Painful twitter mistakes you can easily avoid

I love Twitter, it’s a great place to find out real-time information and chat to friends and business contacts. I’ve been a personal Tweeter for two years now, and have been running Flagship’s Twitter for over a year.

I have to admit, there were a ton of different mistakes I made on Twitter in the past. And even though I try to watch out carefully, some still happen to me today. Allow me to share five of the biggest Twitter ‘no-no’s with you so you don’t end up making the same mistakes…

1) Avoid confrontation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the BIGGEST mistake any Twitter user can make.

Twitter is like one big chatroom. It’s a melting pot of people of all different ages, colours, sexual orientations and religions, and from time to time you will come across a tweet you do not agree with. Rather than see red and engage, take a few seconds to think about the possible reaction you’ll provoke.

On a personal level, I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty comments from others regarding the political party I support. I never ever use Flagship’s Twitter to make political statements, or contradict others’ political opinions. You are asking for trouble if you start – so don’t even do it. By all means re-tweet impartial political stories from the BBC or BreakingNews Twitter accounts if they are of interest, but the golden rule is to hold your tongue.

2) Self-Promotional auto-direct messages to connect with others

We’ve all seen them come through. “Hi @flagshiphousing thanks for following!”

Ach.

It’s like social spam and it winds me up no end.

The reasoning for this is that I think connections on Twitter work best if you provide value to others without asking for something in return. This can be a tweet of their blogposts, a retweet or a friendly mention. This works far better to connect with others than a self-promotional auto-DM.

3) Wasting too much time on a tweet

It’s good to tweet often, but what makes the perfect tweet? In my opinion, something short, snappy, and interesting. Anything topical that makes your follower think “Ah, that’s useful”, or “Ah, they seem like a friendly bunch they do” is the perfect tweet.

Don’t analyse every word. Spontaneity is key! The less time you need to think about it the better. Believe me, people can spot an overly-laboured tweet a mile off.

4) Trying to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades

Newsflash, you cannot be all things to all people. If you want to be taken seriously, you’ll gain no respect (or followers for that matter) if you start trying to be the comedian. Focus on what you want to say, stick to that topic or theme and run with it. You’ll attract other like-minded people and you’ll grow a network of loyal followers who re-tweet your tweets.

5) Look for quick wins

The fast speed on Twitter can often give the impression that things can be achieved fast and with little effort. At least this is what I thought. This leads to counting each additional follower or being obsessed with each click you get on a link you posted.

#There #Is #Nothing #Worse #Than #Hashtag #Over-use #To #Annoy #Twitter

By all means, make sure you use the hashtag when it mentions something worthwhile. Say Grant Shapps makes an announcement – hashtag #Shapps – it’ll be picked up by anyone searching. Hashtagging every single word of your tweet in the hope that someone, somewhere will pick it up and follow you will ruin all the good work you’ve done so far.

What I’ve learnt is that key is things on Twitter take time like on any other place. So focusing on results can proove to be tricky if it is the only source of motivation. Once I started to focus on the people, the talks and the information others were providing for me, the game changed. I felt I succeeded right there and followers, clicks and the rest will always come.

Do you have any other ideas of common Twitter mistakes? What have you seen that makes you think “oh dear!”?

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