With 6,000 tweets sent every second, Twitter is one highly competitive playing field. If you even want a fighting chance of having your tweets actually read, it’s essential to avoid bad habits that tend to have the opposite effect.

Your tweets are all about you.

You have a great new product. You just wrote an e-book. You just sold a 10-year lease on a Jaguar. While people like your mother may find this information wonderful, your buyer persona may not. They are much more interested in what you can do for them, and how you can address their specific business problem, not what you do in general.

Why no one reads your tweets.

Your tweets are too salesy.

You know that junk mail that’s mixed in with your regular mail. And you know the junk mail you automatically chuck in the trash without even opening. That’s basically how salesy tweets are treated. If your tweets tend to consist of phrases like “ONLY 12.48 hours left!” or “BUY THIS NOW!” you can bet they’re a tad too salesy.

#You #engage #in #hashtag #abuse.

If your tweets have more than two hashtags per 140 characters, you’re a prime candidate for hashtag abuse. Too many hashtags are hard on the eyes. They also make you look like you’re desperate for attention, especially if the hashtags are highly popular search terms that have nothing to do with your topic.

If you’re tweeting about your new blog post, but fail to include a link to the post, there’s a good chance not many people are going to read your blog. The same holds true for asking people to register for an event or perform other specific action – and then sending them to a random page that has nothing to do with the action.

You automatically send new followers pre-written messages.

Social media is all about making connections. And you’re not going to make any valuable ones if everyone who follows you gets an automated message. You’ll instead come across as a robot. Prove you’re a real, live human by connecting in more meaningful ways, like sharing interesting articles, relevant blog posts and other valuable content. Search keywords associated with your business or industry, looking for questions you can answer or discussions you can join.

Your auto-scheduling could use some variation.

Just because tweets move at breakneck speed doesn’t mean you should send the same tweet out half a dozen times. If people didn’t respond the first time, it’s not likely the second, third or fifth tweet will make them change their minds. You can certainly take advantage of tools that schedule tweets in advance, just make sure it’s not the exact same tweet on the schedule every time.

Your profile is lame.

Spot check your profile to ensure it’s both optimized and attractive. Put together a custom graphic, banner or graphic in lieu of the default egghead Twitter picture at the top of your profile. Include a relevant description of your business, your location and a link to your website.

Your tweets lack focus.

You should have an overall goal for your Twitter account. If your Twitter is sports focused, do sports. If your Twitter is focused on medicine and healthcare, do that. Your expertise is why people will follow you. Don’t dilute your own Twitter stream with tangential or controversial views on subjects unrelated to your Twitter focus. Be sure to do you on Twitter. Before you do you though, make sure you know who you will be.

While it may still be a hard sell to get your voice heard on Twitter, following these tips will at least help ensure your tweets aren’t systematically ignored.