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The 5 Mistakes You’re Making on Twitter

by channelmaven on January 26, 2012

If you’ve seen me speak about Twitter, you know I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love Twitter when it’s done right, unfortunately very few people use it right. There are thousands of businesses out there using the platform but not leveraging its power. New users, check out our blog post on Twitter basics. Here are five mistakes you may be making with your company’s Twitter strategy:

  1. Avoiding a Human Face Behind Your Tweets: Twitter users are more likely to engage with users who have personality. While news and business related posts are important to tweet, it is also valuable to add something to your regular Tweet schedule that makes your fellow Tweeters feel like they’re ‘getting to know you.’ This could include pictures from the office, tweets with reflections on events attended or references to what your team is reading up on. Also, make sure you turn off auto-DMing after users have chosen to follow you. This makes your account seem particularly automated and impersonal.
  2. Protecting Your Tweets from Marketing Success: LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook all let you choose who to share information with. Twitter does too. If you haven’t yet, head to your Settings then go to Account and unclick ‘Protect My Tweets.’ With your account now open, start putting yourself out there. Network. Connect. Share. Engage.
  3. Keeping Your @ Replies a Secret: If you open a tweet with an ‘@’ as a response to someone, the tweet will only appear on that users’ Twitter screen. While sometimes you want to keep these private, typically it is key to let users see how you’re engaging with other companies and fans on Twitter. To share your @ replies with everyone put a period before the @ (i.e. ‘.@’).
  4. Missing Sales Opportunities: While tweeting your news, updates and photos is essential, there are certain sales opportunities missed by businesses on Twitter. I wrote awhile ago about Dell‘s sales successes by running coupons and specials on Twitter. If you have the capacity, I highly recommend leveraging your followers in the sales sphere. Just make sure you’re not doing it so often that you look like Spam.
  5. Your Following/Followed Ratio is Imbalanced: When users on Twitter decide who to follow, most look at the ratio between how much someone is being followed and how much they’re following. You ideally want this at an even balance where it looks like if someone follows you, you reciprocate. Otherwise, if you have too few followers it looks like you’re overactive on following without offering valuable content. If you have too many, it looks like you post but don’t engage with others’ content.

For more of my thoughts on this topic check out a previous blog post on Harnessing the Business Value of Twitter. What mistakes have you made on Twitter? Are there major ones you’ve caught not listed above?

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