Which of these mistakes are you making on Twitter?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Let’s be honest, using Twitter isn’t exactly brain surgery. A short 140-character message that you send out to your Followers is hardly a strain. Yet knowing how to effectively Twitter for Business without annoying people seems to elude even some of the sharpest minds. There is a Twittiquette and if you want to use Twitter to promote your business, you need to stop making these TEN irritating mistakes:

ONE – MOANING
There’s no better way to drive your followers away than spend your entire time on Twitter moaning about this and that irrelevancies. It’s fine to have an opinion, it perhaps makes people engage with you, but if you’re just there to complain about your love life, stop Twittering and go on the Jeremy Kyle show.

TWO – TXT ABBRVTNS
Stpd pple use txt abbrtns on Twttr! It might be good if you’re a cheapskate trying to save money on your mobile phone bill, but Twitter is free. Surely you have sufficient grasp of the English language to actually make your message fit into 140 characters without resorting to txtspk. Avoid looking like a twt by avoiding text abbreviations.

THREE – ADVERTISING FOR FOLLOWERS
One of the best things about Twitter is that people follow you out of interest or allegiance; they don’t follow you because you ask them to do so. By advertising for followers, you end up looking rather desperate, devaluing your current followers and distancing potential followers.

FOUR – WITTERING ON
By ‘wittering’, I’m talking about the frequency of your Tweets. If you spend a lot of time on Twitter, tweeting to everyone, all the time, very soon they’ll get sick of you. People soon sicken of anything they get too much of, don’t get blocked for wittering.

FIVE – STUPID NAMES
HotJenna may work for HotMedia but HotJenna sounds like a porn star. Your Twitter name is all part of your brand, would you put ‘HotJenna’ as your email address? The informality of Twitter blinds people to the fact that you are still representing and promoting your business online. Twitter is great for spreading the word about your company or business. It’s the Internet version of word-of- mouth.

SIX – SPAM SANDWICHES
As soon as Twitter became a useful business tool, some other tool started using it for spamming. By now, Twitter users are so used to being spammed, that they respond with enthusiasm and affection to human contact from real people. Don’t spam, make connections, people will appreciate it.

SEVEN – AUTO RESPONDERS
It’s just sloppy Twittering to care so little about your Followers that you just use Auto-Responders. How impersonal! How bad for business! It’s simple, Twitter offers a personal connection to people, if you disregard that, your followers will disappear faster than an MP with an inappropriate expenses claim.

EIGHT – FIGHT CLUB
Twitter is absolutely NOT a tool to help you gossip, bitch, bitch slap or attack people. I mean, it’s fun, but it’s bad for your image, your credibility and it leaves you looking like a petty bully. It’s okay to speak your mind, within reason, but it’s not a place to engage in fighting.

NINE – NO BIO
Once someone follows you, they may be interested enough to find out more about you. What happens when they find you haven’t even bothered to fill in your bio? They figure out that you’re not in this to make connections, it’s just another tool to try to get their business. Or perhaps you’re one of those people that signs up, adds people but never Tweets! Build credibility and relationships by adding a bio, go on, you must have SOMETHING good to say about yourself.

TEN – NO AVATAR
Nothing screams ‘I’m new to this’ like failing to brand your Twitter account with an appropriate Avatar. You can use your photo or your company logo, but being an egg or a comedy avatar just makes you look lazy, like you don’t care about the impression that you make on others.

So, if you’ve made some of these mistakes, and you want to make less, or you’d like to see your business grow as a result of using Twitter, why not take a look at my mentoring service where I can help you make the most of Twitter and more?

 

 

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67 SEO Pointers for Blogging Beginners – a free guide

3D Team Leadership Arrow ConceptLots of the questions I get on Twitter and Facebook relate to blogging and SEO, and as I was typing up a quick and dirty guide to SEO Blogging for a client, I mentioned it to someone else and they asked for a copy. Then I mentioned it on Twitter and others asked. So I tidied it up a (little) bit, put it in PDF format and here it is :)

It covers:

  • Thinking of what to write
  • What not to blog
  • How much should I write?
  • How do I get people to comment?
  • Should I tweet and facebook my blogs?
  • Blogging for SEO – a quick and dirty guide
  • Making sure Google knows about your blogs

It’s not an advanced guide, it’s not rocket science and hopefully it’s not full of jargon.

I’m offering it free – all I ask is that if you like it, you drop me a line in one of the many places you can find me, and then direct someone else to this page by either Tweeting about it, Facebooking it, mentioning it on Linked in, writing a blog post about it, or shouting on the High Street with a megaphone (special kudos to those of you who do the latter!).

Get it free now by subscribing to our Blogging & SEO Newsletter below:

To get a free copy of "67 SEO Tips for Blogging Newbies" simply subscribe to our newsletter today! We promise not to spam :)

Advanced tips for Twitter – you need to read this!

First off, an admission – this isn't MY post. It's from the fab Chris Brogan, and he's said that it can be reposted as long as he's given credit. Here's the original post: 50 Power Twitter Tips

Rather than just repost his thread, I've picked out my favourite of his tips from each section  – please do read his original post to get all 50!

Intent (Human Artist)

  • Don’t read EVERY tweet. It’s perfectly okay. You have permission.
  • Promote other people 12x to every 1 self-promotional tweet.
  • A lot of @replies shows a lot of humanity/engagement.
  • Promote the new/less followed more than the “names.”
  • Everyone does it their own way. You’re doing it wrong, too- to someone.

Technical

  • Leave 20 characters or more space in each tweet to improve retweeting.
  • Make hashtags small and simple. We need room to tweet.
  • If software allows you to “post updates to Twitter” as well as to the app, don’t do that. We rarely want to see them.
  • If you develop software that pushes updates to Twitter, be VERY explicit how that works.
  • Every time you use OAUTH to give apps permission to use your account, you open a potential security hole. Check your permissions monthly.

Business

  • Spamming us repeatedly is okay. We just unfollow you.
  • Finding people who need what you’re selling trumps advertising to us.
  • Your customers might not be on Twitter. Use rapleaf to find them.
  • Invite your customers to Twitter, then make it worth it for them.
  • Use Twitter as a personalized communication tool, not another blast.
  • Just make money and then the boss won’t ask about ROI any more.

Integrated Usage

  • Apps like TweetChat.com make following event chats really easy. Put in a hashtag and go.
  • Tweeting the content of events is nice, but so is occasionally making a real live connection with the speaker.
  • It’s okay to tweet your blog posts, but try asking a question that leads readers into the post.
  • Can you invite Twitter followers to your other social platforms, like LinkedIn or Facebook? Sure you can.
  • Tweets that point us to photos and/or video and/or music, etc, are always a great way to enhance the experience.

Off-Twitter

  • Are your tweets really what you want to show in your sidebar? Doesn’t that direct people away from your site?
  • Apps like VisibleTweets.com are neat, but can be very distracting at events.
  • Don’t forget to invite people from off-Twitter to follow you on Twitter. Include your actual Twitter ID (I see lots of “follow me on Twitter” with no details).
  • Asking questions on Twitter makes for very interesting commentary and opinions for blog posts.
  • If your only marketing efforts are on Twitter, start building an email marketing list. Never put your eggs in one basket.
  • Start thinking in 120 characters (remember? save 20). Every bit of this advice is tweetable.

As always, fab points from Chris – be sure to visit his original post and let others know about it!

Questions to ask yourself when writing an article

time to stop dreaming, tomorrow there is work. :)We’re doing quite a lot of Article Marketing for clients at the moment, which we love, but it’s clear that when clients come to us they’re not sure what they want to achieve.

So we’ve developed a set of questions to help us to write the best articles for our clients, and I thought these might help some of you out there writing your own articles.

What is the aim of the article?

It’s important to know what you want to achieve with your article. Is it aimed at promoting one of your services? A general overview of your industry? Setting you out as an expert? Encouraging newsletter signups? People want articles for all sorts of reasons. The important thing in article marketing is to realise that an article needs to be educational and informative, not purely self promotional, but know what end result you want rom it helps you to form the structure in the first place.

What essential information must be included in the article?

It’s probable that you have something you REALLY want to say. It may be about some legislation, it might be about some recent research, maybe even just some stats you’ve foud – remember to include it by writing it down, and expanding from there.

What information/perspective should be excluded from the article?

If there’s info out there that you DON’T want in the article, or a perspective you DON’T want to address, then it’s worth making a note of it. This relates more to articles you’re getting other people to write, but it’s a good question to think about.

What are the key ‘terms’ or phrases that you would like included in the article?

If you’re writing articles to help get good backlinks or help SEO, then it’s worth doing a little bit of keyphrase research before starting. Which phrases do you need to include – and which ones do you want to exclude?

What action would you now like the reader to take?

When the reader has finished reading your article, what do you want them to do now? What’s the ‘call to action’? Do you want them to click to a certain page on your site, download a demo, sign up for your newsletter, pick up the phone, send you an email, find out more infor about you – what? Deciding on this can help you to close your article with a strong call to action and ensure you’re more likely to get the result you want.

Are there any good resources that you would like the writer to use when creating this document?

If you want to refer to stats or surveys, other websites or resources, make a note of them so you (or we) remember to include links to them. Quoting stats but not linking to the original source leaves you open to people not believing you, as well as making your article less powerful overall.

What is the TITLE of the article?

Once all the above steps are taken, choosing the title should be pretty easy. In some cases you’ll have decided the title ahead of time, but either way, it’s a pretty important part of the process ;)

Hopefully the above questions that we ask our article marketing clients will help you to get started on your article – if you’re still stuck, there’s always our Article Writing special offer until the end of January!
Creative Commons License photo credit: MagdaMontemor

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