In the world of social media marketing for your business, it can be hard to fully understand all of the best practices and mistakes to avoid. What generations today like about sites such as Facebook and especially Twitter is the instant, constant flow of communication and information. Unfortunately, the flipside of this is that there are many ways to annoy, anger or offend your followers.
However, as with all social media sites, it certainly has its benefits and many companies excel at engaging customers on Twitter. Below are six examples of bad Twitter habits your business needs to break right now, and the better behaviors to replace them with.
1. Being Inactive
This bad habit is possibly the most important. Much too often, businesses create their Twitter account and then forget to pay attention to it. One of the most common places for customers to truly interact with businesses today is through a simple “@” sign on Twitter. Though customer service has been the backbone of every successful business for many years with very few exceptions, it is now moving online. Your customers expect you to be there to answer questions and provide assistance when they need it.
Source: Simply Measured
Monitoring Twitter for mentions of your business, questions from customers or even competitors’ actions are all essential for success. As a rule, customers will become annoyed if they don’t get a response from you on Twitter within 24 hours – or sometimes even sooner than that!
2. Posting Too Often and Too Much
The opposite of being inactive is simply being over-active. As with all social media, creating engaging and relevant content is key; this typically can’t be done 50 times a day. A customer doesn’t want to look at your Twitter feed and see that you haven’t posted in weeks, but they may also get more annoyed if you fill their personal newsfeed with the same, boring posts constantly. Stick to around 3 tweets daily, and make them interesting!
IMAGE: Obama’s tweet
Similarly, don’t always feel the need to push Twitter’s 140-character limit. Some of the most effective tweets convey messages in as little as 3 words. President Obama crafted the most re-tweeted tweet of 2012 with a simple picture and “Four more years.” Those three words encompassed everything in such a powerful way; sometimes less is more.
3. Not Changing It Up
The best way to engage effectively on Twitter is to avoid posting the same thing every day and in the same way. The site offers a variety of options for posting, including photos, links, hashtags, and retweets. Your page should contain a healthy blend of these elements.
IMAGE: Tweet – Motivational Monday
12 Keys, a recovery center in Florida, is a great example of a varied Twitter feed. They share statistics about substance abuse, #MotivationalMonday tweets, news about celebrity addictions, and images of their beautiful beachside location.
4. Being Vague
Many people respond that they don’t like when businesses use Twitter to “tease” things. Although this is a commonly used marketing technique, you may want to avoid it on Twitter. Posting something like “Check back in an hour for a special sneak peek of our new product!” is going to likely frustrate your followers. The driving force behind the success of Twitter is that it is instant and constant. Those followers who saw your teaser tweet didn’t gain any information or receive a call to action and likely won’t see when you actually post the new product information.
5. Automating Responses
In general on social media, automation is a big no-no. Customers go to Twitter to directly interact with an employee of your company as much as possible; they are looking for a real conversation. Setting up an automatic response to mentions on Twitter is typically not relevant, respected, or a very good idea. Although it may seem like a time saver, you will likely get into some hot water and your automated response will end in embarrassment.
IMAGE: Oreo autotweet
6. Syncing With Facebook
A common practice when businesses and individuals first jump on social media was connecting their Facebook and Twitter accounts. What’s not to love, right? Whatever you post on Facebook is automatically transferred into a tweet. Resist the temptation: this time-saver will kill your Twitter engagement.
First and foremost, a Facebook post simply does not convert correctly into a tweet; it is typically too long, and any images you use will not transfer. Not only does this look sloppy, but it will make your followers feel like Twitter isn’t where the action is – what’s the point of following you on Twitter if it’s all imported in from elsewhere?
Don’t get caught up in these 6 Twitter faux pas and you just might find yourself on the road to successful social media marketing.