Top image: Things you shouldn't do on Twitter

14 things you should never do on Twitter

Whether you’re strictly business or getting personal on Twitter (rebranded as “X” in July 2023), keeping your tweets attractive and followable requires a little attention to detail. And gaining followers isn’t as easy as losing them, so avoid these 14 common Twitter mistakes.

1. Don’t overdo it.

Excessive tweeting and self-promotion are among the many faux pas that will get you unfollowed or reported for spam. They come in three all-too-typical varieties:

  • Binge posting: There’s nothing more annoying than a column of tweets all from the same person (or brand) posted in three minutes.

  • Pointless Direct Messaging (DM): There’s no need to send direct messages to new followers thanking them for their interest. Especially if you use this opportunity to direct their attention to your website or blog, you’ll see that follow quickly revoked.

2. Don’t tweet too infrequently either

Regular engagement is essential for building and sustaining a strong social media presence because users have grown accustomed to receiving regular updates and content from the brands they follow. 

According to Hubspot, B2C and B2B brands should be posting on Twitter every day. By tweeting consistently, you meet the expectations of your audience and demonstrate that you are actively present and engaged. However, it's important to find a frequency that works well for your brand, taking into consideration your audience's preferences, your available resources, and the nature of your content.

3. Don’t keep the default profile photo.

On the Internet as in real life, first impressions are almost always visual, and your profile photo can set the tone for your content. Consulting with the brand or design team is an essential step in establishing a cohesive and consistent visual identity for an organization's social media profiles. This collaboration helps to ensure that the organization's online presence accurately represents its brand and values. The primary goal is to determine whether the organization already has existing style guidelines for social profiles. These guidelines typically encompass elements such as logos, color palettes, typography, imagery, and overall visual presentation.

4. Don’t abuse the hashtag.

Hashtagging keywords or topics in your tweets is an effective means of tracking and participating in events, conversation and disaster recovery. But before you publish that tweet, search your hashtags to make sure the results, if any, are consistent with your message.

And don’t add too many! A litany of hashtags will just cloud your message and make your tweet difficult to read. Lastly, avoid using the hashtag merely for #emphasis or #context.

5. Don’t just auto-tweet.

If you’re on several social networks, change up your message and technique for each one, especially since they offer different formatting options. When tweeting from another website (to share their content on your timeline), you’ll often have the tweet written for you. Edit that Tweet and give it a bit of your own style before publishing.

6. Don’t ignore grammar rules on Twitter

Grammar and spelling mistakes significantly reduce the impact of your content. Take a minute to proofread your tweet. It’s not just your content’s readability and attractiveness at stake, but repeated errors can get you ignored or reported for spam, not to mention being ridiculed by Twitter’s grammar police.

7. Don’t ignore your customers on Twitter

Ignoring customers on Twitter can lead to negative consequences, including a damaged brand reputation and lost business opportunities. Brands should actively listen to their customers, respond to their inquiries, address their concerns, and acknowledge their positive feedback. By demonstrating attentiveness and genuine care, brands can foster stronger relationships with their customers, build loyalty, and even turn dissatisfied customers into brand advocates.

8. Don’t get involved in debates.

You won’t have the last word on Twitter, because there is no last word on Twitter! So don’t get involved in drawn-out, heated debates. Make your point (concisely!) and disagree amicably if needed, though avoiding arguments altogether is often the best approach.

Identifying when irate tweets at your brand are related to customer experience or product complaints requires careful analysis, active listening, empathy, and a focus on resolution. By promptly addressing these concerns, you demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction, build trust, and turn potentially negative experiences into positive outcomes.

9. Don’t try to be someone else

This phrase emphasizes the importance of authenticity and staying true to your brand. It serves as a reminder that each brand has its unique identity, values, and tone that should guide its communication strategies. While it can be tempting to replicate successful tactics or adopt the persona of other brands that have gained attention, it's crucial to recognize that what works for one brand may not necessarily work for another.

10. Don’t tweet without including images or videos

Images and animated GIFs can indeed be powerful tools to enhance engagement and increase visibility on Twitter. In fact, Emplifi data shows that GIFs drive more interactions than standard status, video, image, and link tweets.

In a fast-paced social media environment where countless tweets compete for attention, incorporating visual elements can help your content stand out and capture the interest of your audience. In fact, images are 150% more likely to get retweeted than tweets with no images. 

11. Don’t Facebook on Twitter.

Every social network has its own etiquette, terminology and subcultures. If Facebook is one big living room, Twitter is one big cocktail party. So strive to be personable, but avoid overly personal topics. Just stay on your beat and write (and Retweet) relevant and interesting content. This and the preceding don’ts should keep your followers multiplying and anticipating your next tweet.

12. Don’t ignore analytics

By utilizing Twitter analytics tools, brands can access invaluable insights into their audience demographics, engagement patterns, and content performance. These data-driven findings empower brands to customize their messaging, optimize their content strategy, and pinpoint influential trends that strike a chord with their target audience. 

Additionally, social media analytics present brands with the chance to track their advancements over time, establish achievable goals, and evaluate the impact of their marketing campaigns effectively.

13. Don’t forget about verification

Twitter verification is the process of obtaining a blue checkmark badge on an account, indicating its authenticity and distinguishing it from potential impostors or fake accounts. In late 2022, Twitter launched Twitter Blue, a new monthly or annual subscription that offers exclusive access to app customizations and new features so you get more creative power over your content and your experience using Twitter.

14. Consider how your audience is engaging on other social networks

While many social apps attempt to emulate successful platforms, not all of them manage to sustain their popularity. However, it’s important for your brand to understand how your audience is interacting on these other platforms. For example, recently, Meta introduced Threads, a new app that allows users to create threaded posts similar to Twitter, facilitating the sharing of opinions and fostering connections through conversations. So stay up to date with all things social media in order to stay ahead of the curve!

The takeaway

In the Twitterverse, brands must grasp the unique dynamics of Twitter before engaging with their audience to effectively navigate this fast-paced environment. Following our expertly designed 'what not to do on Twitter' guidelines will not only enhance audience engagement but also pave the way for lasting brand loyalty and a successful digital presence.

Deliver authentic content to your audience using Emplifi’s Social Marketing Cloud today.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Twitter announced on July 24, 2023, that it is rebranding to "X." Mentions of Twitter in this article reflect the current branding as of publishing.

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