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The Dirt Dozen: Common Twitter Mistakes

A starter guide for folks who are learning how to use Twitter.

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The Dirt Dozen: Common Twitter Mistakes

  1. 1. 12 Common Twitter Mistakes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12By Tony ObregonOctober 2012
  2. 2. Not filling out your profile completely◦ Profiles without a photo, bio or design elements give people reasons to believe you’re a spambot. BE AUTHENTIC and TRANSPARENT and say who you are so people will trust you and the information you’re sharing with them.Not including a link in your profile◦ Again, this is a red flag since the lack of a link tells readers, “the buck stops here.” That little link can enhance your credibility by letting people learn more about you. In addition, it can increase your web traffic so add a link to your blog, company website or perhaps even your LinkedIn profile.
  3. 3. Not using #hashtags or using too many◦ Hashtags are critical in extending the reach of your tweets outside of your network since many people search on them to find content. But use them strategically and don’t add more than 3 hashtags in one tweet - they can come across as too promotional especially if they aren’t broad enough.Starting out a Tweet with the @ symbol◦ When a tweet begins with @ symbol it is only seen by that Twitter handle and does not get posted to your followers’ feeds. If you want it to be public, either rewrite the tweet or add a period to the beginning of it.
  4. 4. Not using a URL shortener to track clicks◦ First off, you are limiting what you can say if you don’t shorten URLs. Second, by using tools like Bitly and Tinyurl you can track how many people clicked on the links that you shared. This will tell you what’s resonating with your audiences so you can continue to offer up value based on those insights.Not leaving enough space to RT◦ A general rule is to leave about 20-25 characters available in your tweets so that messages don’t get cut off. Remember you need to allow space for other people’s Twitter handles and the “RT” that goes with it. (Leave even more space so people can comment!)
  5. 5. Not using “Lists” to track topics andinfluencers◦ Twitter lists not only help you track and follow the most important people and brands in your feed, you can also use them to track keywords and hashtags. Plus, they allow you to strategically sort feeds in various categories. Lists can be publicly shared so take advantage of other people’s lists and save yourself some time.Not using the “Favorite” feature◦ This is an underutilized feature in Twitter and no one seems to know how to leverage it. Here’s what I do: favorite tweets that don’t necessarily merit a RT or response. It’s a fantastic way to acknowledge someone and show your appreciation with a single click. You can also take advantage of your Favorite Tweets and display them online via RSS.
  6. 6. Not growing your network organically◦ A sure way to look like you’re a novice or spammer is to start following 2,000 people right off the bat. It sends the wrong signal that you have no desire to build real relationships. Plus, Twitter monitors accounts for aggressive following. Maintain a healthy “Follow/Follower ratio” and keep it balanced.Not optimizing your network◦ You’ll need to analyze your network from time to time and make sure you are connected to the right people. Free tools like SocialBro let you find out which of your followers are no longer active, relevant or following you back. You’ll want to decide some personal parameters to who needs to be unfollowed or added to a special list.
  7. 7. Too much automation of content◦ Tools like are great for supplementing content on your feed but make sure you don’t automate everything. You have to engage your network - don’t let a computer run your account because people will know the difference. It’s important to show you are connecting with people in your network and ready to engage in conversations so that you can build relationships. That’s what it’s about!Not tweeting for days or weeks◦ You created a Twitter account for a reason so use it. People may unfollow you if there hasn’t been activity for an extended period of time. If you’re going on vacation or just not able to tweet, then let people know. If you can avoid the dirty dozen, you’ll find it will be much easier to tweet with more regularity and greater success.
  8. 8. THANK YOU Tony Obregon Social Media Strategist Twitter: @tonyobregon Email: Tony_Obregon@yahoo.comBlog: