Common Mistakes Businesses Make on Twitter

Wed, Mar 21, 2012


Like most business owners, you’ve probably come to realize that social media has captured the interest of the world, and if you want to compete these days you need to have a targeted online presence in order to capitalize on current trends in communications. But there’s a lot more to it than signing up for social networking sites like Facebook, Foursquare, and Pinterest. And when it comes to Twitter, in particular, most businesses fail to realize both the potential inherent in the medium (virtual sound bites for a short-attention-span generation) and how to use it effectively. So here are just a few of the common mistakes you should try to avoid.

  1. Personal usage. You wouldn’t ask business associates or customers to email you at your personal account or call you at home. So why would you use your personal Twitter account for business purposes or follow feeds that you’re interested in via the account attached to your business? You need to make sure that followers understand that this is a business feed, which means creating an account that is an extension of your brand by using your business logo, customizing in accordance with your brand image, and providing links to your company website.
  2. Under- and over-tweeting. It can be hard to strike a balance when it comes to tweeting for a couple of reasons. The first is that you may not have enough relevant or useful information to justify multiple tweets each day. Or perhaps you’re having trouble limiting your messages to just 140 characters, resulting in an annoying string of interconnected tweets. Maybe you just don’t have time to tweet consistently so you end up bogging down your feed one day and then neglecting it for the rest of the week. This type of inconsistency is a problem for many businesses, which is why services like Hootsuite have been developed to help you input information and then space it out accordingly.
  3. Failure to communicate. The wonderful thing about social media is that it allows everyone to participate in the constant, global conversation that is occurring. So if you’re not engaging with your followers you’re wasting the medium. You need to speak TO followers, not AT them. Rather than pushing the hard sell, offer helpful advice and relevant industry information, and make every effort to stay current and respond to follower comments and inquiries.
  4. Lack of personality. You might think that a business account has to be boring in order to remain professional, but you have a lot of latitude to inject your personality in keeping with your professional goals. If followers find your banter attractive and compelling, it could trigger a boost in followers, visitors to your website, and ultimately sales, all of which are good for your business.
  5. Reinventing the wheel. You may be used to old-school advertising techniques but that doesn’t means you have to try to figure out inbound marketing on your own. The truth is that this modern medium doesn’t lend itself to selling. The trick these days is to go for click-through, or giving people the motive and opportunity to find you (in a sense). You can do this by catching their attention and then offering a link to your website, prompting consumers to seek out your site of their own volition (letting them think it is their idea). In many ways, this is far easier and more effective than traditional advertising, which is why so many businesses find it appealing.
| More

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.