There is a great challenge for brands and CMO’s while using Twitter. While it is a broad spread media, with more than 500 million users, but it is also a potentially passive media, where only 170 million participate constantly, according to TechCrunch. You should have this in mind when you plan your social media mix, this will be your cornerstone of your Twitter efforts.
With that in mind, let us look at what your sins are:
- Not have a strategy
Of course I was going to start with this one! A media outlet will not be effective if it is not part of a whole. Twitter is not just a sound box, some people even question if it is a social media. Nevertheless, if used properly, it can be fundamental to distribute your messages.
2. Not communicating you have a Twitter account
Having a Twitter account is not the same as using Twitter. If you do happen to have a corporate account, you need to let your customers or clients know that you are using the platform. Include calls to action to follow you.
3. Tweet non relevant content
You already promoted your account, now create value. This goes along with my last week’s post about creating a persona for your social media. If you post random Tweets you are not going to be followed. If you are followed and start posting garbage, you are going to lose your hard earned followers.
4. Tweeting more than 140 characters
There is a limit on Twitter – 140 characters. Respect it, obey it, live by it. Don’t try to fool your followers, we know what you are doing, and they are extra sensitive about brands and companies posting more than they should. Think of Twitter as a conversation starter while on a bar – you don’t want to come across as shy, but you shouldn’t use a cheesy pickup line either.
5. Not using hashtags or #using #excessive #hashtags
There was a time in which I hated hashtags (why do I kid myself, I still loath them), but by using them, you can help engage your users. Remember to think your hashtags through, before launching them. Several #fails were associated to a lack of strategic thinking of your custom hashtags.
Also, don’t overuse them – it’s not only annoying, but completely ridiculous. Cue to Justin Timberlake:
6. Not having control or a pattern of your tweets
This one is related to the third sin. You should know who is publishing, what, and which times of day. The same as in Facebook, you need to have a daily, weekly, and monthly breakdown of the major plot lines for your tweets. This will make your account to be consistent and, most important, it would allow you to think twice before using Twitter as a mere promotional platform, and force you into dialogue.
7. Not following other users
At parties, there is always the guy that brags about how many influential friends they have. He is annoying, everybody hides from him. Don’t be that guy! It’s common courtesy to follow back. I understand personal accounts don’t have this principle in mind, but as brands or public figures, we are on Twitter to listen and dialogue, not just speak.
8. Not using a Tweet Client
There are great tools out there for you to manage Twitter. My favorite has always been Hootsuite. Having a client allows you to have better control of your streams, followers, publications, and also gives you statistics and analysis on the engagement level of your tweets. Use this tool wisely – especially while programming your content.
9. Being a robot – program all of your tweets
Have you ever received one of those annoying calls where you clearly notice that the operator is a machine with the voice of a person? You hang up immediately? Why then do you like to schedule all of your tweets?
You are hiring a social media team or community manager to create content and generate engagement. Don’t just post without replying. Don’t leave Twitter unattended during the weekends – it is after 7pm on a Friday where Twitter crisis generate and everybody is skiing in Tahoe or at the wireless nature reserve = chaos.
10. Use Twitter as Facebook
Different platforms, different media, different users, different use from your customers – see? Everything is different. Just because it’s called a Social Media, it doesn’t mean you need to have the same content in all of them.
This sin comes with a warning: You DON’T have to have a Twitter account. It’s not about who owns more social media, it’s about how effective your messages are. Use Twitter with caution, because it can generate you more trouble than rewards.
P.S. Twitter is a great platform for customer service, demands can be solved fast and you can use the search tools to improve your business.
Next week I’ll dig into Google+. Meanwhile, look at other tips for Twitter on the following links:
- Forbes 31 Twitter tips
- 8 Best Practices fro Twitter
- Rules and best practices from Twitter
- 9 most common mistakes on Twitter