Last year, we wrote about Twittiquette: The Etiquette of Twitter. There, we talked about generally accepted social norms and expectations that can help you when getting started on Twitter. Today, we’d like to go into a little more detail about social boundaries you just shouldn’t cross when using Twitter to promote your business.
So, what’s the fastest way to see your Twitter account tank? Here’s our list of top 7 behaviors to avoid when engaging on Twitter:
#1 — Prescheduling Tweets Incorrectly
So, there’s been a lot of talk about whether it’s okay to automate your tweets or not. As the saying goes: all things in moderation.
There’s nothing wrong with prescheduling tweets as long as you are actively engaging throughout the day as well.
The problem comes in when people only post prescheduled tweets. Oftentimes, people who aren’t actively engaging on Twitter will not only preschedule their tweets, but they’ll post lots of tweets in short blasts (i.e., back-to-back tweets where you don’t even take a breath between posts).
Gotta be honest with you: that’s annoying.
If you’re not able to really engage with people on Twitter, you may be doing your business more harm than good by incorrectly using tools designed to help you manage engagement better.
#2 — Only Tweeting About Yourself
Just like no one likes to hang out with someone who only talks about themselves, no one likes to engage with someone who only tweets about themselves.
Sure, your business may have received an award that you want people to know about. Or maybe your business really is the best in the field. Or you have a special offer you’d like to promote. It’s okay to tweet about these things; just don’t do it all the time.
Let your expertise and excellence show in the way you engage…in how you carry yourself…in how you help others. There is wisdom in the saying, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.”
#3 — Tattletales
A tattletale is someone who is overly concerned with the actions of others—to an unhealthy degree. The tattletale outs people for perceived wrongs in an attempt to gain sympathy from others, and/or to get the ‘wrongdoer’ to comply with their demands.
This is just wrong.
Most often, tattletales show up in the form of people who follow someone and don’t get followed back. For some reason, their feelings get hurt and they post tweets about who is not following them back in an attempt to shame the person into following them.
Ummm…that’s just not a nice way to play on Twitter (or in life).
When you start engaging on Twitter, keep in mind that not everyone is going to follow you back. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make you less of a person or your business an operation of less importance.
If you start feeling offended when others don’t follow you back, ask yourself why you’re engaging on Twitter. Are you really trying to make connections? Or are you just trying to feel important?
#4 — Misusing @Mentions
Sometimes, desperate tweeters will mention as many people as possible in a tweet without saying anything meaningful. They’re most likely trying to get the attention of those mentioned, or trying to make it seem like they have a relationship with those mentioned.
That’s kind of like going to a party and name-dropping.
Or going to the home of someone you don’t really know and shouting their name in an attempt to get them to open the door.
And that kind of behavior is really unsavory.
If you’re going to mention people on Twitter, make it meaningful. If you’re going to recommend that your followers follow some people in a #FF recommendation tweet, let your followers know why they should follow the people you’re naming. Don’t just blast out a bunch of names.
And if you want to establish a relationship with someone, don’t be self-serving in the way you go about doing it. Respond to their tweets. Engage them on their turf; not yours.
#5 — Asking for Favors without taking the Time to Build a Relationship
It happens all the time. People will start @mentioning important people asking for favors. They may be asking for a review of their product or an endorsement or any number of other self-serving things.
That’s not cool.
Take the time to build a relationship.
#6 — Auto-Posting from Other Social Media Accounts
It’s so easy to set up social media accounts in such a way as to be lazy. Most people don’t want to hear about every picture you post on Facebook when they’re engaging with you on Twitter. Remember: they’re on Twitter for a reason. Not Facebook. The audiences are different and the expectations are different.
While you can integrate social media streams, be careful to set it up correctly. And make sure that’s not all you do. There’s a reason social media platforms are separate entities in the first place. They are different. Remember that.
#7 — Broken or Misleading Links
Don’t tweet out a message that doesn’t accurately reflect the link you are including. Nobody likes to be mislead. And nobody likes to have their time wasted.
And be sure to double-check your links before you post them so that you don’t frustrate people.
So, if the above actions could be perceived as annoying, it begs the question: how can you set yourself up for success on Twitter?
Well, that’s an answer we’ll save for another post. But the simple answer is: engage and be engaging.
So, let us know what you think. Have you encountered any annoying behaviors on Twitter that weren’t included in our list? We want to know about it! Leave your comment below.