Twitter is a great place to connect with a wider audience and get the word out about your company. Like the other social networks, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about your business.
Watch out for Twitter Traps !
When you find yourself talking to a potential crowd of thousands, it’s easy to fall into a few traps. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to represent yourself in a likeable and professional manner. Make sure that you are working to build relationships instead of talking at people, giving them useless spam that they’ll want to avoid.
Here are 10 Twitter no-no’s that every business should avoid. Make sure that you’re not falling into any of these damaging traps:
10 Potentially Damaging Twitter Traps
Spam with every tweet – People don’t want to be sold to online. This is especially true on Twitter. If they visit your page and see that the bulk of your tweets are self promotional, it serves as grounds to be un-followed.
Not using a headshot – People who never place a profile picture are easy to spot, because it remains the default picture of an egg. It screams “I’m new here.” Changing to a general picture or company logo is impersonal. It’s better to just show people who you are. Get over your shyness. Use a picture of yourself.
Adding “Please RT” – If people like what you have to say, they’ll know what to do. You don’t need to ask for the RT every time in the space of a 140-character message. It’s distracting, and overbearing.
Measuring success by the number of followers – There are a lot of metrics to use to determine Twitter success. It’s better to focus on regular engagement and building relationships than the sheer size of the audience. It’s those who are close that will feel more compelled to buy.
Abuse hashtags – The purpose of hashtags is to make your tweets findable through search. Turning long phrases that no one will ever look for into a hashtag doesn’t make you trendy. It makes your message hard to read.
Manufacture warm fuzzies from nothing – It’s easy to take something completely meaningless and turn it into a “PR victory” using social media. Resist the urge. This is what happened when Time Warner Cable attempted this. A senior editor from the website Fast Company called them out:
Make your followers validate – When people take the extra step to follow your account, the last thing they want to do is jump through one more hoop. Don’t make them prove that they are who they say they are. It’s ultimately not that important, and you’re going to quickly turn people off.
Send automated direct messages – Just because somebody made the step to follow your account, doesn’t mean they are itching to complete your call to action. Anything you send in this fashion will be received as impersonal spam. While your intentions may be good, it’s better to use Twitter to build relationships on a more individual level. Twitter users are wising up. Too many direct messages just come across as spam.
Leave inaccuracies in your profile – Make sure that your profile is accurate. It’s in a highly visible place, and people will use what is there to determine whether they want to reach out and interact with you. Make sure that it doesn’t list your last job as your current job, or a website link that has been taken down. Outdated information will have a negative impact.
Tweet your email or other personal information – Like other social networks, spammers are hard at work on Twitter. Don’t Tweet your email address, cell phone number, or other personal information. It could end up in the wrong hands. You may end up needing the services of digital forensics experts like LWG Consulting out of Chicago.