Some of you probably know that we drive a ton of traffic from Twitter. In addition, we also drive a ton of signups from Twitter. And that does not only work for The Social Ms – it already worked for our former startup exploreB2B where we not only drove traffic but also signups, publishers, content partners and a lot more.
That has not always been that way. When we started out with marketing our startup, we firmly believed that Social Media would be one of our most important marketing channels, but we failed. After a couple of months, we had only a few of hundred followers on our Twitter accounts, the traffic we got from Twitter was barely measurable, and we weren’t even thinking of getting signups or any kind of business from Twitter.
To tell the truth: We were failing at marketing – we had no clue what we should be doing.
And then fate turned around for us when we uncovered some of the secrets to Twitter marketing success.
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Twitter was and has been since then our most important marketing channel. And one thing we love about Twitter marketing: It is open for everyone. Twitter marketing success if for everyone to harvest if you just learn and follow some basics. It is not limited to famous brands of people. You do not need a huge advertising budget. You do not need fancy designers or outstanding photographs. You need to be you and know some basics. And you can start growing.
Still, Twitter is the one social network where successful marketing seems to be a secret even to people that call themselves social media manager – or even famous marketers like Neil Patel.
Here are 10 mistakes I see over and over again on accounts on Twitter that can totally ruin your Twitter marketing experience.
1. Not telling people what they can expect from you
I won’t tell you to fill out your Twitter profile – if you have not figured out that by yourself I doubt you will listen to me telling you to. But there is more to a successful Twitter bio than telling people who visit your profile that the account belongs to company xy.
You want to tell people what they can expect if they follow you. Are you tweeting about marketing or recent developments in nuclear physics? It makes a difference, and different people will follow you. Plus more interested people will follow you if you clearly state what they can expect – and then deliver in your tweets.
2. Tweet promotional tweets all the time
Ok. We are talking about marketing. But talking about your products all day long is most of the time not how Twitter works. And it is certainly not going to inspire a ton of people to follow you.
Unless you are Apple and run a Twitter account on iPhone updates, people will not be overly eager to hear your self-promotion thrown into their face over and over again.
If you get this right, people will also tolerate a promotional tweet in the mix once in a while. But most of the time Twitter marketing is not very direct. Selling directly from Twitter can be hard. Often it works much better if you tweet links to valuable content on your website and then turn the website visitors into leads – and eventually customers.
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3. Not tweeting enough
How much do you tweet? Do you think that is a lot?
Most likely it is not enough.
The average lifetime of a tweet is 8 minutes. How many of your followers do you think are online and on Twitter at exactly these 8 minutes – or even if you let it be 20 minutes or an hour?
One tweet will not turn your Twitter account into a traffic generation machine. Nor will one retweet – even if it is a huge account with a ton of followers.
If you want more traffic, you have to tweet more great content. That also means you need more great content on your website. Otherwise, you will either sound like an old record with a flaw on endless repeat – or you will run out of stuff to tweet after a couple of hours.
Some of the most successful people on Twitter send a tweet every 15 minutes. See the Twitter account of social media influencer Jeff Bullas as an example – and take a look at the kind of traffic he gets.
4. You are not using images in your tweets
Don’t tweet without adding an image. Don’t bother.
When we started out, images in tweets were not so popular, and a tweet without an image still had a chance of some attention. Today, a simple look at your Twitter feed will show you that there is almost no tweet without image – and the tweets without an image are the ones that get lost in the chit chat.
5. You are not using lists
I have heard a couple of times that Twitter lost it’s fun for people once they started following more than a couple of hundred followers. That is not necessary.
You can sort the people you follow into lists for various interests. This way you can easily see the filtered updates for one of your interests without having to sort through a cluttered Twitter feed.
For instance, tech influencer Robert Scoble is a master of using Twitter lists:
You can even use other people’s lists to find interesting people from a niche – check out the tech lists of @scobleizer.
When I registered on Twitter, I had no intention of using my personal Twitter account. The reason that I registered was to give our newly created company account a first follower.
Oh boy, was I wrong.
As everywhere in social media, people like to connect with people. It is far easier to grow a following for a personal account than for a brand or company account. And it is also far easier to engage other Twitter users in a conversation with a personal account than a company account.
Whatever your goals for your Twitter activity, keep in mind that your personal Twitter account has marketing superpowers and can by far outrun the success of the company account.
A way to make your company account more personal could be to mention the person who runs the account in your bio.
7. You are not actively connecting
So you are active on Twitter and follow all the advice for your Twitter account. And now you are sitting there and wait for followers to flock to your account – and it is simply not happening?
Especially when you are starting out, it is really hard to get noticed on Twitter. You can deliver the best content, tweet a lot – and still spend your Twitter time talking to yourself.
You have to find ways to get your Twitter account in front of other people on Twitter. You can do that outside of Twitter: Examples are press coverage or guest blogging with a mention of your Twitter handle in the author bio.
You can also actively connect on Twitter: you can retweet and like other people’s tweets. You can put people on expert topic lists and acknowledge their expertise. And you can follow people you would like to follow you.
Never do any of the above in an aggressive manner. But the key to success on Twitter is to make people notice you – and tweeting is not enough for that.
8. Underestimating Twitter’s power of conversations
Even though for an uneducated watcher Twitter may seem like an unorganized mess – that is not so.
There are millions of conversations going on on Twitter. And one of Twitter’s superpowers lie in the fact that these conversations are open to you (and everybody else). You can use Twitter to talk to people you never met before.
- Search for tweets on a special topic, keyword or keyphrase and reply
- Directly tweet to people you want to connect to (ask them for interviews or a comment on a quick question)
- Tell people you mentioned them in a blog post – this may well earn you a tweet or that post
- Make a Twitter poll
- Start a Twitter chat
- And more
9. You do not understand the importance of a great tweet text
I have seen tweets with boring and generic texts like „Social Media Marketing“. Sorry friends, but these tweets are for the bin. You can just as well not tweet them at all, they will not attract any reaction from the Twitter crowd.
Image Source: Quicksprout
There is more to the tweet text than you might think. It is the only part of the content you tweet that people see before they click – and if the text is not capturing their attention, inspire curiosity and lure them in, they will never see more than this generic tweet text.
Your Twitter marketing success is based on your ability to come up with successful headlines – or tweet texts.
It takes time to grow an audience. You cannot expect big results from Twitter after a few days for the simple reasons that there is no way that you will have a ton of followers at that time.
You can use some mechanisms like interviews to get influencers to help you spread the word. But the marketing power of your own Twitter account(s) needs time to grow and prosper.
I have seen many people looking for the quick results getting frustrated with Twitter. Then they turn away from Twitter, waste a ton of money on Facebook advertising – and when that money is gone, they are back to square one.
Instead, you should keep going on Twitter, once you have an audience this marketing power will stay with you and be there for you to harvest – even if it took some time to get there.
These aspects are just a few that I have noticed over and over again on Twitter and people complaining that Twitter is not for them. They are fairly easy to avoid once you understood them and know how to get better at Twitter marketing.
For some of the best practices on Twitter, you will need some Twitter automation tools!
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