Four Twitter Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

By on July 22, 2014

Congratulations! Your brand is on Twitter. You have a great opportunity to promote your brand story, grow your network, and maybe make a few easy sales. While it can be a pretty casual place to communicate, don’t take such a laid back approach that you make one or more of these four Twitter mistakes.

Mistake #1: You don’t post any content of your own.

Nothing worth having is easy or comes for free, and the same can be said about your Twitter account. If you think that pushing the ‘Retweet’ button, and sharing articles from others all day long is all you have to do then you’re mistaken.

If you want to be an influencer, your news feed will need to be a source of (at least some) original thoughts, along with blog posts, infographics and images that you have created. After all, one of your primary goals should be to establish yourself as an authority within your industry so that you can build trust.

When a web user wants to read someone else’s news, they will follow a news aggregator like AllTop and select the relevant categories. What Twitter users want, and what you can easily give them, is you. So give the people what they want!

Mistake #2: You’re anti-social.

Okay, so you start posting regularly and you’re creating original content. Your followers start becoming more than just followers – they become engaged in your brand story. Guess what? Engagement is at minimum a two-way street, and sometimes, a complex intersection.

Twitter may be the most demanding of all the social media platforms when it comes to engagement. Not only do users expect you to tweet back and reply to them, but they expect it right about NOW. When you let a comment go unacknowledged, your followers think that you don’t care. When your followers think you don’t care, they start becoming irritated and may become trolls that you have to deal with in a whole new way.

Twitter is not a ‘follow up on the issue a week later’ platform. Any response time longer than an hour or two may make you look antisocial. This is another reason why you want to shift your time away from retweeting endless content from other users, and start focusing on the conversations you could and should be having.

Mistake #3: Your Twitter content has no relationship to your brand’s overall message.

Now you’re engaging your Twitter followers and you’re getting somewhere, but you don’t seem to have any sort of direction in terms of brand message. What do I mean by this?

● Are you creating hashtags of your own which you use and encourage your followers to use?
● Are you using your logos and other brand images to quickly identify your brand visually?
● Are you sharing content that further establishes you as an expert in your field?
● Do you maintain a consistent voice, or tone of conversation?

It’s all about using social media to project the real voice of your business. Are you a serious and solemn company? Are you more playful and willing to get involved in banter? Two examples to look at are Mountain Dew and Pepsi. Here’s a typical tweet from Mountain Dew:

Here’s a typical tweet from Pepsi:

Both are engaging and have more personality than a typical boring brand message. However, Mountain Dew’s brand message is one that is undoubtedly centered around a more youthful market. Pepsi takes a more corporate, conservative approach.

Mistake #4: Abandoning your profile, or not having a presence on Twitter at all. 

Nothing is worse than when Twitter users are tweeting about you, @mentioning your brand, complimenting your products, trying to make customer support claims, and you’re completely oblivious to it all! When you do not respond (or what’s worse, don’t have a profile to respond from), it’s likely the natives will get restless, start talking poorly about you, and morphing into those trolls we were talking about earlier. In fact, your company may go viral in a negative context without your knowledge!

Nearly every brand is guilty of social missteps. It’s only natural that you may stumble (or sometimes fall) when embarking on your brand’s journey in social. However, if you take the above insights to heart, you can navigate the Twittersphere with confidence, keep the trolls at bay and maybe have a little fun at the same time.

About Ernest Thompson

Ernest is the viral marketing advocate and analyst over on the Viral Tactic Marketing Blog. You can find him there at least twice a week, with his "Viral Campaign of the Week" post going up every Saturday. Join him for all types of online marketing advice, and learn about viral marketing in particular!
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