Planning to start using Twitter? Some basic mistakes to avoid

Twitter is a social phenomenon that has taken everyone by surprise. Tweeting was first thought of as a purely social activity similar to text messaging, but marketers quickly figured out it could also be a powerful marketing tool.

And like any tool, when used badly, you get bad results. Sometimes very bad.  Some of the worst mistakes you can make on Twitter are very easily avoided with just a few basic cautions.

The first and most important thing to remember about Twitter is that it is a social platform in a very public medium. So your business or brand will be seen.

With that in mind, and in the context of using tweets on Twitter as a promotional tool, here are some of those deadly mistakes you must avoid.

The most deadly Twitter mistake

Using Twitter to send out ‘spammy’ and ‘in-your-face’ promotional tweets will get you shunned by the Twitter community faster than a burp at the Queen’s table.

Think of your tweets like conversational comments at a nice cocktail party. People are there to have fun and enjoy what they are doing; they don’t want a sales pitch shoved in their face. You Twitter audience feels the same. Your tweets must leave your Twitter followers feeling benefited by reading your comments, not targeted as a sales prospect.

Twitter is a community: you have to participate

This is an easy Twitter mistake to avoid. The old adage is true; “You have to give to receive.” You have to participate in the Twitter world. Follow other Tweeters, respond to their tweets, participate in tweet threads. Don’t expect results if you only send out tweets that benefit you and never interact with other tweeters.

The logic follows like this: If you want Twitter to be an effective tool you have to develop a following to receive your tweets. To develop a following you have to write tweets people want to read. If you want people to read your tweets you have to make them feel benefited by doing so. Think of it like you do your incoming phone calls. If you don’t know the number, or recognize it as a sale call, you will probably return the call later or not at all.

But if you see it’s a friend’s number, odds are you will take the call.

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