14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Twitter

Many businesses find Twitter to be an effective social media marketing channel.

It offers the opportunity to build your brand’s credibility, engage directly with customers and reach a larger audience.

Twitter, originally created as a micro-blogging platform, is an online news and social networking site, where users can communicate publicly through short posts called tweets.

The social platform boasts about 186 million daily active users and 38 million users from within the U.S.

But with the opportunities come the risk of mistakes that can poorly reflect on your brand (and cause a subsequent loss of revenue).

See our snapshot of the challenges and opportunities of Twitter for businesses.

The following are 14 of the biggest mistakes business make on Twitter.

Not optimizing your Twitter profile

Sure, there is only so much you can do to optimize your Twitter profile, but if you’re not regularly reviewing how your Twitter account looks and what first impressions it might be giving other users, you’re missing out.

Make sure you:

  • Upload your logo or another brand-representative image as your profile photo
  • Choose a relevant and eye-catching cover image
  • Fill out your bio with key information about what your business does and how it helps people. You can check out Twitter accounts you aspire to or compete with for inspiration
  • Pick a URL that is easy to remember and best for potential leads to click on to find out more

No Twitter content plan

Just like any other channel, you’ll be more effective with a plan. Think through your goals. Identify your target audience. Then, consider the mix of content that can help you achieve your goals and reach your target audience.

Check out our seven tips to help you level up your content marketing (whether it’s on Twitter or elsewhere).

Inconsistent brand voice

Your brand story, personality and voice are all critically important to how Twitter users view and understand your brand. 

If you lack consistency in your brand voice, it’s going to be very confusing for anyone you reach with your tweets. In addition, you want to ensure that you’re leaving out any industry jargon in your messagin (unless you are specifically targeting those who understand that jargon, of course).

Keep in mind, that your brand voice should make you human in your messaging and engagement with Twitter users.

See our eight tips for finding your brand voice. Once you know your brand voice, lock it in for your social media efforts and beyond with our five tips to create a brand style guide.

Tweeting too much (or not enough)

Tweet too much, and you look like spam. Tweet too infrequently, and users don’t find you to be an active or credible Twitter account to engage with or follow. It’s easy to make this Twitter mistake, for sure.

Try to keep your tweeting to fewer than four tweets per hour.

Tweeting only at set times

Twitter is a fast-moving social network. If you only tweet at the same time every time, then you’re missing an opportunity to reach more Twitter users. 

You can avoid this Twitter mistake by scheduling your tweets at different times. You can then use Twitter Analytics to gauge what works best for your audience.

Lacking any multimedia tweets

Go beyond just text-only tweets if you want to engage more with your target audience. Aim to mix up your content types:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • GIFs

Tweets with images are about 34 percent more likely to get retweeted than tweets with no images.

Talking about your business too much

Just like on any social media platform, if you talk about yourself too much, you run the risk of either losing engagement, being seen as spam or both. 

Remember the reason why most users are using Twitter. Likely, they want to be informed and/or entertained.

Some companies strive for the 80-20 rule, where they only self-promote 20 percent of the time. Others aim for a rule of thirds, where one-third is self-promotion, another third is entertainment and the last third is education. 

There’s no blatant right or wrong content mix. Take time to review your resources and what makes the most sense for your business, with the goal being to keep the self-promotion to a minimum.

As you begin to plan your Twitter content, consider using a content calendar.

Ignoring trending topics on Twitter

Twitter makes it easy to understand what topics are trending at any given time. You should keep an eye out for the topics that are relevant to your brand and that you can contribute something to the conversation.

Not all trending topics will be relevant. So, if it feels like a reach, it probably is, and you should leave it be.

Using too many hashtags

Unlike Instagram (where users technically can use up to 30 hashtags), Twitter is more restrained by total character count and best practices in hashtag usage.

Tweets with hashtags can increase engagement up to 50 percent for brands

But you want to stick to one, maybe two, at most. Once you go above that, you risk looking spammy to other Twitter users. So, be sure to do your research on the best one or two hashtags you should be using to avoid this common Twitter mistake.

Missing your opportunity to ask for retweets

While you might feel it’s a little over-the-top or salesy to ask for retweets, you’ll actually receive a boost in engagement overall. Tweets have a 12 times higher chance of being retweeted if you simply ask for it.

You’ll want to use the phrase “retweet” rather than “RT,” though.

The key is that you’re asking on content that is engaging enough for users to see the value of retweeting. That simple act of asking alone won’t get you the retweets you want if your content isn’t worthy.

Leaving your followers hanging

It’s easy to forget the social conversation side of Twitter since the platform moves so fast. And many businesses do.

But regardless of the noise that Twitter can generate at times, you must make it a priority to respond to any comments or direct messages that come your way. In addition, you want to comment and retweet others’ posts if you find them interesting and in line with your brand.

You want to build relationships with your followers and the broader Twitter community, and that won’t happen if you only broadcast content and never engage.

Ignoring negative comments

Related to not engaging with your followers, you cannot ignore any negative comments that come your way.

No business enjoys negative comments or reviews, but they are part of maintaining an online presence, which you absolutely want to do. Treat them as opportunities to turn this negative commenter into a fan, based on your excellent customer service and social media voice.

Check out our 11 tips to best respond to negative commenters.

Retweeting mentions of your business

Resist the temptation to retweet every mention of your brand. It can come across a little shallow, salesy and insincere to other Twitter users.

Instead, you can reply to the tweet and move on. Or, if it really should be shared, retweet it but with a comment on it to give it context to avoid this easy-to-make Twitter mistake.

Expecting instant success

Most social media marketing success is about the long-term strategy culminating in success over time.

This is no different for Twitter. Tweet once or even three times, and you likely will not see an immediate achievement of your goals.

Monitor your overall account performance for clues on what you can do more of and what you should do less of. Remember that Twitter Analytics can help you with this. It’s free to use and is native to the platform.

Check out our eight expert tips to help you market your business better on Twitter.

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