Even experienced Twitter users occasionally commit a faux pas, and it’s important to know the most common mistakes so you can avoid them. These mistakes can lead to misunderstandings, lost followers or even a bad reputation.
1. You tweet in bursts.
Many Twitter users make the mistake of sending bursts of tweets in a short time, and then neglecting the feed for the rest of the day.
To become relevant on Twitter, send out tweets at regular intervals throughout the day. Burst tweeting can annoy people when, out of nowhere, they get a ton of your tweets filling up their streams. It can easily cause them to unfollow you.
2. You don’t make room for retweets.
If you want people to retweet you, you need to leave them space to do so. Most people won’t take the time to edit your content to send it out. You need to leave a character count large enough to include “RT@your name.”
3. Your tweets aren’t catchy.
Too many tweets don’t engage anyone, which makes them a waste of time. If you want to encourage someone to follow a URL, introduce it in a catchy way. Tweeting a URL is like writing a good title-you have to grab the audience’s attention.
4. You don’t retweet others.
You have to give some to get some, and this is especially true with Twitter. If you never retweet other people’s tweets, they have no reason to retweet yours. Make a habit of retweeting the best posts from the people in your feed, and they’ll likely reciprocate.
5. You protect your tweets.
Privacy settings on Twitter work differently from those on other social media platforms. If you need to unprotect your Twitter account so others can see your tweets, go to “Settings,” select “Account” and click “Protect My Tweets.” This should unselect the privacy setting and open your feed up to more users. This is incredibly important if you use Twitter for business.
6. You fail to follow others.
Twitter is an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” universe. If you want to get more followers, the only way you’ll succeed is to follow others. The more people, companies and places you follow, the more people will find and follow you.
7. You send vague tweets.
Another common mistake is tweeting things no one else can understand, such as “This is really bad,” with no explanation. Always include a link to an article, video or picture so people can at least relate to your tweet.
8. You use @ instead of .@
If you’re tweeting about an article, website or blog and use the @ sign, people will only see the tweet if they follow you and the person you mentioned. Use .@ (preceded by a period) so everyone can follow along.
9. You tweet first and think later.
There is no shortage of people who tweet something only to have it haunt them later. It’s so fast and easy to send a tweet, but there’s no bringing it back once it’s out there. Think twice before you hit send to save yourself some grief.
Twitter is a powerful, enjoyable and useful tool when you use it correctly. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure it remains a friendly place for you to connect with people, build relationships and expand your network of influence.