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How to Lose Followers and Alienate Your Twitter Audience

Growing your business using Twitter marketing services can produce solid relationships and effective reach for your brand. Unfortunately, there are far too many users who just don’t think things through and end up unintentionally annoying followers rather than engaging or inspiring them.

Four Bad Twitter Marketing Habits to Easily Avoid

Sending Direct Messages on Twitter is perfect for private conversations including personal details like your mobile number or your email address. You may not want to broadcast those things to the world.

Direct Messages are open to abuse though. Many of the viral phishing or spam attacks exploit the function; “Remember this picture of you. Hahaha”, or similar, but the link leads to a page that will compromise your Twitter account and send that same spam to your followers – annoyance number one. It makes you look a little bit silly too.

There are a number of applications that will allow you to configure automatic Direct Messages to new followers. It’s tempting to automate this, I’ve even been guilty of it in the distant past; “Thanks for following. I look forward to reading your tweets. Check out our blog”. As tempting as it is, what it really says is, “Hello, I’m not really that interested in having a personal relationship with you, so I can’t be bothered to check out your profile and see who you are or what you’re about. This is about me and what I want”. Annoyance number two, a big fat turn off for most serious Twitter users.

You just shared an image to Facebook? And another one. And another one? I really couldn’t care less. I’m on Twitter right now. I’m not on Facebook. Cross posting from other social platforms is again tempting to save time and effort, but also demonstrates to your Twitter audience that they’re not that important to you – you value them so little that you won’t event spend the time to post images to Twitter directly. Annoyance number three; you don’t care enough to spend time here, why should I care about your brand?

Posting the blog post you just created across multiple platforms is time consuming. There are tools available to speed that up without autoposting from one platform to another. I’m a fan of Buffer, personally – connect up your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ page accounts and you can post to them all at once if you wish, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Each social platform has slightly different opportunities for creating a post. Whilst your Tweet must be less than 140 characters, the post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ provide much more space to add your own commentary and opinion to the post you’re sharing. That added value increases the engagement on a post and the likelihood of a click. If you do use Buffer or similar, I’d recommend posting to Twitter separately from those to gain the greatest impact.

Following to make your Twitter numbers look good. Twitter isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. You should measure the impact you’re having by the number of mentions, retweets and conversations, not by the number of followers you have. Following thousands of accounts just to attract more followers isn’t what success looks like. When your account says “following 20,000 people” and “19,000 followers” but you’ve only tweeted 500 times, it screams, “I’m just here for the maths! I value the number of followers over sharing anything of value or engaging. Now who in their right mind would want to follow an account like that? Where on earth is the value? Annoyance number four; running the numbers. If you’ve nothing interesting to say, I’m not listening.

Related Content

Twitter Marketing Services
Twitter PPC Advertising
Twitter Training for Business

For more advice on Twitter Marketing, check out the following videos on our YouTube Channel.

What To Do If Your Twitter Account Has Been Compromised
How & Why You Should Use Twitter Lists
Twitter: How To Search For People To Engage With

Alternatively click below to speak to one of our team or to learn more about Social Media.

Speak with a Specialist Our Social Media Services

5 Responses

  1. Following lots of people is one that the so-called “social media experts” are guilty of in my opinion. Take Mari Smith: following 148k. She has also admitted to outsourcing her tweeting, which is another crime in my opinion (for “personal” accounts anyway). She seems to be successful though, so who am I to argue?!

    1. It’s difficult to comment on individual cases without knowing the full history. Following a heap of people to gain more followers is great for the numbers, but gaining real fans and building trusted, valuable relationships? Meh.

      However, if lots of people follow you and you’re following back to be polite, there’s an argument for that. The shame is, too many of those people will be following the former strategy and running the numbers, which mostly makes it a fruitless endeavour.

  2. Hi Mark

    Thank you for the advice.

    What are the benefits of using Buffer compared to HootSuite?

    HootSuite is getting very slow on both PC and iOS possibly because of the quantity of tweets and streams (many of which I hardly ever look at) I have created.

    1. Hootsuite is more of a management tool which can be used as your post/chat client across multiple networks. It also has scheduling/buffering capabilities which Buffer also has.

      It’s really a case of personal preference. I used to use Hootsuite as my Twitter client, but stopped around 6 months ago when I discovered that Twitter had improved its mobile app. Since I’ve lost my Hootsuite habit, I rarely use it for anything these days.

      Buffer also has some funky stats for your shared links too, as does Hootsuite.

      I’d recommend trying out both and seeing which works best for you.

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