Twitter for tech companies: Lesson 8: Twitter mistakes to avoid
Updated 4 March 21 – originally posted 2014.
We’ve all seen dreadful boo boos on Twitter. Some are obvious and you say there is no way I would do that (and you probably wouldn’t). But, it is still very important to think about what you are posting on Twitter before sending it. And, of course, vital to proofread it at least 3 times before clicking the Tweet button. Here’s my list of Twitter mistakes to avoid – a list based on what I see daily.
- Over use of hashtags – 2 is more than enough.
- Using lots of hashtags and a URL – Hootsuite recommends that you don’t use hashtags when you want people to click on a URL. It makes sense, having 2 things to click on gives people a choice and they may chose the wrong one and you’ve lost your opportunity to impress.
- Staying on the hashtag theme – be careful how the words flow together – use capital letters to differentiate the words. Remember the Susan Boyle incident?
- Swearing. There really isn’t any occasion that calls for it on social media.
- Posting from the wrong account – oops.
- Not optimising your profile. Social media profiles are indexed by search engines so it’s important to use the space.
- Having your location as “global”. I mean, come on. Where is Global?
- Being too clever and using map co-ordinates as your location. I’m not going to Google your cleverly put co-ordinates to find out where you are based, therefore I am unlikely to follow you.
- Not including social media buttons on your website. If you don’t tell your web visitors you are on twitter, how will they know to follow you? This is one I saw a lot with Irish technology companies in 2014 when this was originally posted.
- Sharing only your own content. It’s ok to retweet, in fact it’s encouraged. It helps you engage with others.
- Following hundreds of people immediately after setting up the account and not having tweeted. For people to follow you back they will want to see a tweet history that is of interest to them, a good profile and location and the fact that you have followers. To follow everybody all on the first day means that most won’t follow you back and you will have lost that opportunity to make an impression. After setting up your account, you should watch and wait and tweet when you are comfortable. After you have some tweets behind you, then follow away, but keep it to about 15 accounts a day.
- Using the auto reply Twitter feature. Because everybody knows it’s automated, it’s really not great. If you want to thank people for following you, a personal DM hours later is better.
- Focusing on quantity rather than quality of followers. You can still have a lot of influence if you are in a niche market with a small number of influential followers.
- Over or under posting. There’s no point in sending 6 tweets out in a row. If one is missed, they will all be missed and if they are all seen, most of them will be ignored. Twitter has a shelf life of about 15 minutes and Facebook about 60, so spread tweets out during the day. Use a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule. It’s also ok to tweet the same content as not all of your followers will have seen the first – just don’t over do it.
- Not leaving enough space for others to retweet you. There is a total space of 280 characters. Your own name is up to 18 (inc RT@), so ensure you leave enough characters so others can retweet without having to edit.
Read more Twitter for tech companies posts
Lesson 1: 6 tips on who to follow on Twitter
Lesson 2: Which Twitter strategy should you chose?
Lesson 3: 12 Twitter tips for beginners
Lesson 4: Who to follow on Twitter
Lesson 6: Twitter lists
Lesson 7: Using Hootsuite
Lesson 8: Twitter mistakes to avoid
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