From occasional tweeters to seasoned social media gurus/ninjas/rock stars/fruit bats (delete as applicable), everyone has an opinion on the most effective ways to spread their message on Twitter. The truth is that no one method is guaranteed to be suitable for your particular needs and the solution often lies in combining a variety of advice, laced with enough of your own personality or brand identity to stand out.
There are, however, some sure fire ways to turn off potential followers, perhaps severing your link to them for good.
Here we take a look at some of the frowned upon approaches that have a high probability of damaging your online reputation. Avoid the following methods wherever possible, unless you subscribe to the policy that there is no such thing as bad publicity:
- The old ‘bait & switch’ – Never disguise or describe a link you post as something it’s not. If you promise a useful article but direct to a pure sales site with no value, trust is broken and the next click will be ‘unfollow’ rather than ‘buy’.
- The bullhorn – Although sharing your news, products and service is a key component of Twitter, solely announcing your own developments without adding any other value to a feed is usually a turn off. The exception may be for purely informational services (e.g. weather reports or emergency services) or musicians announcing individual tour dates, but even then a little variety and personality will vastly improve a profile.
- The Facebook Lite – Linking Facebook updates to your Twitter profile is often a solid way to add extra content to your feed. Adding nothing else to your feed is often a solid way to decrease followers and, at best, prompt the question ‘Why don’t I just fan you on Facebook instead?’. At worst? Ignore you altogether.
- The Munchausen syndrome – Requesting that followers help you spread a particularly important tweet is a good way to foster support and interest in your tweets. Asking them to retweet every single link posted only smacks of desperation. Focus instead on putting great content out there and watch the RT’s pile up.
- The 8yr 0ld txtr spk – Despite the 140 character limitation, any organization or individual representing themselves professionally will do best to avoid incomprehensible text talk. Even if it shortens your message (or , indeed, ‘yr msg’), relying on this shorthand regularly makes it harder to impart information and devalues your feed. Now and again to reduce that dreaded ‘-1’, sure, but not as a standard for every tweet.
There are without doubt many more irritating practices underway on the platform but we feel like these are those to really avoid at all costs. Note that this is aimed at those representing a brand of some sort, be it private business, non-profit group, or a musician spreading their creative work. Personal profiles are just that, of course, and are subject to a different set of standards.
What approaches to Twitter guarantee your ‘unfollow’?
Have we missed any absolute do not do’s here or do you disagree with any we have included?