Not a day goes by on Twitter on which I don’t virtually shake my head at some brand using the platform totally incorrectly.
Twitter, as a platform, can be incredibly powerful and effective in cultivating your brand awareness, establishing strategic relationships, and even closing deals, but it can also be your worst enemy if you make the mistake of abusing it.
Here are five mistakes many brands make regularly on Twitter and which you should avoid at all costs:
Twitter is not a sales platform, don’t forget that.
Every day, including today, one hour ago, some young employee of a company who was given the responsibility of running the company Twitter account, decides to make his company go viral and start spamming people on Twitter.
Forget all the noise you have heard about Twitter, study the tools available to you, the features this platform offers you, and learn how to use them. Use them to be human, not to cut corners and use shortcuts. Mass tagging people on your tweets telling everyone to download your app is both ineffective and actually against Twitter terms of service.
If the people you are spamming don’t block you, don’t get too excited, sooner or later, Twitter will. Don’t be that guy.
What you wouldn’t do offline, like hijack a discussion, don’t do on Twitter.
You see a few influencers with a lot of followers talking to each other on Twitter, because that is what people do on Twitter, and you decide that this is a great opportunity to get on all their radar by hijacking their discussion and promoting your product.
You could not be more wrong. At best, those people will ignore you, or worse, they will block you. An even worse scenario and one that would be reality if you did this to me, those people will call you out publicly to all their followers for being a spammer. Voilà, you just ruined your brand in 140 characters.
Twitter is not a megaphone, stop mass tagging people.
There are no shortcuts to connecting with people. Twitter is a vehicle to get you there, but by tagging five to 10 people in your tweets because you want to get on all their radar, you are getting on none of their radar.
Mass tagging people on tweets is like sending a mass email with everyone in the To field, only worse. This is majorly frowned upon on Twitter, and if you want to succeed on this incredible platform, you need to pay attention to the norms and the culture of what is, and what is not acceptable.
Stuffing hashtags in your Tweets will accomplish the opposite of your goal.
Hashtags, so much to say. Often times, people use hashtags to try and increase their followers. The premise is, you use a hot hashtag, someone searching for that hashtag finds your tweet and follows you.
Now, don’t get me wrong, hashtags can be useful if done right but when you stuff five hashtags in your tweets, what you are in essence declaring is that you care more about getting new followers than about the people who already follow you. Bad message to send and the result will be many people unfollowing your spammy tweets.
You are not a robot, don’t automate relationships.
I genuinely can’t understand how people still think this is a good idea, but do not, under any circumstances, set up auto DMs, direct messages, that your account sends out to every new follower.
Literally, if I follow someone, and I get an auto DM, I instantly unfollow that person because it says to me that they are trying to cut corners and automate our relationship.
Be genuine, listen, engage, and try to produce value, on Twitter and in general, and you will find success on this powerful platform.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.