7-twitter-marketing-mistakes-that-will-damage-your-brandTwitter is not always an obvious choice in a marketer’s toolkit, but a campaign managed via this popular social network can reap surprisingly good dividends. With a fiendishly simple format and millions of registered users, Twitter offers an excellent opportunity to reach out to a lot of people very quickly, but if you market your message in the wrong way, you’ll do more damage than good. If you’re thinking of testing the Twitter waters, pay attention to these common mistakes, or you could end up steering your ship into disaster.

Poor branding on your Twitter profile page

Your Twitter profile page is the first place that consumers go when they want to know more about your business. A flat, lifeless profile page is going to turn customers off straight away, so it’s really important that you bring your business to life. Choose a background image that is consistent with your brand, and use the 140-character description to help visitors understand what your page is all about. Remember that you may decide to use different pages for different activities, so it’s important to help people understand one profile from another.

Only using Twitter for push marketing

Twitter is not a conventional marketing tool. If you only push out links to your website or blog via Twitter, your followers will quickly lose interest.

“Customers follow your page because they want to hear what you have to say,” echoes brand marketing expert Jeff Kamikow, “but that doesn’t mean that they are giving you permission to bombard them with relentless marketing messages.” Share appealing content from a range of sources, and you will soon build a relationship with your followers. When you then have a specific marketing message to make, you will find that your customers are much more willing to listen.

Failing to resolve customer complaints

Your Twitter channel is open to everyone, and that means that customers will take the opportunity to raise complaints and grievances. It’s vital that you acknowledge a customer who wants to complain, and then make sure that he or she gets in touch via another route. Twitter isn’t an effective way to resolve a complaint because you only have 40-character messages to work with, so it’s important to take the complaint away from the site, Make sure that you are responsive and professional, but try to keep these conversations away from a profile that you want to use for marketing.

Not personalizing your Twitter page

Twitter users know that your company page probably doesn’t belong to one person, but that doesn’t mean that they want to subscribe to bland corporate messaging. Personalize your Twitter pages as much as possible, and make it clear to your customers that they are connecting with a person, even if they are talking to a company page. Twitter marketing relies on a brand that is willing to take bold steps, and that means that you need to give your people the power to get into a social conversation. If you want to review and approve every message that appears on your Twitter page, this probably isn’t the right marketing medium for your business.

Bombarding followers with messages

Your Twitter followers only have so much time to check content on the site, and if your brand continually churns out a relentless barrage of messages, you’ll quickly find your customers clicking the unfollow button. Impersonal messages don’t work very well on Twitter, and users soon get tired of brands that focus on quantity over quality. Twitter is a really effective way to build relationships with customers, but focus on fewer, more personal messages that will encourage one-to-one conversations. There’s no room on Twitter for spam.

Thinking you can control the conversation

Like any other social network, Twitter gives consumers the opportunity to lead the conversation, and many brands make the mistake of thinking that they can control what people say. When you launch a campaign on a social network, you have to see it through to the end. Choose the wrong hashtag, or ask customers to share something without thinking about it, and you will almost certainly regret your decision. Although Twitter allows you to drop a campaign, your followers can continue to talk about it for as long as they like. Think really carefully about your campaign ideas, and assess the risk that things could go wrong before you commit to anything.

Inappropriate newsjacking

Newsjacking is a common way for brands to reach out to Twitter users. One particularly popular type of newsjacking is to display your hashtag during a popular TV show, which encourages viewers to start tweeting and socializing the message. Newsjacking is effective, but you have to choose your timing carefully. Many brands have received negative press because they chose to newsjack a natural disaster or world, without considering that this may upset many of their consumers.

Social marketing is an exciting, creative way to share ideas and thoughts with your customers, and Twitter is an increasingly popular way to do this. Many businesses and brands are yet to really understand how Twitter works, however, and if you plunge head first into an ill-conceived campaign, you may not ever want to consider tweeting another message.