• How to Avoid Twitter’s 7 Deadly Sins

    Are you guilty of committing one of the sins?

    If you have seen my previous blog on why Twitter is good for your business, you will have guessed that I think Twitter is the bee’s knees for business large and small. I do notice many unwitting business owners take on annoying tweet practices and thought I would highlight them in case you are guilty of any of these 7 deadly sins.

    1. No interaction

    This is the biggest turn off when I check out a person’s Twitter profile. If every tweet on your profile is about you selling your business then you are not interacting! Take the time to get to know your followers, check out their profile, read their blogs and be in communication with them. If you like a link, say so, if you like someone’s website or have feedback on a tweet say so. If you are not willing to look at other peoples businesses, why should they look at yours?

    2. Constant promotion of your business

    Twitter is about people communicating with people. If you use it for continuous shameless promotion of your business people will stop following you. Think of it this way… imagine you had a friend who only ever said “check out my business” would you listen to them for long? No! Be interesting, varied and interested in what people are doing. If you provide value, people will come to respect your tweets and take note when you have something to say.

    3. Not following people

    Think carefully of your follow policy. With applications like Friend or Follow and My Tweeple, you can quickly see who you are following and whether they are following you back. Check out the people who follow you, unless you see a reason not to, try to follow everyone back. People will be annoyed if they have been following you and interacting with you and you have not followed them back. With the *2000 follow rule this gives people even more reason to stop following you, if the follow is not reciprocated.

    *Twitter limits the amount of people that you follow once you hit 2000 in ratio to the number of followers that you have.

    4. Unsolicited messages

    Please… No-one wants your IQ test, your mafia war and your automated direct messages! Most people consider automated DM’s (Direct Messages) SPAM, if you want people to think you are interesting or worth checking out, send them a genuine personal message. Your automated DM’s are as welcome as the other 500 automated DM’s that plague a user’s inbox. Also it is a double faux pas if your automation doesn’t work! I recently had the pleasure of receiving 18 automated DM’s from the same user and because they are not following me I could not send a private message to let them know… Not a good reason to get reported!

    5. Stealing tweets

    Twitter is about sharing information and ideas, and using the content without crediting the poster is bad form and will upset those you are stealing from! It is good etiquette to type RT (retweet) @ (name of original poster) or via @ (name of original poster), so that people know the source of the post. This is not only polite but will give you kudos with the original poster.

    For example:

    @Search_N_Social posts:

    New post up: The Reason New Websites Fail http://www.grassrootsinternetstrategy.com.au/why_new_websites_fail/

    You post:

    RT @Search_N_Social New post up: The Reason New Websites Fail http://www.grassrootsinternetstrategy.com.au/why_new_websites_fail/

    Twitter now makes this very easy with the new Retweet button, which does this for you automatically.

    6. No bio, no picture

    I still see people who have taken the time to set up an account and make posts but never bothered to write a decent bio or add a good picture! This amazes me, as most business people set up Twitter with the intention of creating more business and awareness!

    Get a good picture and write a good bio, these are the most basic fundamentals of Twitter. Why would you spend time writing valuable posts if your picture and bio look amateur and frustrate people with a lack of information?

    The bio is 140 characters of business gold. Be clever and informative; make sure that it is clear what you do so that people understand why they should check out your website. Also for the love of SEO add your keywords.

    In addition to this there is no reason why you should not create a personal background. Either produce one yourself in publisher or paint (for PC users) or hire a GD to do one for you. My clients use Tess who will do a custom design for AUD$99.

    7. No posts

    Twitter is about creating communication and like any conversation; one way is just not rewarding! Be realistic about setting aside some time each week to post and respond to other tweeters posts. With the great accessibility that iPhones and other mobile technologies give us now there are no excuses why you can’t get on and contribute a couple of times a week, even while having a coffee or waiting for the bus.

    So there you have it, the seven deadly Twitter sins! If you or anyone you follow is guilty of these sins please retweet (RT) this blog and we will make Twitter a better experience for all!

    Happy Hunting!

    Serena “Social” Star

    Post By Serena Star Leonard (78 Posts)

    As well as being one half of the Grassroots team, Serena is a business coach, blogger and author of the best selling book How to Retire in 12 Months and her latest book How to Succeed in 12 Months: Creating a Life You Love. She is currently travelling the world making mini documentaries for her passion project Five Point Five and helps people understand websites, business and how to get book deals.

    Website: → How to Retire in 12 Months


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Join in! There's already been 7 comments

  1. Search-Mel January 15, 2010 @ 1:51 am

    Something else that annoys me on Twitter is when people write different tweets to promote the same link to a page selling something. It’s like a trick to get to you to look at the same page again!

  2. Alysha January 15, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    Another great, informative post. We’ll all be using our social media better in no time! I also think people shouldn’t be posting more than 14 times/24 hours. It, too, starts to read like spam.

    A question: would you recommend Tweetdeck for frequent updates? I was running it but had difficulty with the upgrades and then could not uninstall very easily.

  3. Serena January 17, 2010 @ 5:41 am

    Thanks for the comments!

    Yes Mel, people do seem to treat their audiences like idiots sometimes, which is not an endearing trait!

    Good point Alysha, and to answer your question… for frequent updates and to manage mentions and DM’s I do recommend the use of an external twitter application. I use Tweetdeck for my laptop and Twitterific for my iPhone. I find Tweetdeck can be a little resource intensive but a valuable tool none the less, especially if you are a business user, high volume user or have multiple accounts.

    If anyone has any experience with any of the other Twitter management tools, please tell us what you think…

  4. […] most powerful resources available on the web for a start up company… and best of all it is free! I have written a few blogs recently on the subject, I am so […]

  5. […] So there you have it… Some tips for using Twitter that will help you actually get results! If you are worried about the culture and committing Twitter faux pas read How to Avoid Twitters 7 Deadly Sins […]

  6. Rhian March 15, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Hi Serena,

    Wonderful advice. I am relatively new to Twitter and still getting my head around it all. Think I have been quilty of some of these fuax pa’s.

    • Serena Star Leonard March 15, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

      Hey Rhian, yes it’s very common unfortunately and so a huge amount of people give up in frustration before they get any traction!