4 Ways You Make Yourself Look Stupid on Twitter

Don't make yourself look stupidThere are so many ways to make yourself, or your business, look stupid on Twitter, but I am going to cover just 4 areas I see on a continual basis. I use Twitter for personal use and for business and I manage multiple accounts.

I see a lot more “wrong” than I see “right” lately and it really isn’t hard to be “right” on Twitter.

1. Spamming Event Hashtags, by Mistake?

There are some people out there that have built up 200-500 Twitter accounts to help them get good tweet numbers on their site. Sometimes these accounts automatically tweet when an article is written.

Most of the time people won’t notice, BUT if you include an event hashtag( in the title) that many people are monitoring it suddenly becomes obvious that a particular site owns all those Twitter accounts.

So let’s say people are monitoring a hashtag for a conference because they may have missed the conference and want to get some good tips. Then you write on your blog about a session at the conference and in the title you include the hashtag. If all of your Twitter accounts automatically tweet that title and link EVERYONE monitoring the hashtag will see your 200+ accounts.

It may be easy to ignore the first time, but if you are live blogging and publish 5 articles a day with the hashtag you have now irritated and isolated thousands of people.

2. Not Understanding Scheduling or Twitter Tools

There are some folks out there that believe they are “social savvy” because they add a lot of articles to some software/tool their articles will be tweeted out and the links will be monitored for clicks. What they don’t realize is they never utilized the scheduling option and their software tweets 10 articles at one time. Oh my gosh, this is so irritating!

If you are going to use a tool that is going to tweet for you, and perhaps monitor interactions, PLEASE make sure you take the time to create a schedule so your tweets are spaced out and you don’t look like a spammer (or so you are not one).

AND, don’t forget the link!

I don’t know which software/tool does this, but I see a lot of people who obviously have scheduled tweets, but the only thing that tweets is the title of an article. There is no URL so #FAIL!

AND, don’t forget the title!

I have also seen the reverse of the above, there is a URL but no title. Another #FAIL and I am not clicking on that.

3. Not Monitoring Enough

It is painfully obvious when people are not monitoring their accounts enough.  If you are going to use Twitter you need to put in time several times a day. You can’t just schedule out tweets for 2 weeks and not check in. Here are a few reasons why:

Tragedies Occur

When tragedies occur all business-related tweeting needs to stop. It is disrespectful to have stuff going by when a nation or the entire world is mourning. You need to know what is happening and you need to have access from anywhere to stop scheduled tweets.

People Get Mad at You or Your Business

If someone gets mad at your company or you personally and a Twitter attack starts, you need to be paying attention. You cannot ignore people that are upset. If you do the consequences can be significant. Be ready to address issues in a timely matter.

Hacking

If your Twitter account is hacked and your handle starts saying inappropriate things and it goes on and on for a long time your name or business name could take a significant hit. Apologies are needed and prevention is important.

4. Partaking in Un-Twitter Like Behavior

There are social norms for any situation and there are social norms for Twitter. You can’t jump into a large community like Twitter and start doing things that will offend the community. Some examples:

  • Making demands for answers from people that don’t know you.
  • Requesting free advice repeatedly.
  • Including Twitter handles in your tweets hoping to get someone’s attention.
  • Using curse words with people that typically don’t use them.
  • Insulting people that have much more respect in your industry than you.
  • Sending inappropriate tweets – racist, sexist etc.
  • Retweeting without including URLs.
  • Asking people to follow you because you followed them.
  • Insulting people because they haven’t followed you.
  • Believing that if someone responds to you on Twitter they are suddenly your best friend and you can casually insult them, spam them or beg for their attention.
  • Oversharing is wrong and irritating; don’t do it!
  • Trying to sell to people via tweets. Don’t do it!!!
  • Sharing spoilers about movies and TV shows. For example, the season finale of Sons of Anarchy was shocking. It is okay to say, “I can’t believe that just happened on SOA!!” But it is not okay to say, “I can’t believe that {blank} just {blanked} {blank}!’ Leave out the details!
  • Tweeting while super drunk – fail.
  • Over hashtagging, it is a crime!
  • Don’t believe everything you see is true and correct.
  • Believing your opinion is the only opinion. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and if you fight this belief you will be crushed on Twitter.
  • Self-promoting all day every day – grrrr.
  • Believing that if you follow someone they should follow you.
  • Believing that if someone has lot Twitter followers they don’t matter…this is a huge mistake.

I could write these all day. If you think you want to use Twitter I suggest you read a lot about Twitter etiquette. I recommend you watch people for a few months before you jump in with both feet. And most importantly, always question how what you do or say could offend someone before you tweet; look at things from every perspective. Be open to admitting you are wrong.

So…

…there are 4 categories of things that make you look stupid on Twitter. This was a slight rant, but hey, it is the truth.

Image Credit: Shutterstock Paul Schlemmer

About Melissa Fach

Melissa Fach is the owner of SEOAware, LLC that specializes in consulting and training businesses. She is also an associate on the community team at Moz, a writer at CopyPressed, the past Editor of Search Engine Journal and a big cat volunteer. You can find her on Twitter @SEOAware.