Twitter is my favorite social media platform after blogging. Believe it or not, I actually try to talk to every one of the 3,000 plus people following me every once in a while, though not as many talk back. I also just passed 1,000 people I’m following for the first time since I joined Twitter in 2008; that’s pretty amazing. And with just over 87,000 tweets, I like to think I know a thing or two about Twitter.

However, there are people who don’t quite get the nuances of Twitter. There are a lot of people following way more people than I am and have a lot more people following them. But are they effective? Are the communicating or just putting out a lot of noise? Some are, some aren’t, and some are just irritating. Let’s look at 5 mistakes people make on Twitter… in my opinion of course…

1. They either only post links or chatter all day long.

If someone keeps up a diatribe all day long of what they’re doing or just posts links, it often means they’re not trying to communicate with anyone. Unless you’re someone I need to follow because you’re giving me exactly what I need to succeed (which means almost no one), I’m not following anyone that selfish, and not too many other people will either.

If they do, you can bet they’re either bots or people who aren’t reading what’s being put out, and are only in it for the numbers. Do the numbers really mean anything is no one is actually reading?

2. They never respond when someone writes them directly.

Twitter sends you a notification whenever someone writes you directly. If you don’t respond it means you’re not paying attention, or you’ve possibly turned it off, in which case you’re showing you don’t care. Someone like me will unfollow you pretty quickly if I notice it; then again, someone like me checks to see if you ever talk to anyone before I even think about following you.

3. You never put out anything original.

Many people find that they can get a lot of followers by retweeting the content of others. Retweeting basically means sharing what someone else has already posted with the people that follow them. It’s not a bad strategy unless you never put out anything original, which means someone you write, or ever offer an opinion about anything you share. That often means what you’re doing is automated, and even though some people appreciate it no matter what, others know they’re missing the chance to engage you personally.

I’ll grant you that sometimes a tweet is so long that there’s little room left to add a comment. As much as I can I’ll not only alter comments so I can add something, but I also try to do what I can to include the Twitter handle of the person I’m seeing the tweet from, especially if they’re retweeting something. Don’t ever be afraid to manipulate something to make it fit, other than the link, as long as you try to keep the basic message intact.

4. When you do engage people, or share your thoughts, your language is that of someone who doesn’t know any better.

I hate cussing; have never uttered a single word. I’ve gotten used to seeing it here and there online, but some people use bad language as a badge of honor. It’s not, and it makes you look ignorant, even if a few people laugh.

If you’re on Twitter for any business purposes you’ll want to restrict that kind of language. Remember, everything you say on Twitter stays on the internet forever, and now is being recorded by the Library of Congress; how’s that for forever? Remember, people and businesses have lost clients for less.

5. You haven’t set up your bio properly.

When you set up a Twitter account you get to create a very short bio. If you’re there for even a little bit of business you need to remember to put a link to your website or blog, and not a shortened or hidden link because that looks suspicious. Some people don’t put a bio at all; that won’t do.

Some people try to get cute; if it’s for personal use then by all means have fun, but for business tell people what you do, even though you don’t have a lot of characters to get too deep into it. On my Twitter bio I have a link to one of my blogs as well as my main business site. Also, put up a picture or an avatar of some kind; no one likes to follow the little egg they give you when you sign up.

Are you failing in any of these areas? Got anything you’d like to add? By the way, if you want to follow me on Twitter look at that big blue bird on the left and click on it.
 

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