Common Mistakes Blocking Your Twitter Success

Common mistakes blocking your Twitter success - #TwitterSmarter chat with Nika Stewart - October 17, 2019

In our chats, we often talk about the best practices of using Twitter. Since our community members are avid Twitter users, they’re aware of latest developments and they learn from each other a lot.

However, we rarely discuss the mistakes that most of us make on Twitter. Some of these are harmless, small-scale mistakes we can easily rectify. But there are also bigger mistakes that can hurt our overall branding efforts. That’s exactly what we wanted to ask Nika about.

Nika Stewart is a social media strategist and founder of Streambank Media, a social media management agency. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Nika Stewart
Topic: Common Mistakes Blocking Your Twitter Success
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share their thoughts.

Q1: When using Twitter for business, how often should you tweet in a day?

There’s no right answer to this one. It depends on your industry, your social media strategy, and how active your community is. That said, it’s also essential that you’re active on Twitter. You want to tweet as often as necessary to encourage conversations without being irrelevant.

How much is too much? When you transition from being helpful to tweeting for the sake of tweeting, you’ve gone too far. But as our guest said, it’s hard to overdo it if you’re following the *E* FOURmula. Keep your tweets entertaining, educational, energizing, and engaging, and you’ll do fine.

Eddie shared a smart way to think about posting more. Create three highly-relevant pieces of content and schedule them at three strategic times throughout the day. Just make sure you’re altering the exact phrasing of the copy for each tweet, because Twitter penalizes you when you post too many duplicate tweets.

Aside from posting new content, make sure you also regularly respond to mentions, engage in Twitter chats and respond to threads. That way, you’ve got a consistent presence on Twitter.

Q2: What is the most common mistake people make on Twitter?

The obvious mistake is not being prepared for Twitter. As a social platform, Twitter is fast and highly demanding. Without a proper plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and burn yourself out.

Nika also talked about how important it is to be consistent with your messages. Your brand colours, images, custom GIFs, and tone should remain the same throughout.

Here’re a few more mistakes our community members pointed out:

  • Not having a social media strategy for Twitter.
  • Expecting overnight results.
  • Publishing content without engaging with the community.
  • Abusing the hashtags—two’s the ideal number.
  • Being salesy instead of focussing on offering value.

And lastly, as Mrs. Turtlegang said, don’t ever publish a post without proofreading. Although, typos on Twitter chats are, to some extent, excusable.

Q3: How can you make it easy for yourself to stay consistent?

As she answered to the previous question, Nika emphasized the importance of a social media strategy.

When you have a proper strategy, not only can you avoid surprises, but you also have backup content for when you have nothing else to say. You can also create a content calendar and schedule evergreen posts to go out regularly, so you still have something every day. Use social media tools to schedule, monitor, and simplify your work.

As Lance said, being consistent becomes easy when you have something of a style guide. Make sure you have a documented brand guidelines and that every one in your team is aware of it.

Twitter is time-consuming, and it can be a challenge to manage your time effectively. Block out time on your calendar and show up at the same time every day. That helps you build the practice.

Q4: What are some things to consider before creating a Twitter strategy?

Nika gave us four questions we should ask ourselves before creating a Twitter strategy.

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve from your activities on Twitter? Or, in other words, why do you do what you do?

Who is your target audience? Imagine the type of people you want to attract and engage with. Think about their businesses, their technical expertise, and how you can relate to them.

What can you offer your target audience that others can’t? In other words, why should people follow you and engage with you, and not someone else who does the same thing?

What’s your main message? This covers your core values, ethics, policies, and mission.

And as Damian rightly mentioned, consider segmenting your followers and audience based on geography. This helps you identify what times most of your audience is active, so you can schedule posts strategically and engage with them at a time when they’re most likely to respond.

Q5: Share some tips to creating a Twitter strategy for the first time.

The first step, as our guest mentioned, is to make sure you have your strategy in writing. Make an online document or a file on your computer. In the beginning you’ll possibly have just notes and scraps of ideas, but document them nevertheless.

Having it someplace you can constantly refer to, helps spread the work and makes it easier to incorporate ideas laid out in your strategy. It forces you to stick to the plan.

As Rachel said, a great way to learn how to do something is to observe someone you admire. Follow a few accounts that you think are doing a great job and see how they manage their Twitter activities. Learn from them.

Here’re some other things to consider while creating a strategy for the first time:

  • How you can use Twitter lists effectively.
  • Regular industry-relevant hashtags you’ll be using.
  • Your tone and brand guidelines.
  • Competitor analysis—what they’re doing well and what not.
  • Ways to measure your efforts on Twitter.

Q6: How do you communicate your Twitter goals to your team?

When you have a strategy, and you have it in writing, communicating it to your team is just as easy as sharing a link.

Aside from that, make sure that every piece of content on your website and other online media reflects your goals and values. That way, employees and team members naturally learn what you’re all about.

Our friends from GiveWP shared with us how they communicate with their team members. Because their audience is primarily on Twitter, the platform plays an integral part in their overall marketing strategy. They have also documented their goals, and periodically update their team about how they’re progressing. This makes way for excellent feedback during evaluation and helps extend the strategy in a positive way.

Q7: What makes for an engaging tweet?

An engaging tweet is relatable. Don’t use high-tech industry jargon to look and sound smart. Keep it simple, share what matters to you and your personal opinions, and use everyday language. That way, people will feel more compelled to respond to your tweets.

Video is also great. As Nika demonstrated, it showcases the real you, and gives your audience an opportunity to know the person behind the handle. A custom GIF also does the same thing.

As NJWebster reminded us, asking a question or running a poll can also boost your engagement levels.

Some other ways to make your tweets engaging:

  • Incorporate wit and humor.
  • Share informative content.
  • Stay relevant to the topic and your industry.
  • Respond to notifications promptly.
  • Use emoji and GIFs.
  • Add relevant hashtags.

Q8: What are some ways to keep your community interested in your content?

Showcase the real you. People love seeing quirky and authentic content. Don’t be just another corporate brand with defined vocabulary. Let yourself have fun and translate that into your content.

And here’s a great example of how Nika showed off her personality.

Hannah also made an excellent point about respecting your followers. Don’t spam them. Treat them as your community—ask them what they expect from you, understand their needs, and try to solve their problems. Be a helper. That way, you grow your Twitter influence and your followers will look up to you as a valuable resource.

That’s all for this week’s chat summary, folks. For more great insights from the chat, check out this Twitter Moment that our chat member Joana put together.

Feel free to tweet out your thoughts and comments to either Madalyn or myself. If you’ve got some time to spare on Thursday, join us at 1 pm for the next #TwitterSmarter chat.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: Personal blog | LinkedIn | Twitter