9 Twitter “Fails” to Avoid

Twitter is an ideal medium for not only keeping in touch with customers and clients, but also building and maintaining relationships with businesses, market leaders and so on. However, if abused or used inappropriately, this resource can backfire and result in unfortunate consequences for your company. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while using Twitter.

Fail #1: Using Twitter to make hard sales

Social media, in general, is a “pull”, not a “push” marketing tool. “Pull” marketing works by enticing people, creating excitement and developing relationships, not hitting them with a constant barrage of “buy now”, “today's special” and “best deal ever” messaging. Do that on Twitter and you will get unfollowed for sure.

Fail #2: Ignoring the conversations about either you or your business

Social media enables brands to engage directly with their market and many consumers are very active and talking about brands on Twitter in particular. Failing to respond to a client's  comments and feedback can prove to be detrimental to the business. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, a response is necessary. To begin with, acknowledging and graciously accepting positive feedback is as essential a customer care strategy as responding to negative feedback. Providing information and clarifications on negative feedback also helps to nip bad publicity in the bud.

Fail #3: Over-tagging

Twitter is all about visibility. However, for business purposes, being visible to the right person but with the wrong content can turn people off and potentially, turn them away from your business. If your followers are continually mentioned in tweets that have nothing to do with them, they could choose to unfollow.

Fail #4: NOT claiming your name or business name on Twitter

Unlike other social media, Twitter does not allow for multiple pages to be opened under the same name. What that means is that  YOUR business name could be claimed and used by another company with a similar name, possibly offering similar services.

Fail #5: Inconsistent tweeting

Once your business has a profile on Twitter, it is important to effectively manage the account. This includes posting interesting content, as well as retweeting relevant posts. Failure to do these things can be counter-productive and defeats the entire purpose of being on Twitter. Since the goal is to be visible to your market, be visible; regularly and consistently. The content you tweet could include educational links and information on exclusive deals, offers and promotions. This not only keeps your followers coming back for more, but also attracts more prospects to you.

Fail #6: Spam kills

People hate spam – period! What is spam? This is where businesses bombard their community with push marketing techniques, including massive opportunities to buy, buy, buy, dumping information with no thought to its relevance, their market, or the clients' needs. Twitter accounts that regularly post spam content are easily flagged and more frequently shut down. When posting content, put yourself in your community's shoes and consider whether as a recipient of the information, you would be pleased or annoyed.

Fail #7: A generic business profile

Twitter provides the option of customizing your business profile to make it entirely your own. When you have a customized profile, anybody looking at your profile is clear about who you are and what your business does. Put forth your best business foot!

Fail #8: Protecting your posts

On Twitter, the “Protect your Posts” feature is available in order to prevent some users from seeing your posts. When used on a business profile however, it is counter-productive and prevents your followers from gaining access to the who and what your business is all about,  which in turn defeats the purpose of their following you to begin with.

Fail #9: The “crazy” profile picture

Running any business has a lot to do with image, and inspiring confidence plays a big role in promoting that image. That said, the profile picture for your business page ought to be professional and directly related to your business. This disqualifies pictures of your favorite movie star or cartoon character.

Of course, there are also lots of other Twitter “fails”. I just tried to cover some of the basic ones and the ones I see most often. What are your some of your Twitter “fails” that are your pet peeves?

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