1. Don’t spam
- First and foremost, don’t spam your followers with endless links to your own website – they won’t appreciate it and you will lose their interest and support.
- Don’t rely on auto DMs. Yes, these are allowed by Twitter – but many users find them spammy and impersonal and they are, in fact a dying feature. Note: all sense of meaning and genuine feeling goes out of the window when you send an automated, generic thank-you that goes out to everyone. Thank as many followers as you can personally.
- Don’t spam using hashtags. This is a big no no. Some businesses see a trend on Twitter and add a hashtag trend to their tweet in the hope it will be seen by those following that thread. Avoid this at all costs. Your reputation will be broken in seconds and it will be painfully obvious that you’re promoting where you shouldn’t be.
2. Don’t become complacent
- Always be sure to keep your Twitter profile and biog up to date. Not only will this help with your reputation but also your SEO. Anyone stumbling across an out-of-date page is not going to take you seriously and it does nothing for your online business reputation. Not tweeting also falls into this. No-one will be interested in following you if your last tweet was two weeks ago.
- Don’t be lazy about interacting with others. If someone takes the time to tweet you, tweet them back. It’s polite and builds up customer relationships. Too many businesses ignore tweets. Also remember: @mentions aren’t the only tweets you should look out for and reply to. There are free-to-use Twitter apps which allow you to create search panes so you can see anyone who mentions your business/brand.
3. Don’t self promote
Although Twitter gives you a chance to spread your message and business, don’t use it purely for that purpose. Constant sales pitching and “Try our product, it’s the best!” messages will annoy your followers. Post relevant content. If you’re desperate to get your product out there, retweet reviews: they’re not written by you and this level of outside influence creates an interest and trust in your brand.
4. Don’t fall victim to 140 characters
Twitter can be very restrictive: sometimes you have to compromise what you say just to fit into the 140 character limit. Rather than trying to save on space and send only one tweet, spread it out over two or three.
5. Don’t get aggressive
- People tweet or blog nasty things. It happens to companies each and every day. The worst thing you can do is react via Twitter in a defensive manner – it can do even more damage to your reputation. Instead, send a level-headed tweet saying something like: “Sorry you feel that way. Is there anything we can do to change your mind?” or DM them with your email address where the discussion can take place privately.
- Tweeting nasty messages about your rivals is also poor sportsmanship. Unadulterated bashing of a competitor will actually lose you respect. No-one likes arrogance and self-righteousness. Keep your opinions to yourself and be a mature and reasonable business.
Key take-away: The things people love and hate are, in reality, the same online. Be personal with your tweets, always interact and never leave a customer without a response.
Nikki Peters is the community support manager for MarketMeSuite, the (free!) social media marketing dashboard.
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