I’ve made building up my personal Twitter account a priority this year. I’ve always been somewhat active, but ever since I really dedicated myself to mastering Twitter, I can definitely say I’ve learned a lot. A whole lot. I’m currently getting hundreds of new followers every day, making new connections, and even generating leads.
The reason I love Twitter so much as a content marketer is because of all of the access it gives me to stay up to date on the latest trends in online marketing, learn from other content marketing nuts, and build connections. No matter what industry you’re in, a quick check on Twitter will put you up to date on anything trending that you need to be aware of, and it also gives you an endless stream of content ideas. Basically, Twitter is a content marketer’s dream.
But in order to get the most out of Twitter, you have to know how to use it the right way. For a long time, I wasn’t using it correctly, and as a result, I was missing out on a lot of opportunities. I started to research what people who were successful on Twitter were doing right, looked at some of the mistakes I saw myself and others making, and really narrowed down what works.
Remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to Twitter marketing. A good Twitter strategy is customized to the specific needs of the business, blogger, or pet dog. That being said, if you can avoid making some of these mistakes, you’ll set yourself up to get a lot more out of Twitter.
1. Automating The Wrong Way
Twitter and automation have really gone hand in hand for social media marketers. With tools like Sprout Social, ManageFlitter, and a never ending list of new social media marketing tools popping up every day, automating Twitter is easier than ever.
Automation can be an awesome way to save time, eliminate menial tasks, and allow you to keep your Twitter working for you even when you’re not technically “on” it. The downside to automation is that it can cause you to become lazy, spammy, and neglect the “social” aspect of social networking.
One practice in particular that I’ve been seeing way too many people engaging in is automating their direct messaging. What happens is they use a tool that automatically sends a DM to new followers. This sounds innocent enough, and seems like it would be a great way to put a personal touch on your Twitter marketing strategy. But the reality is that it usually doesn’t work out anything like that, and results in you just spamming people.
After receiving hundreds of these automated DM’s, I’ve noticed that a majority of them fall into one of three categories:
- Asking me to Like their Facebook page or follow their other social media accounts
- Generic thanks for following me (this one isn’t too bad, but it’s too generic)
- Visit my website
These all have one huge mistake in common – they don’t offer any type of value to the follower.
Don’t automate Twitter interactions.
The only thing I recommend automating is sending out tweets, (i.e. scheduling tweets ahead of time). But replying to people and sending out DM’s should be done manually so that you can personalize the message.
When I receive messages from people I’ve followed that are actually personalized to me, I respond. If it’s an automated message, 99% of the time I won’t respond or take any action. Long story short, get more personal with your Twitter interaction and don’t try to automate everything.
Here’s an example of automation done completely wrong. They just inserted my twitter handle and bio. Don’t make this mistake.
— Kat Bourgeois (@getajobin90days) February 27, 2015
2. Trying To Sell To People Right Away
This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. When you meet people in real life, would the first interaction you have with them be to sell them something? Hopefully not. But yet on Twitter, too many businesses and marketers make the mistake of having their first interaction with followers be a sales pitch.
The key to having success on Twitter is to build relationships over time. Start by offering value to your followers through sharing helpful tips and information related to your industry. Send out some entertaining tweets like memes or your take on trending topics in order to get them engaged. That way, when you eventually do have an offer to put out into the world, people will be more receptive of it than if your first time tweeting to them is to offer your products.
Here’s an example:
— Call Agent (@GlobalCallAgent) February 26, 2015
The problem with this is that it’s the first tweet they ever sent me, and it was sent immediately after following them. Remember, we live in a “what’s in it for me” society (unfortunately). At the very least, you should offer some type of discount or promo if you’re going to go this route, so that the follower is getting some kind if value.
I classify these types of tweets as spam. Just because someone is following you on Twitter doesn’t mean that you should start soliciting them right away.
3. Not Tweeting Enough
Twitter moves fast. Extremely fast. Almost too fast in some cases. If you’re not tweeting regularly, there’s a good chance that your tweets are being overlooked. We tend to make the mistake of assuming that just because we send out a tweet, our followers will see it. But the truth is, depending on how often your followers are checking their Twitter feeds, they could be missing every single one of your tweets!
There are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of your tweets being seen like tweeting at the times when most of your followers are likely to see it. There are plenty of tools out there to help you find the “sweet” spot. But the fact of the matter is that if you’re not tweeting enough, you’re really limiting the chance that your tweets will be seen.
One tool that can help you out is Meet Edgar. What Meet Edgar does is store the tweets you send out into a database, so that you can tweet them out again later.
You see, what tends to happen is you tweet out a piece of awesome content that you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into, only to have nobody see it because they weren’t on Twitter when you tweeted. Meet Edgar increases the visibility of your tweets by letting you send out the tweet again at different times so that more people can see the content you’re working so hard to produce.
With so many of these different tools that make it super easy to schedule tweets ahead of time, there’s no reason not to be able to send out content on a consistent basis. Personally, I use Sprout Social. But there are plenty of others like Buffer and even Klout that will help you find content to tweet, and schedule the best times to send your tweets.
4. Not Interacting
This was one of the problems I struggled with the most in 2014 on Twitter. I was sending out a lot of tweets, but I wasn’t taking the time to interact with the people who were following me, or the people that I was following.
If you look at some of the most successful twitter accounts, you’ll notice that their Twitter feeds are filled with conversations they’re having with others. That’s what you want to strive for.
Ever since I started retweeting & favoriting other people’s tweets and engaging in conversations on Twitter, I noticed a huge improvement in the growth of my account, and also the traffic Twitter is bringing to my site.
Engaging on Twitter is really easy. Find some good conversations related to your industry and just get in there! If you see someone tweeted out a link to an article, reply to it with what you thoughts. I’ve seen a lot of people do this with the content I tweet out and it’s definitely an effective way to grab my attention.
— Delos Incorporated (@DelosInc) February 27, 2015
In this example, they didn’t write out a long, drawn out response, just a simple comment and a RT, and it works! Start finding opportunities to connect and interact with people on Twitter and I guarantee you’ll start seeing a lot more success.
5. Not Tweeting The Best Content, Only Your Own
Yes, I know you have awesome content. But guess what? There are a lot of other sites that have amazing content too. Why not share it?
Too many people are scared of tweeting links to sites within the same industry or niche because they think it’s like giving away traffic to a competitor. That’s far from the truth.
With all of the different blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, and other places to find content, people have become impartial to where they get their information from, as long as it’s good. For instance, I follow at least 10 different blogs related to content marketing alone. And I check Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Round Table for SEO news and tips.
This isn’t like sports where if you like the Cowboys, you can’t like the Redskins. Just because someone likes the content from one site doesn’t mean they’ll completely ignore any other sites in the same niche.
It’s actually the opposite. When a person is interested in a particular industry, hobby, or niche, they subscribe to multiple YouTube channels, follow a bunch of different Twitter accounts, and read every great blog they can find related to that topic.
One of the habits/strategies you should try to get into is starting to curate the best content from your industry regardless of where it comes from. As long as it’s good, your followers will appreciate it and have a reason to keep following you.
How’s Your Twitter Marketing Going?
Did some of these mistakes sound familiar to you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve made them, and even some of the most successful Twitter marketers have too. The important thing is to always grow, and find out what works best for your Twitter strategy.
Have any tips, or other Twitter mistakes I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!