7 Top Twitter Mistakes

default_profile_normalThe greatest tweet in the world is worthless if no one reads it. An OK tweet to a network of thousands is likely to produce more results than a great tweet to hundreds. Its a numbers game and you should be playing to win.

When new people to LinkedIn tell me they don’t know how LinkedIn will help them I tell them to “start building your network now so that when you do figure it out you’ll be ahead of the game”. The same goes for Twitter…if you don’t know why you Tweet, don’t worry. Start building your followers.

Here are seven mistakes to avoid if you want to grow a significant following:

  1. Still Displaying the Brown Photo
    For many this is an automatic “no follow” mistake. Its just assumed that if you have not taken the time to update your photo then you must not be serious or active on Twitter. If you’re not active, what’s the point of following you. Post a picture of your dog and you’ll have a better response to people following you.
  2. Display a picture of your child
    Your child may be cute but if that’s your Twitter profile I’m probably not going to follow you. I love children…have thre young ones now…but I don’t follow children on Twitter if I can help it. And I don’t take the time to click on the link to verify who and what you are.
  3. Have a picture with your shirt off (guys…and girls I guess too)
    I’m glad that you’re proud of the work you’ve put in at the gym but it doesn’t really come across well online. Buy a domain and post all of the skin photos you want.
  4. Have offensive words in your posts
    When I’m looking at who’s following me if I see some F-bombs, etc. I’m going to block you. Not that the words shock me or that I’ve never dropped one myself, but I don’t do it in what I consider a business setting. Along the same lines is use of other offensive or inappropriate words. Common sense is a good guide top follow.
  5. Little or Infrequent Tweeting
    If I notice that you’ve been on Twitter for 22 months and you have 12 posts I’m probably not going to follow you. What’s the point if I have to wait two months for the next words of wisdom. If you want more followers you need to be more active. Don’t go crazy and post 24 times a day, but at least try to post once every day or so.
  6. Have a significantly larger number of people following you than you are following
    If I look at your stats and see that 1,000 people are following you and you’re only following 100 I’m not going to follow you. You’re only in it for yourself so what’s the point. The exception is that if you information is so valuable that I don’t care about the discrepancy. If Mike the Tiger (LSU fans know what I’m talking about) doesn’t follow me back I don’t care.
  7. Be following a significantly larger number of people than are following you
    If I see that you’re following 1,000 people and only 100 are following you I’m going to think there is something wrong. Either you’re boring or offensive. Either way I’m taking a pass. Try to keep your following vs. followers in balance. Never let the discrepancy get to be more than a couple of hundred.

These seven mistakes were developed as I was going through hundred and hundreds of people to build my network. Avoid these seven mistakes and you should be able to start building your followers. Twitter is a great place to add as many people as possible to your network since the conversations tend to move extremely fast. Don’t stack the odds against yourself.

What are some that I missed?

Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.

10 thoughts on “7 Top Twitter Mistakes”

  1. what about the daily “words of wisdom/Inspirational Quotes”. Is that what you really have to say, or you have nothing to say but someone else’s words?

    As always, Sean, great post.

  2. @Carmel. I heard that it is a great idea to post inspirational quotes on Twitter. Am I not right? Sean, will you please help us clear this one out?
    Thank you!

  3. Linda,

    I think inspirational quotes are ok but the key is moderation. If that’s all you post then what’s the point. If you occasionally use them ( once or twice a week) then not as bad. Any tweet can have its place in context.

    Sean

  4. Thank you, Sean. I used to put inspirational quotes for two weeks straight, and did some retweeting and posting too. I’ll use them just once or twice a week like you are recommending!

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