Even experienced Twitter users occasionally commit a faux pas, but it’s important to know the most common mistakes so you can avoid them. These mistakes can lead to misunderstandings, lost followers, or even a bad reputation.
1. Tweeting in Bursts
Image via Flickr by trekkyandy
Many Twitter users make the mistake of sending bursts of tweets in a short time, neglecting the feed for the remainder of the day. The way to become relevant on Twitter is to send out tweets at regular intervals throughout the day. Also, burst tweeting can annoy people who, out of nowhere, get a ton of tweets from you filling up their tweet stream. That can easily cause them to unfollow you.
2. Not Making Room for Retweets
If you want people to be able to retweet your tweets, you need to leave them space to do so. Most people won’t take the time to try and edit your content to send it out. You need to leave them a character count large enough to include RT@.
3. Not Creating Catchy Tweets
Too many tweets don’t engage anyone’s attention at all, making them a complete waste of time. If you’re trying to encourage someone to follow a URL, be sure to introduce it in a catchy way. Tweeting URLs is much like writing good titles, you’ve got to grab the audience’s attention.
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4. Neglecting to Retweet for Others
You’ve got to give some to get some, and this is especially true with Twitter. If you never retweet other people’s tweets, they’ve got no reason to retweet yours. Make a habit of retweeting the best posts from those in your feed, and they’ll likely reciprocate.
5. Unprotect Your Account
Privacy settings in Twitter work differently than those of other social media platforms. If you need to unprotect your Twitter account so others can see all your tweets, go to Settings, select Account, and click Protect My Tweets. This should unselect the privacy setting, opening your feed up to more users. This is incredibly important if you’re trying to use Twitter for business.
6. Failure to Follow Others
Twitter is a “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” universe. If you’re trying to get more followers, the only way you’ll be successful is to follow others. The more people, companies, and places you follow, the more people will find and follow you.
7. Sending Vague Tweets
Another common mistake is tweeting things nobody else can understand, such as, “this is really bad,” with no explanation. Always include a link to an article, video or picture so people can at least relate to what you’re tweeting.
8. Using @ Instead of .@
If you’re tweeting about an article, website, or blog and you use @, only your followers who also subscribe to their Twitter feeds are able to follow the link. Use .@ (preceded by a period) so everyone can follow along.
9. Tweet First, Think Later
There are no shortages of celebrities, athletes, companies, and even ordinary people who tweet something thoughtlessly only to have it haunt them later. It’s so fast and easy to send a tweet, but once it’s out there, there’s no bringing it back. Think twice before hitting send to save yourself some grief.
Twitter is a powerful, enjoyable, useful tool when used correctly. Avoiding these common mistakes assures Twitter remains a friendly place for you to connect with people, build relationships and expand your network of influence socially.