Social Media

5 Key Twitter Mistakes To Avoid Like The Plague

Twitter is a major advertising and exposure source for all types of business organizations. Businesses are using tweets to create more branding for their business and communicate with clients and prospects. The fact that Twitter is a real-time medium has truly attracted many firms to the platform and there’s much more to come.

It’s important to recognize the fact that Twitter is primarily a social networking medium, and not a distribution channel for promotional copy and ads. This helps us identify the most common pitfalls that must be avoided if you’re a Twitter for business neophyte. This is especially true if you’re seeking exposure, branding and lead generation on Twitter. New Twitter marketers fall prey to this simple mindset mistakes everyday. Invariably this and other common mistakes sabotage their marketing efforts and dilute their capacity to gain new followers.

But first, let’s update you on a few eye-opening statistics about today’s Twitter. Yes, I said “today’s” Twitter. Twitter is quite different from it was even a few years ago (even though Twitter is quite young.).


Here’s A Few Twitter Facts To Consider:

  • Twitter launched on March 21, 2006 (7 years ago)
  • Total nuber of Twitter Registered Users: About a Billion (Updated 9/16/13)
  • Unique Monthy Visitors to Twitter: 35 Million (Last Updated 9/24/13)
  • Total Number of Tweets Sent: 300 Billion (10/3/13)
  • Monthly ACTIVE Twitter Users (MAU’s): 255 Million
  • Percentage of Twitter MAU’s Located Outside U.S.: 77% (10/3/13)
  • Daily Active Twitter Users: 100 Million (4/29/14)
  • Percentage of MAU’s That Accessed Twiteer via a Mobile Device 76% (2/5/14)
  • Record Number of Tweets Per Second: 143,199 on August 3, 2013 (10/3/13)
  • Average Time Spent by Users on Twitter: 170 Minutes (9/27/12)
  • Percentage of Twitter Users That Use It At Least Once Per Day 46% (12/30/13)
  • Percentage of People That Follow SMB’s To Get Product Updates: 74% (1/17/14)
  • 47% of People Who Follow A Brand on Twitter Are More Likely To Visit That Company’s Website (1/17/14)
  • Percentage Lift In Recommendations of an SMB After a Consumer Followed or Engaged with Them on Twitter: 30% (1/17/14)
  • % of Twitter Followers of a Brand That Are More Likely to Purchase a Product From That Brand: 72% (1/17/14)
  • Percentage of Twitter Users That Feel More Connected to a SMB After They Begin Following Them: 85% (1/17/14)
  • Twitter’s Percentage of Global sharing: 30% (12/11/13)
  • Twitter’s Percentage of total Global Consumer Brand Social sharing: 38% (12/11/13)
  • Percentage of Top 50 United states Law Firms That Have a Twitter Profile: 90% (1/9/14)
  • Most Popular Category for Twitter Job Postings: Sales (11/5/13)
  • Most Popular Time of Day For Twitter ReTweets: 10-11PM EST (12/11/13)
  • Percentage of World Leaders That Use Twitter: 80% (1/1/14)
  • Average Number of Tweets Per Day By The Top 100 Global Brands on Twitter: 12 (1/12/14)

Additional Considerations:

  • At 288 million active users, 21% of the world’s population uses Twitter every month
  • Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55 – 64 year olds
    (up 79% over the previous year, also consider this… what demographic has the disposable income)

Though The 23 Growth Facts Above Are Impressive, Do Not Marginalize The Last 2 Facts That Are Presented.

 Finally, Here’s Those 5 Key Twitter Mistakes You Should Avoid Like The Plague


1 – Using The Wrong Image On Your Twitter Profile

If you’re trying to create buzz on Twitter and attract people to your offerings the last thing you need is anonymity. Remember, Twitter is a “social” network; therefore people are naturally attracted to following other “people”.

To avoid sabotaging your efforts from the word “go”, choose an image for your Twitter profile that is consistent with your business, product or service. Do not select an image that has absolutely nothing to do with your business. It is preferable that you use a picture of a human being but not necessarily a requirement. Personalize your Twitter profile with an image that is consistent to the key benefit provided by your business. This enhances the value of your brand and attracts others that may be interested in your product, service or niche.

2- Using A Generic Twitter Page Design For Your Twitter Profile Page

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the default Twitter page designs if you’re going to tweet about what you had for dinner last night. That a good idea also if you happen to think it’s important to tweet about who is the most popular celebrity. On the flip side, if you’re trying to develop a following for commercial purposes, I’m afraid this approach just won’t cut it. Take a look at the most popular profiles that significant followings. Most of these profiles are highly personalized and expose very brand specific characteristics about their business or organization.

Take your time and make the effort to personalize your Twitter profile. Make sure it is consistent with the message and the theme that you’re trying to convey. If necessary, buy a customized Twitter profile or have someone customize one for you. Your Twitter profile truly needs to reflect the exact look and feel of what your business stands for. In some cases it will be the initial digital handshake that a new prospect may receive.

3- You Constantly Tweet Promotions And Advertisements To Your Followers!

Entering into the Twitter realm is like walking into a convention hall that’s filled with thousands of people, with a multitude of interest. Some of these people may very well be interested in your offers, but some simply won’t be. Imagine walking into this type of environment, totally new, with no relationship ties established. You then decide to stand on an empty table and enthusiastically shout promotional lines and persuasive statements about your offers to the audience. All in hopes of gaining recognition and relevant exposure. Really? This strategy probably won’t go over very well.

Think about it, do you enjoy being bombarded with commercial offers and business opportunities by friends and associates? Probably not… right?

If you were to walk into that convention hall, stand on a table and begin shouting about your great product, service or offering that’ would be comparable to what you are doing on Twitter if you constantly tweet promotional content or business related material. Unfortunately, this is the default behavior of most Twitter newcomers.

This will quickly get you tagged as a Twitter spammer. Avoid this behavior like the plague. Mix up your tweets. Throw in a little humor, a famous quote, a funny video and gently mix in your promotions. Get personal to develop new relationships that allow you to cultivate new prospects. Remember, Twitter is simply an introductory medium. The ultimate goal is to encourage a visit to your web site and possibly to your opt-in form. The beginning of a new relationship with a possible friend exists here. Here’s a better approach…

Do your homework… search for Twitter conversations that show “mutual interest”. Once that’s complete, simply approach a person or two, by contributing to their current conversation or Twitter feed.. This approach lays the foundation for reciprocal conversation which could lead to new relationships and ultimately more business prospects.

Don’t make the mistake of bombarding the Twitter community with a constant string of promotional Tweets about your products, services or programs. Remember, Twitter is first and foremost a “social networking” medium. A place to exchange ideas, exchange conversation and interact with others on topics of mutual interest. Do yourself a favor and mix up those Tweets instead of deploying a constant string of promotional copy.

4- You Don’t Shorten Your URL’s (hyperlinks) – “When You Use A Long Link Your Tweet Stinks…”

Making the mistake of using long URL’s in your tweets violates the most fundamental of Twitter rules. Twitter is based on a simple 140 character limit for tweets. If someone wants to “ReTweet” one of your tweets, an extra long URL could be what’s hindering them from doing so. There’s simply not enough characters left to give you the exposure you deserve.

URL’s that look something like this: http://www.xxxxxxxxx/5555.aaabbbccc.html serves as a sure-fire sign that you are new to the Twitter community. It screams out, “I Do Not Undertstand Twitter” or anything else about basic Twitter etiquette.”

Use one of the many free services available to shorten those URL’s (like, it’s easy, simple and will rid you of the neon light that flashes on your forehead and distinguishes you as a Twitter newbie!

5- You Never Send Thank You Messages To Your Followers

Once you began to gain followers, it’s always a good idea to send an instant “Thank You” message to those who have CHOSEN to follow you. Understandably, you may think that this is a laborious task, however there are ways to get around the time required to execute this simple yet thoughtful gesture.

Try automating the process with service like (that’s “If This Then That”…) which can cut down on the tedious tasks like following back new followers or saying thank you for following and save you tons of time. This approach can also jumpstart many online conversations for you.

Try following these simple suggestions and your initial Twitter experience will be much easier and ultimately more productive.