Hey Twitter: Share Information, Not Your Choice of Cereal

By Thomas Lashier

Twitter Mistakes

So you have Twitter. We have Twitter. Everyone has Twitter and when used properly, it can be a big boost to business and a very unique way to connect with customers. You can answer questions, offer resources, run contests, and start conversations all in real-time with people all over the world.

When used improperly, however, Twitter can be a constant feed of failure. And this failure is served up in a tall, cold glass. You don’t want people drinking your failure.

If you are a business using Twitter, use it to offer something. Tweeting “Happy Monday! I’m loving up on my Corn Pops today!!!!!! #nomnomnom” doesn’t offer much to anyone. Instead, use Twitter to offer your followers an informational blog post that answers a question they tweeted earlier. Use Twitter to share a video from an industry expert. Start a conversation around a hot topic and engage your followers.

You don’t have to be a business, either. You should use your personal Twitter account to engage and creepishly stalk on friends, yes, but you can also use it to become a trusted source of information for your followers. Or just a fun and entertaining person to follow. Kobe Bryant has done a great job with Twitter this past year, responding to fans and coming up with a brand new nickname: #Vino (or “wine”, signifying that Kobe also gets better with age). Kobe has fun engaging with fans, and even places autographed sneakers at random locations when he is on a road trip. He will then tweet a picture of the location and offer the sneakers to the first person to correctly arrive at the secret spot. This is a really cool way to blend Twitter and real-life engagement that any company (or person) could use.

Here’s a helpful guide:

DO:

| Start conversations with your followers | Offer real-world prizes to increase buzz about you or your brand | Give away links to useful white papers and blogs to help your followers in their decision-making process | Answer questions from followers | Tweet resources from industry experts | Share helpful videos | Talk with followers about hot topics outside of your industry to show a little personality

DO NOT:

| Tweet pictures of your cat/dog/ferret | Use abbreviations like “obvs”, “adorbs”, and “totes” | Desperately ask people to follow you | Desperately ask people to re-tweet you | Give bland and generic tweets like “Good morning” | Tweet emotional, personal things about your love life | Tweet while drinking | Tweet while getting emotional about your love life and drinking

This should give you a solid foundation to actually engage people and have them stop sucking down your failure. And if you want further examples, check out these awful, awful tweets.

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