Using Twitter for business? 5 mistakes to avoid

Using Twitter for business? 5 mistakes to avoid

Using Twitter for business provides a phenomenal opportunity to grow your network and promote your content. More importantly, it’s a great way to reach out and engage with the people that you want to attract as potential customers.

But when you use Twitter for your small business marketing, your strategy shouldn’t be simply blasting out a bunch of tweets about how wonderful you are or promoting your latest sale.

In fact, that might end up driving people away.

So what mistakes should you avoid making when using Twitter for business?


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Mistake 1: Following – Unfollowing – Refollowing

When you’re thinking about how to use Twitter for business, most of us will think about building up a community of relevant, high-quality, engaged followers.

Many of us also hope that if we follow someone of interest, engage with them and their content, that they would, at some point in time, follow us back.

However, the very nature of Twitter has bred a behaviour that sees some users looking to amass a large following by basing their Twitter business activities solely on following people in the hope they get followed back, and when they don’t, simply unfollowing and refollowing the same account again and again, in the hope that the person eventually sees a notification and follows them back.

Don’t rely on someone following you just because you followed them.

‘Tapping them on the shoulder’ repeatedly by following, unfollowing, and refollowing until they react is just plain irritating.

You need to engage with them and build a positive rapport so they might pay attention to your content, follow your account at some point and then remain as a follower.

So how do you do this as part of your Twitter marketing strategy?


Interact with them via their tweets on the platform.

Have they posted something awesome? Retweet!

Asked a question that you know the answer to? Answer it!

Keep your interactions relevant and professional, but friendly rather than corporate.

Twitter is social media so think how you would network in real life and apply the same principles to the marketing strategy for your Twitter business account.

Don’t become an annoyance!

Mistake 2: Bulk following and unfollowing

This is never a good idea and less so these days.

It’s one thing trying to build your follower numbers, but it’s another having those following numbers going up and down like a yo-yo.

And Twitter will notice.

You might even find yourself going to “Twitter Jail” (also known as having your Twitter account suspended!)

And you really don’t want one of your main social media platforms locked down.

You see, even though you’re not sending anyone anything, Twitter classifies this approach as spam.

In fact, in their Twitter Rules, Twitter has the following as one of their definitions of spam:

“if you have followed and/or unfollowed a large number of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn)”.

Twitter Rules, November 2018

Using Twitter for small business marketing can be so powerful that it pays to stay on the right side of Twitter and not run the risk of losing contact with your potential customers.

Mistake 3: Selling too much

In the book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the idea behind offering value repeatedly – what he refers to as a Jab – in order to at some point ask for something in return – Right Hook.

So we can translate this as:

“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” = “Give, Give, Give, Ask”

This is just like in boxing, where the jab is used to set up the knockout punch (which could be a right hook!).

Where many small businesses get it wrong is that when they use Twitter for business, they become too focused on the sale, or even simply on themselves.

As mentioned above, Twitter is a social network, which means people are there to be social, not to be sold to.

Of course, you’ll want to promote your products and services, we all do – just do it in moderation and be mindful of why people are there!

Think about how you can use Twitter to market your small business in a less blatantly obvious way.

So what can you do to offer value?

One way is providing great content (your own original content or relevant shared content) that entertains or informs your followers, answers their questions and builds your credibility with them, so that when they need what you do, you are the company or expert they think of.

Get creative and see what you can come up with!

Then when you do promote a product or offering, your audience will be more likely to take action.

Sounds like a knockout approach to me!

Mistake 4: Repeating duplicative content

As you’ll have seen above, Twitter has recently got a lot tougher when it comes to their Twitter Rules, one of which looks at duplicative content as spam.

This means that business owners and marketers have to avoid reposting exactly the same tweets.

That doesn’t mean you can’t post the same links. There just has to be a different, unique twist to the content of the tweet that you’re using to promote that link.

Time for business owners and marketers to get creative

Think of all the different ways you can spread one message: text, graphics, gifs, video…

Before you know it you’ll have a whole load of new and exciting ideas that will grab the attention of your followers.

Remember, everyone is different, so try communicating the message in different ways, so you appeal to a wider audience.

Mistake 5: Auto Responses

People really don’t seem to like auto responses. It’s impersonal, cold, and clearly automated. Why bother?

If you’re going to engage with people on a social network, people want to be made to feel special. Auto responses don’t make people feel special.

In fact, if your followers see too many auto response tweets from you in their Twitter feed, they may find it annoying and consider unfollowing you.

What are your options?

Why not do something different?

✅ Maybe send them a bespoke message.

✅ Maybe even a video reply now and again if you have time?

Send them something that nobody else has sent them before. Something unique to them.

You don’t have to do this with every follower, but whenever you have time, adding that personal touch can have a really positive impact.

Using Twitter for small business marketing needs to be more personal. Take the time to see if there is something interesting or unique about your new follower and connect with them on that personal level.

A little investment in building relationships will go a long way toward increasing your brand awareness and profile and should be a core part of your Twitter marketing strategy.

Ready to implement a better Twitter marketing strategy for your small business?

So there we have it, our top 5 things you should avoid doing when using Twitter for business.

If you can remove these from your Twitter playbook, you’ll engage with your existing followers better, build your following, but more importantly, it’ll be a much more rewarding experience for you and the people who choose to follow you.

Now that you know how to use Twitter for business properly, it’s over to you. What do you think?

Have we covered anything that you do on Twitter?

Let us know in the comments below!


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