By Erin Minty
We’ve all known a major brand to blow it on Twitter and offend thousands (if not millions) of followers. So it’s better to be prepared on what not to do before you think about what to do. Twitter can be a confusing place, what with hashtags, @ mentions, and a 140 character limit, so here are eight mistakes to avoid so your company’s Twitter account can be spectacular and successful.
1. Don’t start a tweet with the @ symbol
This one can be very confusing, and it all comes down to the fact that there is a difference between the “@ reply” and the “@ tag.” Basically, if you begin a tweet with the @, it is a reply, meaning anything you tweet will only be visible to you, the person you tweet, and anyone who follows BOTH of you. Alternatively, if you use the @ tag somewhere in the middle of a tweet, anyone who follows ONLY you or ONLY the person you tagged can see it. By starting a tweet with @, you’re hugely limiting who will see it.
2. Make sure you have a brand hashtag
Your brand needs a unifying factor; something that your customers and fans can use to show their appreciation. You’ll want to create a hashtag that is reminiscent of your brand’s name (if not the same) and use it sometimes as another way for people to talk about you.
3. Don’t tweet too much
No one wants to get on their feed to see you’ve sent out 15 tweets within the span of 15 minutes. You need to schedule your brand’s tweets to reach your customers at peak times scattered throughout the day; you don’t want to overwhelm them all at once.
4. But make sure you tweet enough
The opposite of this would be going a few days without tweeting at all. You want to keep your followers happy, and also subtly remind them that you exist. If you don’t tweet at least once a day, you’re missing out on a giant potential market.
5. Don’t drone on and on about your company
People like to see that your company cares about (or is at least involved in) the world around us. So instead of tweeting one fact after another about yourself, try to get involved in the current pop culture or real-world discussion going on. Check out the trending hashtag section to see what people really care about at any given time.
6. Don't retweet too often
Retweeting, like sugar, is only okay in moderation. But if you are only retweeting, you’re missing out on the most essential and awesome thing about Twitter: You aren’t creating an original voice. You want to make sure that your brand’s message is getting across, so make sure you pick a voice and write a majority of your tweets that way.
7. Don't robot tweet
This is when you don’t include any @ mentions or hashtags, ever. If it looks like all of your tweets are written by a program and not a human, you are definitely doing your brand a disservice. Throw something fun in once in a while, and let people know that there’s a real live person sitting behind a desk somewhere, totally engaged in your Twitter account.
8. Reply to your mentions or messages
This one is the most crucial. Twitter was created to make connections between people, and isn’t that the most important reason for your brand to use it? Your fans might have questions, or they might just want to shower you with compliments. Ignoring these will distance you from your customers, and it definitely won’t encourage that your brand is personable or “likeable.”
Are you guilty of these twitter mistakes? Let us know in the comments.