Are you making these 5 Twitter mistakes?

by Katerina Petropoulou, posted 6 months ago
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Twitter can be a great tool for establishing your brand, building a community and extending your influence. But to get the most out of Twitter and do all of the above, first you need to avoid making these common mistakes.

1. Starting a tweet with someone’s username

First time I learned about this tip, I was amazed! Imagine the situation when an influencer tweets your blog post praising your content. High fives! You’ve made it! Overwhelmed with joy, you send out a tweet that looks a bit like this:

“@influencer, thank you for tweeting my blog post. I want to send you flowers and a box of chocolate”.

There’s the one! Focus at the beginning of this hypothetical tweet and you’ll notice a mistake lots of people still make. The tweet starts with @username, which means that you’re basically preventing your followers from seeing that this amazing human being just tweeted your blog. So, unless you want just this user and your Twitter profile stalkers to read your tweet, avoid starting with @username. Instead, use a period before @username to make your tweet visible to everyone in the Twitterverse!

2. Following me? Following you.

Following back someone who followed you surely is nice, but not necessary. Follow someone on Twitter because you find what they tweet about interesting and not just because they followed you. This way you build a timeline that is relevant and can be a great source of content to share with your audience.

3. Making tweets too long

Shorter tweets drive higher engagement rates, science says. In fact, tweets 100 to 120 characters long get retweeted the most. So keep in short and to the point, to increase your Twitter engagement and leave space for your audience to retweet and add its comments.

length_retweets

4. Tweeting the full url

Many people do this and it makes perfect sense. Sometimes clicking on the the “Tweet” button when reading an article is easy and convenient. But this is something you should avoid doing. Every time you’re tweeting a full url, you’re missing out on your tweet’s click rate metrics. Instead, there are so many link shortening tools you can use to easily check the number of clicks on the links you tweet. Google’s link shortener is super easy to use and so is bit.ly that gives you extra insights on who’s shared this link already, and which location the clicks come from.

5. Setting up your analytics too late

Tweets and follower growth are definitely numbers you should be looking into to evaluate your Twitter performance. But they’re definitely not enough. Being successful on Twitter is all about knowing what works for your audience and what doesn’t. And the sooner you know this, the better. Setting up analytics that matter as soon as possible, saves you a ton of time that’d be better spent on tweeting and gives you a lot more insights on what your audience needs. Keeping an eye on the stats of your mentions and retweets  is a good start to identify what you need to tweet to drive higher engagement rates and see which types of tweets help you do so.

What’s the biggest Twitter mistake you caught yourself making? Tell us in the comments below or tweet to us!

Comments

  • firstvehicle

    Nice summary. To clarify the first point, I think you mean you should type “.@firstvehicle:disqus…” at the start of a tweet rather than” @firstvehicle…” – just not really clear from your instruction: “Instead, use a period before the rest of the tweet to make it visible to everyone in the Twitterverse!” This suggests the period follows the @username, not precedes it.

  • http://twittercounter.com/blog/ Katerina Petropoulou

    You’re right! Thanks for your input :) i just changed it!

  • http://knsfinancial.com/ Khaleef Crumbley

    I don’t think I follow the first point. Are you saying that if I type @FGSW in the beginning of a tweet, only that one account will be able to see it (like a direct message)?

  • firstvehicle

    No problem @katerinapetropoulou:disqus !

  • http://twittercounter.com/blog/ Katerina Petropoulou

    Hi! Yes, it basically works as a reply. So only let’s say @FGSW will be able to see it and your common followers. It will however show on your profile. So if I check specifically your tweets it will show there. But if I’m your follower just checking my Twitter stream then I won’t be able to see it.

  • http://c3mdigital.com/ Chris Olbekson

    Who cares unless you’re just using Twitter for marketing which is lame unless there is engagement and when you engage directly to someone not starting with their username makes you look like you’re just trying to get attention.

  • sdavril

    Thanks Katerina for these nice advices. I think my biggest mistake is that I tweet – not enough – and at hours no one read ;-) Do you have any insight on the best moment to write something – provided you are available at this time ?

  • Edmund Jenks

    Also, most folks miss the true meaning, and the WHY in the use of #HASHTAGS – http://www.ironmill.com/2014/03/how-most-organizations-are-missing-the-boat-on-integrated-social-media/

  • Kris Vanhuyse

    Funny to see that the Twitter share button, below the article shows you a twitter pop-up with the full url of this article.

  • http://twittercounter.com/blog/ Katerina Petropoulou

    Hi! Luckily there are tools for that. I often use https://followerwonk.com/. https://bufferapp.com/ also has a similar function. If you “buffer” a link for example, it will guess what’s the best for you tweet it. So in these cases, scheduling is your best friend :)

  • http://knsfinancial.com/ Khaleef Crumbley

    Oh wow, I never knew that! Thank you so much for pointing that out. I know I make that mistake often.

  • http://twittercounter.com/blog/ Katerina Petropoulou

    Haha! Oh, the irony! Perhaps we should consider adding a shortened link there.:) Of course if people using the Twitter button want to keep track of the clicks that came from them sharing , they’d still need to use their own link shortener.

  • Colette S

    That’s what I was wondering about too. Thanks for asking and to Katerina for clarifying

  • Peter Campbell

    I think you actually have that wrong. If the tweet starts with an @username (“@” being the first character of your 140 max), then the person specified and the shared followers (people who follow both you and the person you;re replying to) will see it. it’s not completely private. Allowing shared followers to see replies facilitates group conversations.

  • peggystinson

    Thanks, these are great tips to remember, especially for a newbie like me.

  • http://twittercounter.com/blog/ Katerina Petropoulou

    Yes Peter, that is correct. This is what I also mentioned. Followers that these users have in common will be able to see the tweet. And I agree, it works great for conversations.

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