You got yourself a Twitter account because it’s the cool thing to do. Now what?
Twitter is a great marketing tool, but like all tools you need to put some effort into learning how to get the best out of it.
If your promotional strategy isn’t working, here are 9 possible reasons why.
1. You Haven’t Completed Your Profile
People like to know who they’re talking to, so let potential followers know something about yourself.
2. Your Profile Pic Is An Icon
When I launched the Genius Startup Twitter account, the profile pic was a little icon based on the logo. I knew that having a distinctive burgundy and white icon appearing among the stream of normal pictures and icons was an ingenious idea.
One day, on a whim, I switched to using a black and white photo and the number of new followers I gained per day doubled.
Lesson? Most people prefer to follow a person, not an icon.
3. You Only Ever Talk About Yourself
Let me illustrate this mistake with a mathematical equation:
Twitter can be a great tool for self-promotion – but not if that’s all you use it for. You’ll drive followers away and be left talking to nobody.
Follow people you like and who are relevant to what you’re doing and retweet and respond to what others are saying. It’s a conversation – chip in every once in a while.
How often should you tweet about a “me thing” like a new blog post? There are no set rules but if more than a quarter of your tweets are self promotional, you’re probably overdoing it.
4. You Are A Mute
No one will follow if you aren’t saying anything. Don’t wait to gain hundreds of followers before starting. Ask a few people you know to start following you and just get going.
5. You Have Verbal Diarrhea
If you’re a major contribution to a user’s information overload problem, they’re likely to hit the Unfollow button pretty quickly.
Don’t try to be a one-person CNN with an update every twenty minutes. Take a look at the most popular people on the network and you’ll find they mostly post just a few times a day. Quality is better than quantity.
6. You Send Out Automated DMs
Direct Messaging a new follower to say “thanks for following”, or “I look forward to your tweets” (a real example) is as pointless as it is inconsiderate. Half the people on Twitter are there to escape email deluge and you’ve just contributed to it. Not a good start.
7. You Quote Too Much
Everyone loves a good quote once in a while but don’t overdo it. We’ve seen the Einstein quote about not judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree a bazillion times and we’re sick of it.*
Much better to say something original. Also, spewing quotes is one of the hallmarks of an automated spam account and needless to say you don’t want to resemble one of those.
8. Your Manners Are Shocking
Twitter is a polite community, so please remember to thank people for retweets and mentions. Thank you.
Important: Don’t retweet complimentary comments about yourself – it looks like boasting. My wife informs me that this is called twanking.
9. Too Much Personal Info
The odd mention of something not strictly business-related is a refreshing human touch.
But sorry, the fact your dog has just been sick is unlikely to impact on my social media strategy today.
Keep that one for Facebook.
What have I missed?
Tweet @GeniusStartup to let me know.