By Paul Manwaring

When used correctly, Twitter can prove to be a very powerful marketing tool. Boasting millions of daily active users, it has the potential to significantly boost brand awareness, draw in a huge amount of traffic to your website and help you drastically increase sales. However, in order to reap the benefits of this social media giant, it’s important to ensure you’re avoiding these top 5 Twitter marketing mistakes.

1. Starting a Tweet by Mentioning Another User

One of the most popular features on Twitter is the ability to mention users in a tweet. However, did you know that if you begin your tweet with a mention, only your followers and the people following the person or company you are mentioning will see it?

What you should do:

  • Include the mention at the end of the tweet.
  • Place a punctuation mark before the mention.

2. Not Sharing Your Own Content

A large part of social media marketing is sharing useful content with your followers. This is what keeps them coming back and it builds you up as an expert in your industry.

Most marketers stick to the 80/20 guideline which states that if you share 10 pieces of content, ensure two of them are exclusively yours and eight of them are from other sources. However, it’s actually much more effective if you use your own content the majority of the time. After all, why waste your time largely marketing for other websites when you could be marketing your own?

There are tools that can also make the task easier such as Buffer, which allows you to schedule tweets in the future and tools such as Tweet Jukebox & MeetEdgar which go a step further and actually recycle your tweets for you so you don’t have to worry about creating new content every day or week.

What you should do:

  • Create your own regular, useful and relevant content.
  • Ensure the content you do share is high quality content.
  • Think about investing in tools that allow you to recycle your own posts.

3. Failing to Interact with Followers

No matter how busy you are, you should never neglect your followers. The one thing consumers expect these days when dealing with businesses on social media is interaction. If you start ignoring the mentions you receive, you’re going to start losing a lot of followers.

I would suggest using a tool such as Tweetdeck which will give you a dedicated panel of all the mentions you receive. You can set it up to handle multiple accounts too meaning it’s a lot easier to never miss an interaction.

What you should do:

  • Take the time to check your mentions frequently.
  • If you don’t have time to keep up with them all personally, consider hiring a social media manager.

4. Not Tweeting Frequently Enough

Twitter is slightly different than other social media sites, in the fact that you’re expected to make a lot more posts. It’s a fast-paced environment so it’s important to keep up if you want to gain maximum marketing benefits. Your followers will soon forget about you if you don’t!

There is an easy way to get more tweets out of your own content. Let’s pretend you have just written a new article. You can schedule a tweet with the title of the article. Next you can pull a quote from the article and lastly you could use an image or repurpose a section of the article into an infographic.

You now have three tweets to schedule AND they all are promoting your own content which solves problem #2 of not tweeting your own content.

What you should do:

  • You need to be posting several tweets a day in order to keep your followers happy.
  • Consider using automation tools which allow you to schedule tweets ahead of time.
  • Use quotes and images from your content to promote the same thing differently.

5. Overusing Automation Tools

Now, while automation tools can be extremely useful, such as helping to schedule tweets in advance as mentioned above, when overused, they can actually damage your reputation. Never rely solely upon an automation tool to run your Twitter account. If you send out automated replies, it gives you a bad reputation and also causes you to miss an opportunity to really engage with your followers.

Auto-following tools are a waste of time and money too, mostly you’ll find yourself gaining a loyal following of other auto follow accounts that will add zero real engagement to your account.

What you should do:

  • One thing you should always do yourself is reply to your followers.
  • Avoid posting too many tweets. Two-three tweets a day is ideally what you should be aiming for.

As you can see, there are a lot of marketing mistakes you could be making on Twitter. The above are just five of the most common. If you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of the social media site, you need to keep up with the latest Twitter marketing techniques. It may sound like a lot of effort, but the rewards are definitely worthwhile.