01 Sep Proper tweetiquette – the do’s and don’ts of business tweeting
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Those wanting to self-market their new business, book or product with a limited amount of funds typically turn to free resources in order to get the promotion they want. One of the more popular choices is utilizing one of the leading social media networking sites— Twitter. And it’s a great avenue to pursue too. Just about everyone has one including high-profile bloggers, celebrities, powerful industry executives and most importantly tons and tons of prospective customers and clients. It’s a great way to reach potentially hundreds of thousands of people at no cost. Using the site may seem simple. After all who can botch a 140 character long sentence? But the truth of the matter is that a lot of people do so on a regular basis. So many in fact that instead of building a strong clientele base, some entrepreneurs and business owners actually turn-off their customers via tweets instead. To make sure you don’t use the site incorrectly, brush up on some common “tweetiquette” by learning a few simple rules:
Misspelled Words/Misused Phrases
There is no easier way to dilute your authority than by misspelling words or using bad grammar in your tweets. Even common typos such as “your” instead of “you’re” can do major damage to your reputation, especially if you are involved in the writing biz. It can’t be stressed enough that you need to scan over your tweet(s) and look for misspellings and typos. Since Twitter does not have an editing feature, whatever you publish cannot be corrected. Sure, you have the option of simply deleting the tweet all together if you find an error. But by then it might be too late—all it takes is two seconds before hundreds of your followers can see your tweet. That being said, you need to get it done right the first time. To make the process easier, use a search engine (such as Mozilla Firefox) that has a built-in spell checker when using Twitter on your desktop. If you have a spellchecker on your smart phone, use that as well. If you don’t have a spell check feature and are unsure how a word is spelled, don’t be embarrassed to Google it or look it up in an old-fashioned dictionary.
Excessive Tweets and Retweets
One of the easiest ways to lose “followers” (i.e. customers) is to become a nuisance by flooding their time lines. As a rule of thumb you shouldn’t tweet more than 10-12 times a day and your tweets should never be back-to-back—otherwise your followers will just skip them. Your tweets seem overwhelming jumbled up together and clients/customers will just skip them (or worse unfollow you). That said, tweeting “relevant information” (no mundane tweets please) every few hours or so is typically best. A good way to make sure you have an appropriate amount of tweets and a reasonable amount of time between each tweet is to actually install a few apps that are designed to generate tweets. For example, Buffer allows users to pre-write their tweets and then select a schedule so that those tweets can be posted accordingly throughout the day—it acts almost like an alarm clock for your Twitter.
Poorly/ Incorrectly Used Hashtags
The power of a hashtag (the pound symbol #) is phenomenal—if people use a hashtag to emphasis keywords, you can become a trending topic or get exposed to a number of people who do not follow you. However, it’s important that you do not abuse hashtags and only use the pound symbol on real key words. Otherwise your followers will get annoyed and won’t be able to find relevant information in the Twitter search bar. For example, if you wanted to promote the release of a book called Thorns Hallow, this tweet would be a misuse of the hashtag – #Buy your #copy of #Thorns Hallow Sept. 20. (Sounds dumb, but I’ve actually seen a lot of tweets like this) The only hashtag that is relevant is Thorns Hallow. Even in this case the words should contain no spaces (a hashtag phrase should be short). The proper tweet would be – Buy your copy of #ThornsHallow Sept.20.
Too Many Acronyms
It gets quite frustrating trying to squeeze a mouthful into a 140 characters so some people get really creative with the way they formalize their tweets. Typically people will resort to using acronyms, numbers and alternate spellings to condense sentences and that’s perfectly fine. But do not use so many acronyms or abbreviations that your followers can no longer interpret what you’re trying to say. Not only will your message get lost in translation, but it also looks really unprofessional, especially when you have ample room to spell the whole word out but refuse to do so. (It makes you look lazy too.) Instead learn how to write cleaner and tighter. Avoid passive voice, replace words with shorter alternatives like “but” instead of “however” and try to avoid unnecessary demonstratives such as “that” and “this” to save space.
Get Separate Accounts
While this one may seem like a no brainer, too many people still treat their business account as if it were a personal one. Don’t tweet personal information about how you partied the night before or go off on some ranting rampage because you need to vent on your business account. Save that kind of content for your personal account.
Following the Wrong Types of People
Your efforts creating the perfect tweets and following good tweetiquette will be a waste if you do not have quality followers.There are some tweeps that will follow whoever just so that their follower number is high—they think it makes them look cool. Unfortunately, these types of Twitter users will not benefit you at all. It’s important that you put all your energy into finding followers that will actually help your business grow.
There are several ways to do this.The first is to type in hashtags in the search bar to locate people who may be in need of your products and or services. Or you can look at the followers list of other twitter accounts that are similar to yours. Try using Twitter directories such as wefollow and Listorious to find users who to like to follow people in specific industries. Whatever you do, just make sure your bio is well-written and explains exactly what you do. You don’t want to appear like spam because your followers request will be denied.