On a micro-blogging site as clean and simple as Twitter, surely you just sign in and tweet away to your hearts content. Is it really possible to do something wrong? Yes. Yes it is. Whilst you probably won’t notice any consequences from not using the platform to it’s full potential (which is what we mean when we say wrong), you also won’t notice the majority of the benefits. So lets jump right in and talk about the 5 most common mistakes people/brands don’t even realise they’re making, and how to fix them.
Why do I need a strategy for Twitter? Can’t I just tweet?
Of course you can. You can tweet and tweet until you hit your daily tweet limit. But if you have a clear strategy for how, when, and what you’re going to post, you could end up tweeting half as much and seeing twice the results. Believe it or not, a strategy doesn’t have to mean sitting down and thinking about genius tweets that you’re sure will go viral that you can post every day for the next year. It can be pretty basic, more of a guideline for how you’ll run the account.
Using analytics you can monitor when your followers are most active and make sure you’re posting more often at those times. You can check the common interests they hold and cater your content to appeal to their tastes. Take a look at seasonal events, national events, international events, anything interesting that will have people talking and think about how you can tie it in with your brand and plan a campaign. Always record your results and use them to improve.
Making a hash of your hashtags
Hashtags are great, they can put your content in front of exactly the right people. Well, if they’re used correctly. There are two ways to mis-use hashtags and the first one is simply to not use them at all. If you don’t use them whatsoever the only way someone outside of your audience is going to see your tweet is if they happen to stumble across your profile, or someone they follow is kind enough to retweet it.
If you haven’t been using hashtags and have now started to panic to the point where you’re currently typing out a tweet filled with nothing but, please stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath. This leads us onto the second way to mis-use hashtags, over-using them. You should only be ‘hashtagging’ the words that are key to your content. On top of that, before you do, quickly run a search of the hashtag you’re about to use to see if it actually is being used frequently. The chances are if it isn’t, people aren’t searching for it and therefore you may want to reconsider using it!
No one wants to follow a robot
Some of us are busy, and that’s fine, you don’t need to be on Twitter 24/7 and no one expects you to be (unless you’re a 24/7 customer support account…). Tweet scheduling is a wonderful tool and we will always recommend taking advantage of it, but how much automation is too much?
Many people/brands also choose to use a service that will send an automatic DM to any new follower of theirs, perhaps plugging a product or simply just to say hello. Now this isn’t always a bad technique depending on your reputation. For example if you’re a large company and 99% of your new followers are customers who have only just come across your Twitter account, that’s probably fine. But if they’ve just decided to follow you and straight away a robot is badgering them to sign up to your newsletter, they scroll your profile and see a tonne of content posted consistently but no ‘human-like’ tweets and no replies, the chances are they’ll unfollow. Take some time to go onto the platform and use it to communicate with people, after all, it is called social media!
You can’t buy followers
‘But there are so many sites offering me followers for such a cheap price?!’. These are not followers. Whilst they appear under your followers tab and they contribute to your follower count, they are not followers. Sure, not every real follower is guaranteed to engage with you, but isn’t it nice knowing they have the potential to? The bots you pay for on shifty looking websites will only ever sit there, adding to a meaningless number, because your follower count is meaningless if your tweets aren’t being seen by them.
It can also tarnish your reputation amongst others on the site. If people see a high follower count they expect to see a high rate of engagement too. If you have only one of those and it’s a high follower count, other Twitter users could see your account as a bit of a joke.
Keep your tone of voice consistent, but don’t be afraid to take a leap
If you reply to your older followers in a format that looks something like ‘Hello sir, how can we help you today?’, don’t reply to your younger audience ‘Yo homie, what’s good?’. Establish the tone of voice you wish to maintain and stick to it, for the most part, because that being said you should never be afraid of breaking it if you are confident you can get away with it and it has potential benefits (for example, if you’re known for being very serious and have established quite a large following, replying to something in a jokey manor may give extra exposure).
We have our own example of breaking away from the voice we set. For one of our clients in the insurance industry, we have a light-hearted yet professional tone of voice and this is always kept up. But once when we received a tweet from a younger lad saying something along the lines of ‘Big up for the solid quote on the whizzy’, we chose to reply ‘Safe G’ with a fist bump emoji. Little things like that can earn you kudos among that specific demographic. But it’s always important to empathise. Take some time and think ‘if I was talking to a brand, how would I receive this response?’.