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How not to use Twitter

Top tips to avoid Twitter marketing fails:

Don’t bombard your followers
Far too many social media marketers are using Twitter (and other platforms) merely as a method of broadcast. With relatively few exceptions your hard-earned followers are not on Twitter waiting for you to publish your weekly whitepaper. At times it feels like Twitter is taking over from email when it comes to batch and blast link bait. Twitter has so much more to offer; don’t just see it as an easy win for when you need to get clicks.

#Don’t #be #a #hashtag #abuser
The overuse of hashtags: at best it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, and at worst it makes you look #desperate. Hashtags can be an incredibly valuable means of grouping related content and reducing noise, and they are one of Twitter’s most-copied concepts. But if you’re including more than one or two (max) in your tweets you’re missing the point.  

Further to the hashtags point above, it’s amazing how many tweets you see which include prohibitively long hashtags. Twitter is focused on the exchange of concise messages. You only have 140 characters to play with so if your hashtags are taking up fifty characters you’re stealing valuable real estate from potential responders. Keep it short and sweet.

Don’t allow auto-generated posts
Tweets such as ‘I just liked a video on Youtube,’ or ‘I think that...[Facebook link],’ or – the worst – ‘I just ousted AN Other as mayor of Mayor of Dunkin Do-nuts’ are not welcome. No one wants to read these tweets. They are ghosts left over from the early days of social media. If you liked a video but can’t be bothered to share it on Twitter, why tell me? If I wanted to read Facebook, I’d be there rather than here. And as for the ‘I am mayor of xxxx,’ I’m not sure where to start with that.

Don’t forget to be a human
Twitter offers brands the opportunity to engage one-to-one with potential customers, existing clients and pretty much everyone else too, so it’s important to retain a sense of being human on the platform. Even the most corporate-looking brand can afford to loosen its tie at the Twitter table. You don’t have to Rick Roll everyone or post daily cat giffs, but you should be able to use the more informal space Twitter provides to give a sense of the people behind the brand. A good rule of thumb is; if you can’t imagine saying it to someone in real life don’t write it on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter).

Social media is growing increasingly noisy. This means gaining meaningful traction is becoming more difficult. If you want your messages to have any chance of generating the returns you’re hoping for, you have to make sure you get the basics right.

These are five of the Twitter mistakes I see most frequently. Let me know if there’s any you’d like to add to the list, or if you think I’ve been overly harsh on any of the points in this blog.