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20 Ways to Look Dumb on Twitter
Not sure why your Twitter following is nonexistent? You might be making one or more of these mistakes.
20 Ways to Look Dumb on Twitter

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Constant Contact

This post originally appeared on OPEN Forum, an online community providing small business owners with information and advice to help them do more business.”

By now we’ve all heard more than a few horror stories about a tweet that went awry and put an employee or client relationship at risk. When we hear and share these anecdotes, we shake our heads and declare we’d never do anything like that. However, just because your tweets don’t lead to a public relations crisis doesn’t mean your activity on the site can’t undermine your credibility.

So, if you want to lose followers, confuse customers and waste your resources, here are the top 20 ways you can look dumb on Twitter.

1. Tweet randomly, because you don’t have a strategy, and just hope your target customers will start following you.

2. Use up all 140 characters so nobody can retweet your message. 

3. Use a long Twitter handle that takes up valuable space and leaves little room to actually write something. 

4. Keep full URL links in your tweets, instead of shortening your links (using a service like Bitly), which greatly minimizes the number of retweets. 

5. Talk only about yourself and your business. 

6. Include a string of hashtags as opposed to one. 

7. Don’t respond to tweets, especially when someone asks you a question or posts negative feedback about your business.

8. Send automated direct messages, because social media is all about computer-generated dialogue. 

9. Make spelling errors, use abbreviations and acronyms, and toss in capital letters and exclamation points so people can’t easily follow the conversation.

10. Tweet so frequently that your followers tune you out.

11. Slam the competition.

12. Don’t bother linking your business website to your Twitter account, because you think customers will appreciate the challenge of trying to find you.

13. Tweet rhetorical comments and questions that don’t invite conversations.

14. Don’t balance dialogue and content. This way, readers won’t have any idea why you’re tweeting a particular message.

15.  Perpetuate the rumor mill by sharing news and not citing the source or including a link to the original story. 

16. Ignore anyone who tweets positively about your business or retweets your message.

17. Keep your profile outdated so people will have no idea what you’re about and what your area of expertise is.

18. Let your Facebook posts and tweets overlap, defeating the purpose of being on two different social media networks and forcing your followers to reread the same posts.

19. Tune out for weeks at a time so you can lose track of important conversations and the interests of your target audience.

20. Let several employees manage your account and have them all respond differently to customer service issues until it becomes very confusing for everybody involved.

Putting these 20 “tips” aside, building your credibility on Twitter is easier than you think if you keep just these three points top of mind:

  • Always be authentic.
  • Always share valuable content that reflects the interests of your followers.
  • Always be engaging.

Photo: iStockphoto


The opinions expressed in this article are those of its individual writer, and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of American Express Canada or Amex Bank of Canada. Third party web sites may have privacy and security policies different from Amex Bank of Canada. Links to other web sites does not imply the endorsement or approval of such web sites.

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