Best Practices

21 Common Mistakes on Twitter to Avoid

2 February, 2017
4 min read
Veronika Vebere

4-minute read

Mistakes happen. And with no edit button, Twitter easily lends itself to human error. The best way to fix something is to prevent it going bad in the first place, so we compiled a list of common mistakes on Twitter that you should avoid making.

Before you proceed just a note of reassurance: all of us have done these things in the past and lots of us still do today, and this article is all about helping you put your best foot forward on Twitter.

Twitter mistakes to avoid, especially as marketers

#1 Link out in every post

If you find yourself constantly linking out in tweets, you are doing it wrong. Schedule tweets in advance with images, participate in national holidays, reply to mentions, upload videos and create polls to mix it up.

#2 Make spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes

Companies have no excuse for bad grammar or spelling. Spell-check and schedule your content in advance. Remember, each blog post can be tweeted a few times as long as you change the takeaways and images.

#3 Insult others or leave negative comments

Social media is the wrong domain for spreading negativity and it should be avoided at all costs. All negative feedback received should be handled with extra care by your company's support team.

#4 Burst-tweeting

Tweeting multiple posts when you’re on the computer or phone and then falling into silence for a day or two. Instead, spread posts out evenly to have a higher chance of reaching more audiences - your favorite social media management tool can help with that. This, of course, is different to using Tweet threads.

#5 Complain about your job or company

This goes for everyone who has a personal or business account on Twitter - never complain about your company or job role on social media. This never ends well.

#6 Use #too #many #hashtags

Avoid sounding too promotional and making your tweets look messy, especially when it doesn't add value. According to the main rules of engagement Twitter, you shouldn't use more than two hashtags per post. It's also best to research the hashtags before you use them.

#7 Over promote your products

Stick with the 80/20 rule of marketing - share 80% that will add value and only 20% of that which is promotional. Keep product plugging to a minimum and find ways to tell your story rather than going in for a hard sell.

#8 Constantly retweet others

Sharing too much can become an issue. Don't blindly retweet every message you see - read the article and share your comment in relation to it. Take the time check the link in the tweet and share your favorite bit from the article or video if you're sharing one.

#9 Schedule duplicate content across multiple Twitter accounts

Don't act like a bot and schedule duplicate messages to Twitter! Did you know that to eliminate future “malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter”, Twitter decided to make changes to TweetDeck and Twitter API? From March 23, 2018, all social media management tools and Twitter users have to be in compliance.

If you don't, you risk your account being suspended and that's the last thing you'd want for your client's Twitter profile. Check out the new best practice tips for Twitter in light of this change. 

#10 Go off-topic

You might love animals, but posts of that nature often have little to do with your company's Twitter feed (unless you’re a pet shop or a charity that finds homes for animals). Follow your favorite companies and industry influencers to always have great quality content to share. If you have a bigger budget, find a social media tool with a content library that has content suggestions on all the topics your readers would find interesting.

#11 Welcome every new follower with the same message

There's nothing wrong with welcoming your followers as long as you do so to strike up a conversation and not to sell your product or service. Avoid being overly promotional, repetitive or impersonal. Create messages with a purpose, e.g. to introduce your blog or share a part of your company story.

#12 Get involved in sensitive topics

Political and religious beliefs are sensitive subjects to discuss on Twitter. Avoid them when possible, especially when speaking on behalf of a business unless you are campaigning for a great cause or partnering up with a charity. 

#13 Interrupt a Twitter chat to try to sell something

Be respectful towards others and don't just jump into conversations to make a sale. Social listening is all about giving advice, not directing customers to product pages. Search for conversations on Twitter by using keywords and reach out only when you have something valuable to add, for example, advice or directions. 


See what we mean?

#15 Share trivial information

Thing is, everyone is too busy doing their own thing so you need content that will cut through the noise. Offer something they can't find on other social media networks or by solely visiting your website. Always think about providing value first. 

#16 Take all the credit

If you found a great source or piece of content, always make sure to credit the right person and source. Retweet the best messages and tag the original creators.

#17 Be inconsistent

Your followers on Twitter have followed you because they’re interested in what you do and they expect the same quality of tweets throughout. Never disappoint them.

#18 Automatically follow everyone who follows you

According to Twitter, 23 million of its active users are actually bots, so be mindful of those who follow you without engaging with any of your content. Make sure that the accounts you do decide to follow make sense as prospects, industry influencers or are your customers. 

#19 Automatically share images from other networks

There may be a big temptation to simply blast one Instagram photo and automatically share it on Twitter and Facebook, but refrain from doing so. Take the time to post a unique post with different copy for Twitter. Besides, images don't even count towards the character limit.

#20 Jump between tones of voice

Every company should have one tone of voice, so make sure it's consistent throughout your profile, tweets and branding. It's equally as important to follow through with your strategy and keep your buyer persona in mind. To help you keep track of all of that, why not download our Social Media Health Check? It will save you heaps of time. 

#21 Lie

There may be a temptation to over emphasize how well things are going. Avoid being overly promotional of your own success and make sure it's always authentic.

To sum it all up - be truthful, provide value and don't over promote your brand. Mastering Twitter for business can be difficult as a marketer, but with knowledge of the best practices and what you should avoid, the task should get that bit lighter!

Social Media Health Check PDF

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