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Let’s face it. We all have that one friend on social media who somehow manages to annoy the hell out of us every time they post something. Unfortunately though, some brands have the exact same effect on their followers.

We could go on and on all day listing the various reasons why brands annoy their fans on social media platforms. But for now, we’ll just focus on Twitter.

As you’re reading this list, if you see something that looks familiar and realise you’re guilty of committing one of these unspeakable Twitter crimes, it’s time to stop and reassess your current strategy as, chances are, whatever you’re doing is losing you followers.

Children Twitter facepalms

1. Repeating content

Yes, we get it, you’ve just launched a new product. And it’s great that you want your followers to know all about it. But why not tell us something different about it, or give us a few reasons why we should buy it? Simply telling users that you have it in stock, repeating the same content that you used in your tweet from yesterday isn’t going to work.

2. Never retweeting

The number one rule of social media is remembering that you’re participating in a community. You need to remember that it’s all about listening to what other people have to say and offering your own contribution. If a user scrolls down your Twitter feed and sees that all you ever talk about is your business, it’s going to seem rather egotistical. On the other hand, if they can see you’re sharing useful, quality content from other users, this is going to look much better. Plus, if someone else has come up with a great tweet, give them the credit they deserve. Retweet it and, you never know, they may thank you with a few reciprocal retweets of their own.

3. Spelling/grammatical mistakes

Be careful here. You can – and will – have the Grammar Police on your doorstep if you make mistakes in this area. It’s vital to know your “there” from your “their” and your “where” from your “were”. At the end of the day, you’re representing your business; making grammatical and typing errors looks sloppy and unprofessional. You’re only human; everybody makes mistakes, but try to take the necessary precautions to avoid making these errors.

4. Using text language

Following on from that last one, don’t use text language. You know what we mean:

“Dont 4get 2 sign up 2 our newsletter where ur'll find fab deals evry day”

Don’t. Just don’t. Undoubtedly, some of your followers will use it, but as a brand, you want to look professional. We know it’s hard – you only have 140 characters to work with so cramming that super, awesome tweet into a finite amount of space can be tough. But try to look at it as a blessing in disguise; it gives you the chance to get creative. And remember, tweets containing 100 characters or less tend to generate a higher engagement rate.

5. Automating anything

You’re bound to have seen one of these. You follow someone and within the next hour, you’ve had a direct message from them which clearly isn’t straight from the heart:

Twitter direct messages

This doesn’t just apply to direct messages though. Some people set up their account so that every single new follower gets a tweet thanking them for following:

Automated tweets2

Automating anything on Twitter is a big no-no! It’s impersonal, it’s not useful and above anything, it’s extremely annoying.

6. Cold tweeting

This is the process that involves directly tweeting at a user you’ve never spoken to before and encouraging them to look at your website, retweet your content or follow you. There’s nothing wrong with asking for these things as long as;

a. It’s not a regular occurrence, and
b. You’re asking it of someone who you’ve already developed a relationship with

Contacting someone out of the blue and asking a favour of them is a little bit like door-to-door sales – and we all have strong feelings in that area! Make sure you use Twitter to develop relationships with other users and if you do request a retweet from them, be sure to return the favour once in a while.

7. Feeding content through from Facebook

Twitter is a social media platform in its own right and requires a different approach and tone of voice to the other channels out there. But some brands try to save time and effort by creating content for their Facebook pages and setting up an automatic feed so that any content posted there will then appear on their Twitter page too. And, because you can write more in a Facebook post, the 140 character limit on Twitter usually means the post is cut off half way through:

Facebook feed tweet

Ideally, you should be dedicating time to producing separate content that’s suited specifically to each of your social media channels. If you don’t have that available time, just concentrate your efforts on one channel instead, making sure you post some killer content.

8. Jumping on the trending bandwagon

This one is a little different; more of a warning than an annoying habit. Often, you’ll see a trending topic that could be used in your favour and it’s perfectly fine to jump on the bandwagon and promote your brand whilst everyone’s discussing the topic in question. But if you’re going to do this, be careful and do a little background research first to find out the context. For instance, don’t do what DiGiorno Pizza did…

9. Automated following/unfollowing

Returning to automation, there are tools that will follow a large number of users in the hope that they will follow back and, after a certain amount of time, if they aren’t following you, the machine will then unfollow them. It’s a method of growing your follower count quickly and with minimal effort. Again this is a big no-no and against Twitter’s guidelines. Not only that, if users can see your account is growing in followers within a short period of time, it’s going to look dodgy and desperate. The best way to grow your followers naturally is to post useful, creative content and engage with your audience on a regular basis.

10. Never tweeting/tweeting too often

It’s all about finding the right balance. If someone lands on your account and sees the last time you posted anything was back in 2012, chances are they’ll be clicking elsewhere.

On the other hand, if it’s only 9.30am and you’ve already posted 20 generic tweets about rubbish, you’re going to start annoying people. It’s advisable to tweet 3-4 times a day of your own content. But note, this number does not include tweets where you’re engaging and talking to other users. If you’re having a good conversation and developing relationships, tweet away!

Incomplete Twitter profile

11. Unfinished profiles

Completing your profile can be a great opportunity to get creative, reinforcing your brand imagery and telling people what you’re all about. But you’d be amazed at the number of accounts in the Twittersphere that haven’t paid any attention to their profiles. You have 160 characters for your bio (a little more than you’re allowed for a tweet) so use it to get creative. Select header and background photos, add your location and a link to your website. Finally set your company logo as your profile picture and get rid of that weird default egg picture – you know the one!

12. Hashtagging every word

#This #is #not #a #good #way #to #promote #your #brand. It looks messy, it’s difficult to read and, more often than not, it won’t help you in any way whatsoever. Yes, you will see hashtags that are only one word long, but usually they’re for longstanding topical conversation (#fitness and #selfie, for instance). If you’re going to use hashtags, do a little research first to make sure you’re using the correct one for the purposes of your tweet.

13. Too much self-promotion

“Me, me, me” is not going to work. Your followers know why you’re there (assuming, of course, you’ve filled in your profile – if not, go back to point 11), they don’t need you reminding them every 5 minutes what it is you do. Some self-promotion is fine and, of course, expected. But you need to make sure it’s not happening all the time. Remember, Twitter is a community, ideal for engaging with other people. If you’re doing your job well and offering great products or services, you may not even need to promote yourself – your followers could start doing it for you.

14. Begging for retweets

Asking people to retweet your content is fine, so long as it’s a rare occurrence and it’s for a good reason. Promoting an event or announcing a big new product are a couple of examples where it’s ok to add a cheeky “Please RT” at the end of your post. But don’t put it at the end of every single tweet and only use it if you honestly believe other people will be interested to hear what it is you’re saying.

15. Retweeting too much of other users’ content

There’s nothing worse than scrolling down a user’s feed and seeing their content is composed entirely of retweets from other users’ accounts. Whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing another user’s content if you think your followers will like it, make sure you’re showing you have your own voice as well and you’re also capable of creating killer content.

If any of the above points are taking place in your current Twitter activity, now’s the time to rethink a few things. Stop giving your followers facepalm moments and start giving them great reasons to love your brand instead.

Categories: Social Media

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