Last week we discussed using Facebook to promote your blog. Today we’ll take a look at another social media outlet: Twitter.
A lot of people are using Twitter. According to Mashable, this past Sunday Twitter was mentioned in half of Super Bowl commercials and 24.1 million tweets were generated. But not everyone is tweeting the right way.
Yes, there is a wrong way to use Twitter when promoting your blog, site, or product. This wrong way might result in annoying potential followers and preventing you from getting as much out of Twitter as you could.
Here are our selections for six worst Twitter types, along with better behaviors to engage in instead.
1) The Self-Promoter. We all use Twitter to promote our blogs, sites, or products. But there are those who tweet only self-promo links, provide no helpful information, and have little interaction with others.
We follow the 60-30-10 rule: sixty percent sharing of stories and other interesting tidbits we find on the web, thirty percent engaging with followers and those we follow, and ten percent self-promotion.
For many, Twitter has become a go-to source for news and entertainment. This means that people want, guess what, to be informed and entertained, not a 24-hour infomercial.
2) The Follow-Back Jerk. Hey look, you have a new follower. But you don’t know them and are not quite ready to follow them back. You’d prefer to wait and see if they engage with you. A few days later, they stop following you. Or worse, you follow them back and they drop you to keep their Following count low.
The Follow-Back Jerk.
A common mistake for bloggers and small businesses is to focus too much on numbers and not enough on meaningful engagement with a core group of fans, customers, fellow bloggers, or all of the above. Instead of following people to get a follow back, follow accounts you’re actually interested in (regardless if they follow you back), read and share what they tweet, and engage with them. This type of relationship will be far more valuable than a slew of followers you ignore.
3) The Sloppy Writer. Think of newspaper headlines. What if you saw one with a spelling or grammar mistake? You’d think that newspaper was pretty sloppy and may be hesitant about reading it again.
Tweets are like your headlines, whether you’re announcing a new blog post or ranting about life. Because they’re so short, mistakes stand out. Proof your tweet. Schedule it in an application like TweetDeck a couple of minutes ahead of time and “preview” it. You’ll see things you didn’t see before.
Also avoid abbreviations such as gr8 for great or 4 for for. You’re not in junior high. Look at your tweet again. Cut unnecessary words and punctuation (links and Twitter handles stand out on their own so there’s no need colons, periods, commas, etc.). Replace long words with shorter ones.
The more you practice editing yourself, the better and faster you’ll be at it.
4) The Secretive Humblebragger. “I have great news! Too bad I can’t talk about it!” Then why’d you mention it in the first place? We suppose the intent behind such tweets is to pique interest and curiosity, but to us they only create a feeling of exclusivity. In other words, “Nyah, nyah! Something good happened to me and I’m not telling!”
We prefer The Tease. “Exciting news coming soon! Stay tuned!” Such a tweet creates a sense of sharing and inclusion. The tweeter has exciting news and will share it with us soon. We’re happy for the tweeter and look forward to hearing what the news is.
5) The Thief. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but perhaps because of the vast amount of ever-changing information on the Internet, people think they can get away with plagiarism, whether by verbatim copying or improper attribution.
A now shut-down Twitter account regularly claimed others’ joke tweets as their own. But because of Twitter’s time stamp, it was easy to tell which joke was the original and who the thief was.
Give credit, whether with a RT (retweet), MT (modified tweet), via, by, or h/t (hat tip). It’s easy and will show your audience that you’re fair and generous. Plus the individual being credited will appreciate it and may be more likely to rewteet something of yours in the future.
6) The Troll. There are many types of Internet trolls. Don’t be any of them.
Twitter can be a fun and easy way for bloggers to promote their sites, discover and share information, and engage with others. It takes only a little effort to tweet effectively and avoid becoming one of these worst Twitter types.
For even more Twitter tips, check out Red Website Design’s great post on 11 reasons people won’t follow you on Twitter.