08 Nov The Do’s and Dont’s of Twitter
In the age of 140 character status updates, you are what you tweet. While Twitter can be a powerful tool for finding potential leads and connecting, it’s not hard to make mistakes on the platform. With 313 million active monthly users, it’s easy to feel like you get lost in the noise on Twitter and start tweeting every little thing you think, read, do or see.
It’s important to have a strategy behind your Twitter presence and make sure you’re utilizing best practices. For instance, a survey by LifeHealthPro found that only 23 percent of financial advisors posting about life insurance were linking their Twitter account to their website. This, they said, is a missed opportunity.
To help you have the best professional presence on Twitter, here’s what to do and not to do on on the platform:
- Do complete your profile: Make sure to fill out your name, location and web URL in addition to putting up a profile photo and a header photo that’s either related to your business or highlights your personality (appropriately). Also make sure to capitalize on your bio with something that shares who you are, what you do, and how to reach you.
- Don’t abuse hashtags: If you’re going to hashtag, stick to one – two at most – and make sure it’s appropriate to your tweet. Just because a hashtag is trending doesn’t mean you have to use it or that you should include it in your tweet if it’s not relevant. Using too many or irrelevant hashtags makes your profile seem like spam. You can use relevant hashtags that relate to your industry, however, to get your message in front of more potential consumers.
- Do keep it short and sweet: Obviously you’re limited to 140 characters on Twitter, which is limited to begin with; however, even shorter is usually sweeter. Research shows that tweets between 100 and 115 characters long are more likely to be retweeted, according to Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella.
- Don’t rely too heavily on automation: If you’re only ever posting at 9 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. on the hour, it’s going to be clear that you’re automating and not actively engaging with the Twitter community. Be sure to share a spontaneous tweet here and there and also set aside time to respond to tweets.
- Do keep your tweets timely: One of Twitter’s biggest uses is for getting real-time and breaking news updates. While your job may not involve a lot of breaking news, you can still apply the same principles by posting from a conference in real-time or sharing articles on trending industry updates when they happen.
- Don’t send auto-responses: There are many platforms out there that let you set up “recipes” for when X happens, send Y, such as when someone follows me, send them a thank you direct message, or when someone uses this hashtag, tweet them this link. This type of usage is false engagement and is considered spam. You come across as inauthentic when you do so, which defeats the community-building aspect of Twitter.
As you continue to use Twitter, you’ll start to develop your own do’s and dont’s based on the community you’re building.