Twitter for business: 18 things you should NOT do

Five years on Twitter doesn’t sound like a long time, however in the world of social media — it is, believe me!

I have learned so much along the way, building my own following, but also that of Firebrand’s, which now has well over 33,000 followers.

It’s also made me a little irritable about certain Twitter habits, so be warned.

Here are 18 things I learned you should not do on Twitter if you want to market yourself or your business.

18 Twitter #Mega-fails
  1. Do not set up Auto DMs for new followers. It really annoys people.
  2. Do not “protect your tweets”. What’s the point of using Twitter for marketing if people can’t see your tweets? It’s particularly amusing when I see marketers do this.
  3. Do not set up a spam filter for your tweets. Most people won’t follow through with the filter and follow you. This is a red flag for why you’re not getting new followers.
  4. Do not schedule your tweets so that multiple tweets suddenly appear in your stream at the same time. You will be labelled a spammer and people will unfollow you.
  5. Do not use anything other than a photo of yourself or company logo for your Avatar if you want to be taken seriously (eg. your pet hamster). People prefer to engage with people, so a photo of yourself is recommended, even above a company logo if possible. Put the company logo on your Twitter background instead.
  6. Unless you’re a food blogger, don’t tweet what you had for breakfast/lunch/dinner. People don’t care and you’re wasting their time.
  7. Stay away from banal tweets. I read one the other day that said “Went to scratch my nose and poked myself in the eye”. Immediate “unfollow”! Am I being harsh?
  8. And whilst I’m at it, don’t tweet about sex or religion unless this is your area of specialisation and that’s what you’re marketing.
  9. Don’t treat Twitter as a broadcast channel – do more listening and engaging than talking.
  10. Do not overly promote yourself. Be generous, add value and share a lot. It’s the best kind of promotion you can do.
  11. Do not use CAPITAL LETTERS – it’s the equivalent of shouting and no-one likes it.
  12. Do not post your tweet on other social platforms (manually or automatically) unless it is written appropriately for the other platform. E.g. If your tweet contains hashtags or @, remove them for LinkedIn. Also remember that the tone of each platform should be different. Best to customise for each one. BTW, keep the hashtags on Pinterest and Facebook, but don’t go overboard.
  13. Do not auto-post your Facebook updates to Twitter. If I see one more tweet that says “I posted an image to Facebook” I’m going to lose it.
  14. Do not use more than two or three hashtags in your tweets. Makes your tweets very unappealing to read.
  15. No-one cares where you checked in. Stop polluting feeds with this trivial information.
  16. Don’t set up an auto-tweet announcing how many people unfollowed you. Not cool. Not cool at all. We also don’t care how many people followed or retweeted you either. Bit too egocentric for my liking.
  17. Don’t send a tweet without checking your spelling. Spelling mistakes make you look totally unprofessional.
  18. Don’t share a link without crediting your source. I see this happening all the time, even with short tweets where there is room to give someone credit. It’s a certain type of person who does this…

If you have any other “pet hates” regarding Twitter, please share them with everyone by adding a comment to this post.

More reading:
10 essential personal branding tips for Twitter.
13 things that really annoy people on LinkedIn



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