10 Twitter Mistakes to Avoid

Joe Fahrner is the co-founder of InboxQ a Twitter tool that helps businesses find Tweets that contain questions to which they might have an answer, and allows them to respond ― potentially winning over Twitter users and turning them into customers. Fahrner tells BusinessNewsDaily the 10 biggest Twitter mistakes that businesses make.

  • Failure to participate: With over 200 million registered Twitter users and more on the way, there is no question that your business needs a Twitter presence. The single biggest mistake your business can make is simply not participating in the conversations that are happening on Twitter.
  • Inauthentic behavior: There are no shortcuts to building a positive reputation on Twitter for your business. Mass-following techniques, paid followers and other inauthentic attempts to seem more influential than you are will reflect poorly on your business in the long run.
  • Lack of value creation: While you need a clear understanding of the value Twitter is adding to your business, you also need to make sure you are contributing positive value back into the Twitter community .  Answer questions, help solve problems and actively participate in the conversation around your brand.
  • Slow or no response to @mentions or @replies: Make sure Twitter users who reach out to you through an @reply or @mention aren’t kept waiting for a response. It is not only rude, it can cost you the opportunity to win a new customer or help an existing one. Even worse, ignoring these types of proactive attempts to connect with your company can turn a potential advocate into a detractor.
  • Too much focus on Twitter-specific metrics: Tracking things like follower growth, ReTweet rates and other Twitter-specific metrics is important, but they don't tell the whole story. Make sure you understand how the time you spend on Twitter maps back to your core business objectives.
  • Too much formality: Twitter is about conversations, and no one wants to talk to a press release. Of course, you want to keep things professional and use a tone that is appropriate for your overall brand, but don't be afraid to let your personality come through in your Tweets.
  • Irrelevant @replying: It is smart to use tools like Twitter search to find people talking about your company, products or general industry. But use common sense when choosing when and how to join the conversation. You'll see better response by taking advantage of opportunities to be helpful and crafting useful responses than by blindly sending hard-sell marketing messages to everyone who happens to mention a specific term on Twitter.
  • One-way communication: Twitter is a powerful publishing platform, but it is also a very valuable communication channel. Don't fall into the trap of constantly focusing on pushing out information. You need to take time to listen and respond. Try polling your followers and asking their opinions, and generally try to understand how you can do a better job providing value.
  • Lack of integration into your workflow: In order for your efforts on Twitter to benefit your business, you need to be consistent.  Figure out the best ways to work Twitter into your routine. There are many applications that will allow you to interact with your Twitter stream, and most are free. Try out a few and find what works best for your style and routine.
  • Failure to give your followers a reason to care about your Twitter account: Twitter presents an opportunity for direct one-to-one communication between your business and your followers. Give the folks who have expressed their interest a reason to keep doing so. Try offering special discounts, deals or opportunities to people that follow you on Twitter to keep them engaged.