Twitter No-No’s

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    Don’t make these common mistakes

    Many companies, having delayed their entry into the Twitterverse, are rushing to join the party. The problem here is the old adage “haste makes waste.” To help prevent your feed from becoming a no-fly zone, check out these tips on how not to use Twitter from the B2C blog of Jeff Androsko:

    1. Having a Poor Follower / Followed By Ratio Check out the amount of people you follow and how many followers you have. Is the scale tipped in favor of those you follow? Though this may go unnoticed to you, it may not to others. They’re going to ask, “Why does this person have 17 followers but follows 839?” This golden ratio may turn your reputation into a spammer and turn off potential followers. Be careful.
    2. Feed Clogging (it’s for the birds) Hey megaphone! Don’t tweet everything that pops into your head. If your followers start seeing tweet after tweet about your upcoming trip to Comic Con, guess what… you’re going to lose a few folks.
    3. Becoming Carlos Mencia with Tweets A grand way to fulfill your Twitter jerk status is to bite off of other people’s tweets (like Carlos Mencia with jokes). The retweet feature (RT) is there for a reason. It’s great to like other’s contributions, but give credit by mentioning them if you’re going to share it with your followers.
    4. URL and Hashtag Vomit Want to share that YouTube video with the URL which contains 28,000 characters? Tighten it up! Free services like TinyURL and will help you not look like such a n00b… because let’s face it… no one wants to be a n00b. Hashtags (#hashtags) are ways to share common interests and related tweets. Just use these sparingly. The general habit is to find a trend you like and tweet every 20 seconds. #slowdowntiger
    5. Having a Potty Mouth Just like any other social network, anything you say can and will be held against you… in a court of Robocop. Keep your tweets intriguing, professional yet relaxed, innovative and friendly.

    Remember that, while Twitter is a strong marketing platform, you’re trying to build relationships here. You can’t treat your feed like a 140-character billboard. Talk only about yourself, and you’ll soon find there’s nobody there to listen.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]