Taking on Twitter?
Here are nine common mistakes small businesses make while using Twitter, and how you can avoid them for your own small business.
- Many small businesses consider Twitter to be a tool to push out links to their own products, news releases or information they’ve found that would be of interest to their customers and followers – and while that’s true, Twitter is also very conversational in nature.
Refrain from sending out links with no commentary. The links look like spam and add no value to your message.
- Although most of the Twitter universe is vehemently against direct messages, brands and businesses continue to send them.
There are many more engaging and appropriate ways to thank followers for following, including re tweeting their tweets or thanking them publicly.
- Some small businesses may have several people managing social media accounts, which is fine – but they should all be on the same page to present a cohesive message to followers.
Make sure you use the same tone, frequency and style, or if you’d like, use different styles while making it clear that different people are Tweeting. Consistency builds trust, which is the goal of social media.
- Overly promotional tweets are like commercials on television – they interrupt the flow of the conversation and stand out like a sore thumb.
Unlike commercials (which customers can fast forward but can’t delete completely), certain keywords and hash-tags can be completely hidden in some Twitter platforms. Even worse, followers can un-follow you if they don’t like what they see from your account. Create a good mix of content, and keep promotional tweets to a minimum.
Don’t answer customers
- When you send an email to a business, you never truly know if they saw it. If you tag them on Twitter, you know they see it.
Check your mentions daily or have them sent to your email, and respond no matter what, even if it’s a quick thank you or an e-mail address to take negative feedback off of social media. Sometimes customers just want to know they are being heard.
- Hash-tags are a great way to let Twitter users know about your content, to localize it or to inject conversation into an established Twitter party or group (for instance, using a hash-tag associated with an industry conference.)
However, hash-tags can be easily overused. Stay away from hash-tagging too many words in your message, and make sure the hash-tag you are using has other messages associated with it – and reflect the message you were intending.
Post too little or too much
- Twitter moves fast, but is also filled with lots of noise. Tweet too little and your messages will be lost; tweet too much and you’ll be contributing to the problem. Find a happy medium with your Twitter presence based on the number of followers you have and the number you follow.
Accounts with many followers and following as many can get by with posting more frequently. Make sure you have a good mix of content – for every two posts, you should have two replies to others.
- One of the most annoying things Twitter users find small businesses doing is pushing content from every social media account onto Twitter. YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest all have the ability to send links to the respective content.
Many also include comments that you post. This practice is fine occasionally, but if your feed is filled with content you’ve posted to other platforms, it’s time to rethink it.
- Twitter is often used as a sounding board for customers to berate and scold their favorite brands for errors, delays and problems. Don’t be a “brand behaving badly” – address negative feedback quickly and honestly.
Use apologetic language and try to solve the customer’s problem – or at least give them an email or phone number that goes to a real person who can help them. Twitter fires are easy to put out, but you have to act quickly.
Have you made similar mistakes on Twitter ?
Image Credit: Walt Riberio