Tips for Twitter, Fails you must Avoid

To use Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook is a cheap and inexpensive way of keeping your existing client base informed, and more importantly, a method of building and expanding your client base.

As much thought must go into your free ‘Social Media Advertising’ as a paid advert or commercial.   Sending a Tweet doesn’t cost a penny, but the wrong words, with the wrong message will work against increasing your number of  followers.

Some may call it common sense, we call it the Tips for Twitter, Fails you must Avoid.

Twitter Fail #1 – Turn a moan into a positive

Keep all your messages positive.  When the chips are down it is tempting to let off steam with a Twitter rant, but this is not what this tip is about – you should be avoiding Tweeting your rants already.  Every message you send must at the very least, devoid of criticism, and neutral on your personal circumstance – and for the win, make sure all Tweets have a least one positive point.

For example, if you intended saying,

  • “We will be struggling to send all the website orders made during this busy period so plan for your item to arrive later than usual.”

Give it a positive spin with instead with,

  • “Wow – had a great response to our latest product & we’re moving Heaven + Earth to despatch orders as quickly as possible. You guys rule!”

It removes the moan, shows your product is great, that you’re doing everything you can to get the orders out (you were doing this anyway…) and shows appreciation and love to your customers.

Twitter Fail #2 – Avoid Antagonising Clients

The football is on and your team has been thrashed 10-0 by opposition in the final, or the government has made a decision that is unpopular with you.

You want to complain, You really want to complain. Do complain- complain to your spouse, neighbour of friend – don’t complain on Twitter.  Your clients are unlikely to support your football team or they may well support the governments decision – the difference of opinion on Twitter will antagonise and alienate your followers – and they will stop following you.

The lesson – never underestimate how emotional your followers may be about a subject that is disparate from the reason they decided to follow you in the first place …

Twitter Fail #3 – Repeat Publicising of Blog Articles

Repeating Tweets – we’ve all seen this.  The same tweets publicising blog material repeating 3 or more times in one day.  So lets work out a better strategy.  Yes, some of your followers will be looking at Twitter at different times of the day, but schedule your re-tweets on different days on different times, getting the timezone coverage you need without annoying your followers by displaying repeat after repeat after repeat …

A simplified example, say if you have three articles, lets call them A, B and C.  On day 1 run article ‘A’ at 9am, article ‘B’ at 4pm, and article ‘C’ at 8pm.  Then on day 2 start with article ‘B’ at 9am, followed by ‘C’ at 4pm, then ‘A’ at 8pm.  Mix this up with additional articles and your followers will be less likely to notice you are repeating your content.

To add an additional dimension, consider giving your articles different Tweet wording to interest your followers that may not have paid attention the first time round.  Finally, do not be worried about prefixing a repeat tweet with, ‘Earlier on …’ pretty much 90% of folks will understand it’s a repeat, and of those 90%, folks that didn’t see it first time around will be interested as you have flagged the article as worthy of a re-run.

Twitter Fail #4 – Lazy Auto-Tweeting

Lazy Auto-Tweeting, another crime against Twitter, and easy to avoid.

Do not link Twitter from your Facebook feed (or other social media) to auto-publish Tweets – the message when translated to Facebook just doesn’t work.  Either the message exceeds the 140 character limit, or the linked attachments end up being mangled or have privacy controls – it’s a fail with a capital F, in flashing red neon.

How often have you seen, “I posted a new photo to Facebook http://fb.me/xxxxxx” – your picture may look great on Facebook but you’re now asking folks on Twitter to click your link, log into Facebook … oh you get the idea?  Don’t take the Lazy Way – upload the photo  to Twitter and provide a crafted Tweet to explain what your follower will gain by clicking the link.

Twitter Fail #5 – Not using all 140 Characters

You have 140 characters for your Tweet – spend them all and and spend them wisely.  A lengthy Tweet will stand out in your follower’s Twitter feed, giving you more screen presence.  Come on, there is no extra cost and once you get into the habit it will become second nature.

There is an exception to the rule of course – when a short few words may only be required to impart an update that your followers may expect, for example to notify of a weather closure, or new stock delivery – these will benefit for being succinct and to the point.

Twitter Fail #6 – Interact or Die

If you don’t interact with your followers – then close your Twitter account now.  Re-Tweet items of importance for your followers – they will love you for it.  If your followers Tweet about a charity event, or perhaps are in need of help.  Think for a moment, then press that Re-Tweet button.  Interact and join in conversations, even if the subject is banal, it shows there is a human involved behind the keyboard.

In a nutshell – Twitter is a two-way-street.

Twitter Fail #7 – The Machine Gunner

We’ve all done it.  Forgotten about Twitter, then realised we had a lot of Blog posts and news to share. So do we

  • Space out overdue Tweets over the course of the week?
  • Let rip and fire out 10 Tweets in quick succession filling the Twitter Feed of your followers with your machine gunned updates?

Don’t cause friendly fire incidents or barrage your Followers with a hail of Tweets – plan your Tweets and send them out over the course of several days.

And Finally

We hope you got something from this article – if you have something to add please take a moment to add a comment.

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