5 Twitter gaffes brand managers should avoid

It’s no secret that Twitter is powerful tool for online marketers.

In fact, a
quarter of U.S. marketers run videos on Twitter. The social media platform can open a powerful dialogue with your
audience, update your customers on the latest company news, provide
customer service and more.

Your business likely already has a Twitter account, but are you using it to
its fullest potential?

Your Twitter feed should be a picture-perfect representation of your
company’s desired image.

Here are five rookie Twitter mistakes and strategies to avoid them:

1. You use inconsistent hashtags (#).

Hashtags can be tricky
for even the most seasoned Twitter pros. What should you be hashtagging?
How many hashtags should you use? Should you be jumping on every fun
hashtag bandwagon?

Perhaps the most common Twitter mistake is not using hashtags at all.
Hashtags are the easiest way to reach a wider audience. Any Twitter user
can search a hashtag to find related tweets (or Twitter updates), which
means more impressions and engagement for your content.

However, don’t get too excited and start #hashtagging #every #word. Too
many can look messy and may be a turn-off for potential followers. Every
single tweet does not require a hashtag, but make sure to include one, two
or three when relevant.

Instead of joining every trend, find a hashtag that pertains to your
business and stick with it. You can even create a business-specific hashtag
for your business that you can check to see what people are saying about
your brand.

Make sure you use your business-specific hashtag consistently. Misspelling
the hashtag, or switching it up too often, will be confusing for your
audience.

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2. You don’t post regularly.

At the very least you should be tweeting once per day. If you go too long
without posting, your audience may lose interest and unfollow. Fifteen
percent of Twitter unfollow a business within 3 weeks if they feel
the brand doesn’t make a strong effort to engage.

If you’re worried about keeping up with a consistent posting schedule,
tools like Hootsuite and Twuffer allow you to schedule tweets in advance.
Make time to draft, proofread and schedule your tweets for the upcoming
week so you won’t have to worry about tweeting every single day!

Not sure when to tweet? You can experiment with tweeting at different times
during the day to find what time garners the most engagement with your
audience. Monitor your Twitter analytics closely to get a better idea of
what works for your brand.

3. You talk about yourself too much.

Think of Twitter as an ongoing party with all of your followers as friends.
You wouldn’t walk into a real-world party and start shouting about how
great you are.

It’s great to feel enthusiastic about your company, but if your feed is 100
percent promotional content your followers will soon become bored. Instead,
try the golden 80/20 rule: eighty percent of your feed should be content
that is relevant and/or “infotainment” (important information that
entertains as well) to your readers. The other 20 percent can be about your
company specifically.


4. You use Twitter like Facebook (or Instagram, LinkedIn, others).

All social media platforms were not created equally. Twitter and Facebook
are two completely different animals and need to be treated as such. For
example: Facebook posts are allowed 5,000 characters. Twitter gets 280. If
you’ve written a lovely 1,000-character Facebook post, it’s not going to
show up well on Twitter, leaving your feed looking messy and
unprofessional.

At first glance,
linking Facebook
posts to your Twitter feed seems like an easy way to generate content.
Cross-posting is a quick shortcut that allows you to have content on both
platforms and makes
social media management, well, manageable. However, savvy PR pros know taking the shortcut because
it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s the best route.

It may be tempting to cross-post your Facebook posts to Twitter (or vice
versa), but doing so demonstrates a lack of understanding of the inner
workings of social media. Sure, it may be easier to tweet a link to your
latest Facebook post, but how many people want to click on that? What about
the section of audience members who already follow your business on both
platforms? They don’t want to see the same content twice. The last thing a
customer wants to see on Twitter is “I posted a new photo on Facebook.”

5. You ignore your audience.

Businesses often forget the “social” aspect of “social media.”

Though Twitter is a great way to raise awareness for your brand, it is
primarily a platform for connecting with other people. Engagement is a
two-way street. Don’t leave your audience feeling ignored and
unappreciated.

“Like” responses from your followers and don’t be afraid to retweet if one
of your followers has a particularly intriguing observation. Reply to
comments as you deem appropriate. Identify followers who routinely engage
with your content and start a dialogue with them.

From a consumer perspective, it is flattering to be remembered by a
business profile. If you want to go above and beyond with your social media
presence, try to remember personal details and call your followers by their
names. Take time to get to know your audience on a personal level and they
are more likely to become long-term fans of your brand.

For example, Wendy’s has a reputation for responding to its
followers with witty remarks, which as in turn garnered media attention for
the brand.

You don’t need to start roasting your Twitter followers for attention.
Simply find a
brand voice
that you’re comfortable with and stick with it.


Sarah Metoxen is a publicist with Three Girls Media, A PR firm. A
version of this article originally appeared on the
Three Girls Media blog.

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