Most businesses that fail on Twitter do so because they don’t understand the platform. Twitter is unique in that the half-life of a tweet is just 20 minutes. As well as this, the real value in Twitter lies not in how many followers you have, but how you can leverage the voice of other Twitter users to re-tweet your content. Here are seven of the most common Twitter mistakes that I see businesses making.
Not using images and videos
A number of studies show that people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that contain photos or videos. So make sure to add eye-catching images, videos or GIFs to your tweets. If you don’t have your own images to share, search for copyright free Creative Commons images or better yet use free tools like Canva to create infographics and quotables.
Not responding to mentions
According to a recent study, 42 per cent of consumers now expect a 60-minute response time on social media yet only 11.2 per cent of brands deliver on this. The trouble is, many brands automate their social media posts (which is a good idea) but forget to check in regularly to see responses and comments. Remember to check in, engage and interact. After all – that is what social media is all about.
Using too many hashtags
Two hashtags per post is enough for Twitter. The key is to focus on the most relevant hashtags and not use every combination possible. If you use too many hashtags, tweets become hard to read, dilute your message and can mistake you for a spammer.
Ignoring negative feedback
It can be tempting to not respond to negative feedback particularly if it seems unfair or uncalled for. However, once a negative comment is out there for everyone to see, all eyes will be on your business to see how you respond to it. If you have genuinely messed up, sincerely apologise, be accountable and if possible outline how you will make amends or change your processes. If the negative feedback seems to be trolling, again respond with graciousness or use appropriate humour to deflect the situation. You may not win over the troll, but other people will notice and respect your ethics.
Overselling your brand
What works in push marketing and print advertising will not work on Twitter. It’s okay to promote your products but you need to be more creative and relational in your copy. Tweeting “Buy this product now!” is a surefire way to lose fans, as is repeatedly posting about a competition or product multiple times a day. If you do want to post several messages related to the same thing throughout the day vary the messaging.
Misusing trending topics
Always do hashtag and trending topic research before joining in on a conversation. Many businesses have had their entire reputations destroyed overnight by joining in on completely inappropriate hashtags for their brand. Google “hashtag fails” and you will see countless examples of this.
Begging for followers
Shamelessly begging for followers will get you nowhere so just don’t do it. Focus on offering something of value and your followers will build organically over time.