With over 230 million active monthly users, Twitter is widely considered to be the 2nd most popular social networking site, behind Facebook. For businesses, this helps make Twitter a crucial resource for engaging with customers and promoting their products and services. However, when companies don’t practice proper Twitter etiquette or follow the social network’s “best practices,” their engagement suffers, and this amazing resource can suddenly become worthless.
To help you avoid this social media nightmare, we’ve highlighted the top 5 reasons you’re scaring followers away on Twitter. Heck, we’ll even give you some advice on how to fix things while we’re at it!
You just sat down at your desk with an overpriced pumpkin spice caramel frappuccino and you’re ready to take on the world with its uplifting energy and tastiness (they even wrote a funny name on there too!). Why not take a picture and share this awesome moment with your followers?!Well, I’ll tell you why not: you do it every morning, and your business sells office supplies, not coffee. Sound familiar? Chances are we’ve all seen at least one account guilty of this. And while fun, off-topic tweets are certainly encouraged sometimes, when the subject matter of all your tweets revolves around something off-topic, you start to miss the mark altogether. Remember, inbound marketing is about providing content that fills the needs and answers of your customers’ top questions.
The fix? Keep the bulk of your subject matter related to your business, your customers, and various industry news and trends. It’s fine to keep things light hearted and fun, but if you’re supposed to be an industry leader in office supplies, tweet about it, dammit! After all, it’s what your followers were looking for in the first place.
As we mentioned before, Twitter has over 230 million active monthly users. While this makes it possible for practically every business to find an audience on the social network, it also makes it extremely difficult to be the center of attention for that audience. In fact, without proper timing, it’s nearly impossible. Here’s some examples of what you’re probably doing wrong:
The fix? There is no “one size fits all” rule to go by when figuring out how often to tweet. The best way to figure out what works well for your business is to spend some time testing the waters and developing a feel for what your customers are used to. For some businesses, one tweet in the morning and one in the afternoon is enough. For others, you might just get buried in the feed if you don’t tweet at least once or twice an hour. Once you’ve figured out the optimal frequency, however, use a social network management tool like HootSuite to schedule your tweets in advance throughout the day. This makes it easier to ensure that your message will be heard. Just don’t go overboard with scheduling. Real-time tweets and follow-up is still a must.
Imagine talking with someone, where instead of them responding to your question, they just stare blankly ahead as if you don’t even exist. Sounds like loads of fun, right? Though that probably wouldn’t happen in real life (if it does, you need to hang with different people), that’s what it can feel like when you don’t engage with your audience on Twitter. However, the road travels both ways too. You shouldn’t be waiting for your followers to initiate the conversations. Like a nervous teenager at an awkward school dance, sometimes you gotta make the first move!
The fix? When your thoughts are being broadcast through computers, it’s hard enough to achieve the human element of a conversation. Don’t make things worse by ignoring people altogether. If someone asks you a question, answer it! If someone wants your advice, give it to them! If someone shares your post, thank them! It doesn’t take much to reach out, but it can make a big difference.
Look, we all know that Twitter is a great tool for promoting your brand’s original content. However, when all you do is talk about yourself, soon enough people will get sick of it. Even if your company might make one of the industry’s best products, you don’t have to tweet with a “better than sliced bread” attitude. As mentioned before, inbound marketing is about providing content that fills the needs and answers the questions of your customers. And if your company is really good at filling those needs, great! Just remember, the only people who love a narcissist are themselves.
The fix? One of the most important rules to follow for any social media manager is the 10:4:1 ratio. It states that for every 15 posts on social media (or in this case, tweets), 10 should be third-party content, 4 should be original content, and 1 should be a landing page of yours. Stick to those guidelines and you’ll be loved by all.
One of the most valuable benefits of inbound marketing is that it can help establish you as a credible thought leader within your industry. That being said, how many thought leaders do you know who spell at 2nd grade level? None? That’s what I thought. If you want your followers to take you seriously, don’t leave any doubts in their minds about your intelligence. After all, if you can’t be trusted to spell out a few simple words, what can they expect you to do?
The fix? Proofread, proofread, and proofread some more. It doesn’t take long to review 140 characters, so make sure everything is ship shape before sailing that tweet off into the Twittersphere. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to use common abbreviations (i.e. w/o for “without”) when crunched for space. Just don’t overuse them, or make it a habit.
Can you think of any others? Sound off in the comments!
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