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5 Mistakes Your Small Business is Making on Twitter


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As a small business owner, it can be challenge to keep up with best social practices. One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “What am I doing wrong?” If you’re not seeing the results you think you should from Twitter, here are a few mistakes you might be making:

Mistake #1: Broadcasting Without Interacting

The entire point of social media is to promote your business, right? Well, yes…but in a social way. It’s about more than just broadcasting. Sure, you can send out tweets that include links to your website or blog, but you also want to interact with your followers. Jump into relevant conversations. Be helpful when someone asks a question. Follow others in your industry and those who are potential customers. If you aren’t using the “@” reply function often, that’s something that needs to change. Southwest Airlines is a great example of a company doing this right. They are constantly retweeting and replying to their customers.

Mistake #2: Blurring the Lines Between Personality and Personal

When using social, I think it’s great for the personality of your company to shine through. You aren’t just a giant logo. There are real people behind your social account. But there’s a difference between showing your personality and getting personal. If you’re a business or brand on Twitter, you don’t need to tweet out pictures of your meal or rants about your flight being delayed. Save that for your personal account. Keep your Twitter interactions relevant to your business. Bill Gerth (and Frank Eliason before him) for Comcast does a great job at this at @comcastcares. Talenti Gelato (who we profiled here) and GrubHub are also awesome at letting their personality shine through while still making it about their respective businesses.

Mistake #3: Going on Hiatus

If you can’t commit to tweeting daily, get off of Twitter. No, really. It looks bad if someone asks a question on Twitter and you don’t reply quickly. An abandoned Twitter account is worse than having no Twitter account at all.

Mistake #4: Promotional Updates

Promotional updates are okay. After all, you’re using social media to promote your business. However, if you’re only promoting yourself, your tweets can get old quickly. A really great option is to start a blog and also promote your links to education or entertaining topics. If you run a lawn care company, don’t tweet yet again that you’re available for landscaping. Tweet a link to your post on the “10 Best Celebrity Yards” or “How to Get Rid of Summer Garden Pests.” Get people reading on your site through content marketing and then sell them on your products or services once they’re a fan.

Mistake #5: Not Following Relevant Hashtags

Lastly, are you following hashtags in your industry? Hashtags (using the # symbol before a word or phrase) allow you to see what people are saying about a specific topic. Following these hashtags allows you to identify problems, jump into conversations, and find new followers (and potential customers). Always be listening to what your target market is saying.

What’s the biggest mistake you see businesses making on Twitter? Leave a comment!


  • Derrick Barber

    Of the social media networks, Twitter is probably one of the most challenging for me to wrap my mind around. Even when I start to think I get it, I notice my feed is just full of people promoting their content, and there isn’t much of a conversation going on. I also find it incredibly challenging to type anything useful in less than 140 characters. In any event, I do believe there is value there so I’m going to keep trying to figure it out. Thanks for the advice on what not to do.

  • Dave Thompson

    A common mistake done by companies is using a brand profile as a personal profile, there are always guidelines for companies to use social platforms to avoid the spam that might be caused by them. To much of brand overdose to the social media users can annoy them and that might result in the user unfollowing their favorite brand.

  • Jemma Taylor

    Definitely agree with you. You aren’t the only one out there with good content/insights to share so don’t act like it! If you find something you like why not re-tweet it? Everyone needs a little social love!!

  • John Paul

    100% agree with you. 🙂
    To much of brand overdose to the social media users can annoy them and that might result in the user unfollowing their favorite brand.

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