Twitter: 5 Things That You’re Getting Wrong

Twitter: 5 Things That You’re Getting Wrong

Too often do I receive the question, “Why isn’t Twitter working for me?” Here’s the thing; Twitter is an amazing tool, but only if you know how to use it. Again and again, I see brands make the same mistakes, often blaming the network rather than looking to their own strategy for their inability to grow an audience and connect with their community. But I’m here to help.

Twitter, What is it Good For?

The science of Twitter really isn’t that complicated, but rather a combination of common sense and consistency. Before we tackle the things that you’re getting wrong, let’s first discuss what Twitter is actually for and how you can use it.

What Twitter is

An open forum of thoughts, ideas and conversations to connect you with a broad community, in real-time. The people that understand this will build quality relationships that they can foster for years to come.

What Twitter is Not

A one-way transmission of information, solely used for the promotion of products and services. If you’re not in it for the conversation, then you’ll definitely be left out of it.

Businesses all over the world are using Twitter to connect with their customers and clients to make a greater connection, offer help and advice, and provide value in real-time. From one-on-one conversations to group Twitter chats, the content revolves around conversation and connection.

5 Things That You’re Getting Wrong

1. You’re Not Taking First Step to Follow Others

The biggest complaint I receive from businesses is, “My following isn’t growing.” My first question to them is, how many new people are following per day? To be honest, I usually get a blank stare in reply. “Follow people? Me? But I’m so important that I thought people would just automatically flock to me!” Sometimes this is in fact true, but 90% of the time, it’s not. You need to be proactive in

Try an app like ManageFlitter, which allows you to follow users based on who they’re already following, and manage any unfollowers you may have. For example, I like to follow my competitors followers, members of associations that may want my services, and conferences that I attend. I like to follow 100 new users per day, then unfollow anyone that hasn’t followed me back after 5 days. If they’re not following me back, then obviously they’re not going to buy what I’m selling!

Tweetable: “Start a conversation, follow someone, and take an interest in the conversation. That’s when it’ll really make a difference.” [click to tweet]

2. You’re Not Providing Real Value

Every day, in every way, I try to bring the best possible content to my followers. This content ranges from curated tweets, to Periscope broadcasts, and of course, my own video, blog content and lead generation. I’m always very mindful of what I’m putting out into the world, to share the content of others, and to provide real value. As a result, I’ve had numerous tweets, emails and phone calls from people just giving me thanks. And that just feels great.

I always consider the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, whereas 80% of my content should be from others (curated content) and 20% should be that of my own. This helps me to monitor the amount of promotional tweets that I publish. But no matter what I put out into the world, I try my absolute best to make sure it’s educational, informative, or just plain fun. It can be hard finding content to publish but with the perfect social media routine, you can do this effortlessly!

Tweetable: “Every day, in every way, bring the best possible content to your community. They’ll thank you for it.” [click to tweet]

Bring the Best Content

3. You’re Not Acting Just as You Would in Real Life

I find it odd that so many people treat social media like this foreign space, like they’re aliens on a new planet, not quite sure how to interact with everyone there. But here’s the thing; all those people out there that you are speaking to are real people! Treat them just as you would in real life. For example, if someone on the street came up to you and said hello, would you just ignore them? I don’t know about you, but I would definitely say “hello, how are you?”. My biggest piece of advice in social media is to act just like you would in “real life”.

In the early days when you’re just getting started, you should be responding to everyone and every tweet. As your community grows you’ll notice that it’ll become harder and harder to do so, unless you have a community manager, or a team of community managers.

Tweetable: “Your followers are real people. It’s human interaction, regardless if you’re online or offline.” [click to tweet]

4. You’re Not Filtering It

According to Buffer, the average Twitter user tweets 22 times per day. If you’re following thousands of people, there is absolutely no way that you’ll be able to keep on top of every single tweet, or engage with intent. Engaging with intent is huge, and obtaining your goals relies on just that. So how do you hone in on exactly what you want to hear? The answer: Twitter lists.

I have various lists, where I keep track of people that are most important to me, including people that have previously engaged with me, attendees of a conference I’m attending, and even influencers that I really love. You can even create columns in your Hootsuite or Tweetdeck dashboard to monitor hashtags for a group or campaign you’re following.

Tweetable: “Filter out the noise on Twitter and connect with people you really care about. Add me to a Twitter list.” [click to tweet]

5. You’re Creating Just One Tweet

As mentioned above, there’s a lot of noise on Twitter and sometimes your tweets can be lost among the chaos. Sometimes, one tweet just isn’t enough, especially tweets that contain your own content. I use CoSchedule to create a sequence of ongoing tweets that relate to my blog posts, sometimes for months and months in the future, because one tweet just isn’t enough.

Tweetable: “Don’t get lost among the crowd. Be sure to tweet important tweets multiple times so the world can hear your roar.” [click to tweet]

Power Tips

Connect Your Periscope and Twitter Account

I’m a big advocate for Periscope, the Twitter-owned live video broadcasting app. What’s great about Periscope is when you go live, you can automatically tweet your broadcast link for people to check out. Additionally, you can send tweets and even Twitter direct messages from within a Periscope broadcast, helping your followers to connect on Twitter to continue the conversation.

Tweet at Optimal Times

Sometimes it might seem like you’re not getting anywhere with your tweets because they’re not being seen, either because there are too many others or you’re not hitting up the right timezone. I like to use Tweriod to configure my Buffer schedule, allowing me to take advantage of the best times possible for my community. Learn how to use Buffer for kick ass scheduling in this post!


    Thanks for this comprehensive tips. Twitter is def one of the more challenging platform to understand for marketers coming from traditional marketing.

    • It’s so true @keyholeco:disqus! It can sometimes feel like the least social of social networks! Thanks so much for your comment.