Social media is usually a great space for brands to be in. This is a place where community already exists, and tactful brands are able to identify their target audience and create conversations. Social media becomes a bad space for brands, when they start making mistakes that drive unfollows and negative dialogues through the roof.
There are many mistakes that can be made on social media (just like there are a lot of great things that can be done too.) There is however, one horrible mistake that stands out above all others for me, it makes me run (virtually) in the other direction and swiftly unfollow and ignore all future posts.
The winner of worst Twitter mistake is an easy one to fall prey to. I'm sure it seems like such a good idea to some, but when you think about it, it's not actually a great plan.
This mistake is very simple and has happened to almost everyone that follows someone on Twitter. When an account sends each and every one of their new followers a direct message thanking them for their follow and pointing them to their website or Facebook page. This is like being the kid in the playground that screams at everyone to play with them. Except you are an account on social media, virtually screaming at anyone that might be interested in you that they need to like you even more.
If you are interesting and relevant, I will end up following you across social platforms, please don't direct message me because you think that your Website, second Twitter account, or Facebook page is important enough to merit one. I'm on Twitter at odd hours, so I know that you didn't just take the time to send me a personalized message on Twitter at 2 am, you are sending automated messages and you didn't even use my name.
For brands, this just looks spammy. I am definitely not the only one that goes and unfollows after seeing that message. Because if you are the kind of brand that sends direct messages to everyone, I'm going to assume that you don't actually want me to engage with you, you just want me to go like your Facebook page (which you graciously provided me with the link to in your very non-personal direct message). To me, it looks like you want really high number on social media, without taking the time to merit the likes or follows through actual engagement.