Did you know that of all the Twitter users in the universe, almost 100% of all tweets are from 40% of the users, and 40% of the users have never tweeted – at all?? Some people love, love Twitter, and others just don’t get it (I fall into the first group—it’s my favorite of them all) and quit before they ever gave it a real chance. Looking through some of the tweets that go out on a daily basis, I think I understand why so many give up—because they never understood the “how” piece of Twitter and used Twitter in a way that was never going to make it an effective tool for them.
If you’re using Twitter for your business or to promote your blog, I invite you to take a look at how you’re using it on a daily basis in case you’re making some of these very common mistakes.
- Auto DM – DM stands for direct message. Everyone gets them and pretty much everyone hates them. They aren’t genuine and no matter what you say in them, it sounds canned. And that’s because it IS canned. While it may seem “polite” to have one go out after someone follows you, if you really want to impress them—send a real message.
- Using a service like TrueTwit – One of the worst offenders of the DM world is a service called TrueTwit. At its core, TrueTwit seems like a great idea… make people verify that they’re real before you let them follow you. But honestly, how concerned are you about that anyhow? What happens is this—I follow you on Twitter, and then I get a DM that tells me “Jane Doe uses TrueTwit. Please validate your account,” and it includes a link. Now I have to click the link and validate my account before you will or won’t follow me back. If I have followed someone and get that message, the only thing I’m clicking is the “unfollow” button.
- Not Using Lists – This one may be a bit more daunting if you’ve been on Twitter for a while but if you’re not using lists to categorize the people you follow, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Lists help keep the noise down somewhat and let you read tweets from the people who really matter to you. For instance, whenever I go to a conference, I always start a list with people who I meet there, as well as the speakers—it’s a great way to build community!
- Private Profile – There may be some instances where you would want to make your Twitter account private, but unless you’re a high-profile person or hiding something, I can’t think of too many. I wouldn’t recommend making your profile private but if you’re going to do it, please make sure you’re going into your account VERY frequently and approving people who have asked to follow you.
- Your Only Tweets are ReTweets – If you really can’t find ANYTHING to tweet except someone else’s tweets, please get off Twitter. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone who’s retweeted something, going to check out what else they tweet about and seeing that all they do is retweet other people’s info. While you may think it’s the ultimate in flattery, if that’s all you are tweeting, you’re doing this wrong and missing the point.
- You’re Only Tweeting Links – The same advice goes here… if you’re only tweeting links (especially if they’re all links to YOUR stuff), you’re wasting your time. While sending out interesting articles is one way to use Twitter, it shouldn’t be the only thing. If you’re strapped for time and that’s all you have time to do, at least put a brief comment before the article title.
There are definitely other no-no’s when it comes to Twitter but if you’re guilty of any of these, work through these 6 and then ask me for more!