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The 10 biggest mistakes people make on twitter

If you missed the first installment in this series on the 10 biggest mistakes people make on various social media websites, you can see it here: 10 biggest mistakes people make on Stumble Upon. For this article, I am looking over the ever popular twitter. In 140 characters or less you can keep people updated with your lives. Micro blogging times ten, you could say. Twitter is a great tool, not only for making connections with a large amount of people, but it is also a great tool to promote yourself, build your brand and help others while you’re at it. However, some people get it all wrong. I’ve done a few items on this list too, and have worked to change it and hope by the end of this article, you’ve picked up a couple tips on how to better your twitter experience as well.

Adding too many people at one time

So you want to promote yourself as a social media expert, yet you’ve got 100 people following you, while you’re following 15,000? How does that really portray you? It not only makes you look desperate but it also shows that you’re not on twitter to build relationships with people, only to gain a vast amount of followers in order to spam them with your links. Take it slow, let the follows come naturally.

Tweeting too many personal tweets

If you’re tweeting 3-4 times a day about what you ate, where you slept at and what movie you’re dying to see, the odds of people reading your tweets and catching the hidden gems you drop about your business and other links to other great resources is very low. A lot of people use twitter to connect for business purposes and I know personally, I do not like following people who tweet with 80% personal notes and 10-15% their own links and only 5% other resources.

Not tweeting enough personal tweets

Get this through your head - we are not robots :) People do have to see a personal side of you or you seem unapproachable and distant from the people you’re following. For instance, I like to tell a lot of jokes, so when I tweet with people and am talking about business, I mix in some jokes and random funny things with my business and resource tweets. It’s got to be a good blend though, so don’t fall into a non stop comedy fest :) Balance is key.

Using the default twitter layout

If you’re after attention but you seem to be growing your network at a slow rate, don’t blame everyone else. Blame your default twitter layout. If you are a professional and want to be seen as so, take a few minutes to either create an information packed twitter background, or at least something with some style. Who knows, you might even get featured in an article about twitter layouts and end up gaining a lot of subscribers because of it!

Not using a distinctive twitter avatar

This is one of the biggest mistakes I made when I started using twitter. I used the robot head that I have on my blog design company website and virtually no one could make the personal connection to me with that as my avatar. I have since changed it to the image I am using now on all social media websites and have seen an improvement in my personal branding.

Only tweeting about yourself

Are you the type of person who checks in on the twitter grader and sees the biggest words you tweet about as “I’m”, “Me” and “I” then you need to read this one very close. Tweet about other people. Spread the love. Pay it forward. If you want people to ignore you, tweet about yourself all day. If not, then start talking about some other people and pass along useful information you see along the way.

Using auto Follow / auto Direct Messaging scripts

Scream at the person who just added you with these scripts, letting them know you’re a spammer and you don’t care about the community. Listen, twitter, along with every other social media website is driven by the community being sociable with each other. If you jump into random conversations only to spam them with your services, it’s going to be much harder to brand yourself as a credible source. So, please, please, please do not use these scripts.

Selling in your tweets

You want to tell people about the services you offer? Do it in your bio. Put your URL there and leave it at that. Focus your time on creating quality filled tweets and interact with the people you would like to do business with. If they like you, they’ll look into what you do and hire you because they enjoy what you’re saying and believe you are a valuable source, not just someone who spams the twitter world with random “buy from me” tweets.

Not leveraging the power of a Re-Tweet

This ties in with the only tweeting about yourself mistake because when you RT (re-tweet) a message, it not only shows your twitter followers that you’re on the look out for quality links and they need to pay attention to you, but it also shows the person who you’re re-tweeting that they are smart, intelligent people who you enjoy listening to. It’s a win/win situation.

You are not following me yet!

OK, OK. Shameless self promotion here. Yes, I am on twitter. Yes, I would love if you were to follow me. Yes, I would probably cry for a week if I found out you read this article and then DIDN’T follow me. So help me keep my feelings inside. Head over to my twitter profile and follow me. I’ll follow you back :)

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  1. These are great tips, Mike! I totally agree with all of them. There was a great quote floating around Twitter the other day from @Iconic88: “Twitter isn’t about the Selling, it’s about the Sharing”

    As far as avatars go, even if you don’t have time to whip up the perfect self-portrait, I’m happy to see ANYTHING but the default Twitter avatar. What is that thing anyway?

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Manda :) I like how your gravatar matches your twitter profile avatar. Very nicely done :)

      And yes, ANYTHING but the stupid default twitter avatar is great. I am not sure what that thing is. I think its made hideous like that on purpose so people KNOW it’s just the default.

  2. A Maui Blog says:

    I agree with almost all except for the default twitter lay-out. I love my default tweeter lay-out. I think many of the personalized fancy ones are distracting. but that’s just my opinion.

    As for following you, I just discovered you. So ok, I will follow you – now I am almost a perfect Twitterrer :)

  3. Why is so horrible to sell? I have a very small following (under 100) and the core of my tweeters are people whole sell the same handmade items I do – I actually like to see someone’s new line….and with the exceptions of a few joking buy this tweets (all facetious) people seem okay with it, and my analytics show upward growth in visitor counts from twitter.


  4. A Maui Blog says:

    Now I should get an extra point for re-tweeting (see my tweet :)

    But really I find these very helpful tips especially for beginner Twitters.

  5. Max says:

    Great tips indeed – I’ll follow you in a minute so there’s no need to be sad for you.. 😉

  6. Max says:

    Oh sorry – forget my post. I recently headed over to your twitter profile and noticed that I already follow you for quite some time and can just recommend it.

  7. LIDA360 says:

    Great tips!

    I refuse to do auto DMs. I like to personalize each DM and appreciate same. I actually got a cute one from a new follower that I liked: “Hi there. I apologize for this Auto DM to your follow, but I want you to know I appreciate your time reading my posts. Let’s connect for real soon.” At least she owned the fact that it could be annoying! :)

  8. BlackInkBird says:

    Thank you for writing this! I’m so glad to see that I’ve got 8/10 down. ^_^

  9. Jabulani says:

    As a relatively new twitterer, I am relieved to see that I follow most of these! Just have to nip off and RT this …

  10. James Joyner says:

    You should really add a “Follow me on Twitter” button….

    • Mike says:

      Thanks James. I am launching a new design here tomorrow and it will have a twitter follow section in it more dominant as I am on twitter a lot. I appreciate your comment and hope you stick around.

  11. Mike says:

    Thanks for the wonderful comments everyone :)

  12. Jenni says:

    Very nice article, thank you so much! I have changed the look of my twitter layout and I’m following you. Thanks for the great advice :-)

  13. Elaine says:

    so what is your twitter name? I had a quick look around and couldn’t see one.

  14. This is great information. I am just starting out in the blogging/tweeting world, but I love what I am seeing! I will definitely follow you & your advice…Thanks!

  15. hejidesign says:

    Thanks Mike! Those are really usuful tips!
    I think I have many things to fix in my twitter.
    (I am following you!^^)

  16. Issa says:

    Hello Mike,

    I can’t help but laugh on the last item: You are not following me yet! How desperate can people get? Then, you encounter some sites offering bulk followers for $$$. Thanks for the tips. Love them!

  17. Nice post. Useful for beginners. Don’t miss to have a look at which provides creative Twitter backgrounds for both business and individual accounts.
    By the way, i’m following you on Twitter !

  18. I was SO CLOSE, but am still in the process of updating my layout. Who was it who said “Half of art is knowing when to stop”? I’m having trouble with the stopping part. Also, my sorry effort is far from art.

    Personal tweets within the context of a business profile can be a thin line to walk, and I’m glad you mentioned it. It’s always nice to get a glimpse of the personality behind the tweets, but keeping them professional and applicable instead of spammy is tricky. Again, I tend to spend too much time fiddling with wording and maybe not enough time actually getting the content out there.

    Thanks for the great post!

  19. Val Erb says:

    Great post. Would have to vote for “Not having a bio” to become #11.

  20. Svetlana says:

    Thanks for sharing this! it’s way too funny when people tweet “pearls” like “scrambled eggs you soon will be in me”

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