I’m on Twitter every day and every day I see businesses making elementary errors. Some of them can destroy a reputation. Which are the worst? Read on and discover what I consider to be the 4 deadliest ones.
1. Ignoring Retweets
This is the height of rudeness. The least you can do is thank someone when they go to the trouble of retweeting your stuff. It doesn’t have to be a basket of hand-baked cakes. A simple “thanks for the RT” is sufficient. Related to this is the #ff or Follow Friday debate. I know people have differing opinions on this but my feeling is that it costs nothing to be polite so why not throw out a few #ff recommendations on a Friday? You don’t have to do it every time and if you’re too busy some weeks, nobody minds. If you want a selfish reason, do it because it’s a good way to pick up followers.
2. Talking About Yourself All the Time
You know the kind of person I mean: all he tweets about is links to his website or how he had lunch with the Lord Mayor. If he spread that thinly amongst interesting things that other people had done, it’d be fine. But he doesn’t it’s just him 24/7. The only thing worse for a business is to never share your own stuff. When you write a new blog post, we actually want to know about that. It’s surprising how many times we have to remind people to tweet links to their latest blog post.
3. Selling Without a Relationship
This person pops up all the time. You might be delighted to see you have a new follower. Next, she messages you to say hello. How friendly! You reply of course. Then she immediately launches into a full-on sales pitch. I hate that! Why couldn’t she at least spend some time getting to know you? If she had offered you some help with something or shared a tip or two, it would be better. But we are all in business, so how do you avoid this mistake? Social marketing is all about giving people choice. Let them discover what you’re good at by demonstrating your expertise. Then if they want someone with your skills or knowledge they’ll know where to come.
4. Failing to Show Up
This mistake is less easy to spot. Some people think it’s okay to tweet once a week or month. That is utterly unacceptable for business use of social media. Everyone will have forgotten your existence between your rare appearances. In some circumstances scarcity makes something more valuable. This is not one of those times.
The Next Step
Practice makes perfect in all things so take a good hard look at your Twitter behaviour. Are you making any of these four deadly mistakes? Practice doing things a different way from now on. Here’s a bonus tip: if you don’t have a plan or basic strategy for your Twitter activity, you may well be making Mistake Number Five.