Like everything in business, and in life, Twitter has a certain etiquette that you need to follow if you want it to work. I’m actually in the process of writing a detailed Twitter manual for a client, but in the meantime, it’s easiest to explain proper Twitter etiquette by talking about a couple of things you should NOT do when you join Twitter.
Don’t Use Automated Following Tools
They are generally worthless. It’s much better to follow manually – it’s the only way to make sure that the people you follow, and the followers you get, are truly relevant to your business.
It’s also much better to have a small Twitter account with a small, high-quality following than to artificially inflate your number of followers – but end up with a bunch of followers who couldn’t care less about your tweets.
Contrary to what some people seem to believe, Twitter is NOT a popularity contest. Twitter is a smart way to network and to efficiently market your products, services and ideas. Having 200 hand-picked, relevant followers is far better in terms of ROI than having 2,000 or even 20,000 non-targeted followers who ignore you.
Don’t Be Too Obvious
Sure, I keep saying here that Twitter is a marketing tool, and it is, but just as you would do in any other form of marketing, you need to be subtle about your wish to sell and never appear pushy or aggressive.
Your tweets need to be a mix of hardcore sales pitches, retweets of your followers, answers to your followers, general industry information and links, and personal thoughts and observations. If all you ever tweet is “buy from me,” unless those tweets offer huge value such as coupon codes and discounts on products that people would want to buy anyway, your tweets become a huge turnoff.
The account below is making every possible mistake, which is why I never bothered to follow them back when they (automatically) followed me. They are obviously using automated following tools – Twitter places an initial limit of 2000 on the amount of people you can follow, and then you can follow more depending on how many are following back. So a new account that follows 2001 people uses automated tools. In addition, they only tweet “buy from me” type tweets.
The result? They are being ignored by their fake automated followers and their Twitter account is basically worthless. A simple way to check if a Twitter account has responses from followers is to use Twitter Search to search for the account’s username preceded by the symbol @:
Compare to my own Twitter account which is in no way a huge account – I am far from being a power tweeterer – but my account does have targeted followers and as a result some real conversation and interaction:
Twitter requires time and patience. Build it slowly, follow just a few relevant people at a time, and interact with them. It may take several months or more before you see results, in the form of retweets that get your name out there, links to your site and interested visitors, but the results will be there and they will be real. Take the Twitter shortcut and your account will be worthless.