If it seems like social media marketing is all the rage, that’s because it is.
In fact, “all the rage” may be an understatement. Using social media to influence your target audience isn’t just popular – it’s an exploding industry. All of a sudden, there are social marketing gurus galore, and anybody who’s anybody is on Twitter – especially businesses.
But lots of businesses “do” Twitter all wrong, and that’s a shame.
Here are some of the most common Twitter mishaps that many a business seems helpless to avoid. If any of these sound like you, don’t worry. Just stop, fix the problem, and carry on tweeting – albeit more intelligently the next time around.
1. Following thousands of people just to get followers
We’ve all seen these people. They’re following you and thousands of other Twitter users in hopes that a hefty percentage of those they follow will follow them back. That’s really not the right way to get more Twitter followers.
To be fair, this isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a good idea to follow people in your industry who are sharing useful insight. And if they follow you back, you’re networking! Networking is good, right?
Right. But it’s painfully obvious when a misguided Twitter user is fishing for follow-backs. If you’re doing this, it’s time to rethink your strategy for acquiring followers.
Instead of following as many people as possible, start contributing regular snippets of brilliance to the conversation. Your following will grow more naturally, and the followers you do have will pay more attention to you.
2. Accumulating meaningless followers
If your followers aren’t in any way connected to your target market, what’s the point?
Having 35,000 followers might make you feel important, but if none of those connections bring results, you’re just wasting your time. It’s better to have 500 followers who will visit your Website, re-tweet your links, or generate new leads for your business than it is to have 50,000 who do nothing for you.
Bottom line: If you’re not getting results from Twitter, your “follow count” is a meaningless metric – even if it’s really high.
3. Offering little value
Guilty of mishaps #1 and #2 above? Then start tweeting gold.
Build it and they will come, the mantra goes. If you give others a reason to listen, you will quickly build a relevant following.
Find out what your audience cares about. Tweet solutions to their problems. Link to quality content that they’ll find useful.
They’ll eventually pay attention. And they may even tell their friends about you.
4. Ignoring your @Mentions
Do this at your peril. If followers are trying to connect with you, it’s your imperative to respond.
Leave them hanging, and they’re sure to remember your silence. Ignoring your @Mentions also suggests you’re just on Twitter for the links, not the networking.
5. Using the default profile template
Ideally, businesses should have a custom Twitter background that incorporates their logo, shows what they do, and tells you how to contact them.
At the very least, you should change the default Twitter background to match the color scheme of your Website.
This has become a prerequisite for professionalism in social marketing. And nobody wants to seem “sub-professional.”
Although Twitter can certainly help your business grow, using it improperly may be more than just a waste of time. At worst, it could make your business look… bad. And looking bad is bad business, indeed.