupt a Twitter chat by trying to sell something. Hijacking a communal event is far more likely to annoy all involved than win business. Social listening is about giving advice, not directing customers to product pages.

4. Tweet sporadically. Avoid sending out a burst of posts and then falling into silence afterwards. Using social media management tools to spread posts evenly will help you reach wider audiences.

5. Exist solely for the CEO’s ego. A constant monologue of press releases and promotions will soon see you unfollowed. 

6. Vent spleen. Try not to insult others or leave unjustly negative comments. As fun as it might be on a personal profile, it'll still reflect badly – even if all views are your own.

7. Only ever post words. A picture can tell over 280 characters. Videos, links and photos are proven to dramatically boost engagement – according to Twitter, photos average a 35% boost in retweets and videos 28%.

8. Be selfish. In order to become a thought leader you need to be generous with expertise and discoveries – grow the number of people interested in your industry, not just your business. Try the 80/20 rule; 80% valuable content and 20% promotion.

9. Lose composure. Whatever horrendous, career-jeopardising situation appears to be unfolding, don’t panic. Twitter is the media’s Wild West; protect yourself by directing heated complaints and enquiries to an email address or telephone number.

10. Use too many hashtags... #especially #for #misguided #emphasis. They can be useful for tracking and participating in events, but avoid cluttering tweets with hashtags and always research the best ones to use.

11. Post too often. Perhaps the most obvious on this list, binge posting is a crime justly punishable by an unfollow. Averaging at more than one every 20 minutes is too much.

12. Ignore your followers. Responding to followers is all about nurturing relationships – be sure to engage with feedback, positive or negative, with replies or direct messages.

13. Tweet rigidly from 9-5. People use Twitter around the clock and in different timezones. If you’re hoping to target overseas audiences, monitor your audience’s timezones and schedules accordingly. It’s also worth thinking about localising the content you share. 

14. Be inconsistent. People have followed you because they're interested in what you do; this comes with an expectation of consistency. Your Twitter feed should adhere to your brand’s tone of voice.

14 things marketers should never do on Twitter

Thanks to Gavin Hammar, founder of social media productivity tool, Sendible; Matt Henkes, marketing, PR and digital content manager, Bray Leino; Stuart Goulden, lead consultant, Like No Other; and Amy Bull, content marketing executive, Datify.

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