When using Twitter for business there are proven strategies that can get great results and help you get more followers or get more retweets, but there are also many mistakes that can be made that will cost your business account to lose followers and damage your brand.
This article explains thirteen of the most common mistakes that businesses on Twitter make, which will do more harm than good.
Avoid these mistakes so you can avoid saying “D’OH” and you will be well on your way to Twitter marketing success!
Mistake 1: Not customizing your profile and background
Your Twitter profile and background are prime real estate for promoting your business.
Of course not everyone uses the web based version of Twitter but this is still the Twitter of clients for many users and agencies.
@cibostudios recently did a query of 5,000+ agency accounts and 1.5M+ tweets shows that @HootSuite is the leading Twitter client among agencies.
A study done by Twitstat in 2009 suggests that the web is the most popular client among users at large, being used by 31.99% of all users, with TweetDeck in second place being used by 16.07% of the Twitter population.
It is clear that many people use the web based version of Twitter.
If you are not customizing your web profile, including your background and header image, you are leaving a great branding opportunity on the table.
I use my background @Garin to showcase links to my website and other social media profiles.
Mistake 2: You are not building your network
If your Twitter network is not growing, it’s dying.
Growing your Twitter network is all about initiating new connections.
However you should be aware of a limitation that Twitter imposes to prevent new users from getting too aggressive with their followers.
When you first start on Twitter you cannot follow more than 2,000 people until you have 2,000 followers of your own.
For this reason I recommend the service Grow my Twitter Network, which will turbo-boost your Twitter brand with influence and give you plenty of followers so you can get better results and more followers for your business on a daily basis.
Mistake 3: You are not using Twitter lists
As your Twitter network grows the updates in your main stream become less and less relevant. The best way I have found to hedge against this is to create Twitter lists and follow them instead.
Apps like Hootsuite enable you to add someone to a list from within the app, however if your Twitter client does not support list building you can create and manage your lists from the web.
To view all of the lists you have created, and subscribe to, simply add /lists to the end of your Twitter URL in your web browser.
Mistake 4: Your tweets are too focused on yourself
For marketers it’s only natural to want to gear a strategy around the company and its message. But social media works like a conversation; if you spend too much time talking about yourself, the people listening will eventually tune you out.
If one of your goals is to get other people to share your tweets and content with their followers, then you should be prepared to return the favor.
Find external ideas and posts that your audience will be interested in, then share them with your followers. If you can publish content that will resonate with your audience on your own blog, even better.
Mistake 5: You follow more people than follow you
If you follow more people than follow you this makes you and your business a “follower.”
Certainly there are worse things in the world than being a follower, but we’re talking business here, and letting your competition take the lead on Twitter will probably end up costing you customers.
I recommend being a leader in your market instead by growing your Twitter network and getting the many benefits that come with the social proof of having plenty of followers.
Mistake 6: You spam your network with auto-tweets from apps
There are many apps that make it easy to share your content to Twitter – resist the urge to use them all.
WordPress has the publicize feature so you can auto-tweet every blog post. Facebook has Twitter connect so you can auto-tweet every Facebook update, and Twitter tools like twitterfeed make it easy to feed RSS feeds and content to Twitter.
Although it might make sense to use one or two of these services, make sure you do not enroll in overlapping services. Sending several Tweets that are basically the same at once is certainly spam and will likely lead to several people unfollowing you.
Mistake 7: You don’t tweet often enough
Determining the appropriate amount of time to invest on Twitter can be tricky. Tweet too much and you risk annoying your audience by flooding their news feeds. Tweet too little and they may forget about you.
So where’s the sweet spot? If you really want to use Twitter as a marketing tool and get your messages heard recommend having at least 5 to 10 tweets per day during the week.
The best way to manage this is by scheduling the Tweets using a tool like @Hootsuite or @Buffer. Twitter is busiest during the last few hours of the work day so if you only have time for a few tweets it is best to send them then.
Do your best to tweet once a day, at the very least, since over time people will continually discover your profile and if there are no new tweets when they do there is a good chance they will not follow.
Mistake 8: You are not listening
If you are just posting tweets and responding to mentions and DM’s you are doing it wrong.
Figure out the keywords and #hashtags that matter the most to your business and make a habit of checking the people who use these keywords in their tweets.
Watching keywords in your niche offers up plenty of opportunities to jump in with helpful information that helps build the trust that leads to RT’s, new business relationships and recommendations!
Mistake 9: You don’t have a content strategy
Not having a solid content strategy in place that includes a company blog is a common reason why companies fail to make an impact on Twitter.
Relevant, engaging content is the key to positioning yourself online as a trustworthy thought leader in your field, and people tend to spend more money with businesses they trust.
Crafting useful, topical content will help you become that trusted source of information for your audience, and you can use Twitter to share those resources and increase brand awareness.
Sharing quality content on your blog is the best way to drive followers from Twitter to your company website, especially since that same content can bring plenty new visitors over time if it is properly optimized for Google.
Mistake 10: You send an auto-DM or a generic welcome to new followers
When you welcome everyone in the same way that welcome becomes insincere.
Don’t say something to someone who just connected with you on Twitter that is any different from what you would say in real life.
Don’t just say “thanks to my new follower” unless you want to find yourself losing followers almost as fast as you tweet this.
Instead say “thanks for connecting” and find something unique about your new followers bio or tweets that you can comment about or add to.
Keep it real and focus on creating real relationships and helping the people you connect with instead of trying to stuff your business down their throats.
Yes it’s totally possible to mess up on Twitter but it’s better to try your best and make a mistake than to avoid trying at all.
The more you tweet the more you will figure out what works best for you. The secret to effective Twitter marketing is simply to stay persistent, keep your Tweets high quality, and do your best to network with new people and continually improve.
Have you ever witnessed or made a mistake on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below!