Twitter gives business the opportunity to to listen to and reach out to their target audiences. While Twitter was built on a platform of simplicity, it’s by no means an easy marketing tool to grasp.  A few misconceptions about how to use Twitter can land you or your business with negativity and bad PR.

For this reason alone, it’s important to be aware of the unwritten Twitter etiquette before you dive in.  If you’re is already on Twitter, these five do’s and don’ts will serve as a handy checklist to ensure your behavior isn’t putting current and potential.

Five Do’s

  • Integrate your Twitter marketing – for example, include a live Twitter feed on your website, automate blog posts to your Twitter account, brand your Twitter page with your company logo and colours
  • Use tools to make your life easier – whether it’s a desktop, web or mobile application, there are many software tools that will make tweeting a richer and more efficient experience. Our favourites include Hootsuite and Tweetcaster
  • Interact with your followers – if you’re strategically building a targeted Twitter audience who you believe that may either buy from you or recommend you at some point, then it’s worth interacting with them using @mentions, re-tweets and DMs (direct messages). Twitter is a two-way communication method so make sure you embrace this
  • Frequently tweet different types of content – sharing links to blog posts is worthwhile, but frequently changing the types of content you tweet will keep your followers much more engaged.  With visual content playing a huge role in social media today, it’s imperative that you integrate videos, images and other rich content into your tweets
  • Learn! – Twitter will only work for your business if you use it correctly. Study successful Twitter accounts to see what they’re tweeting about, learn about the different software tools, learn about integrating Twitter with your website or other social media accounts and more

Five Don’ts

  • Constantly try and sell, sell, sell – no one will want to interact with you if you’re constantly talking about yourself and promoting your business
  • Follow blindly – just because someone has a lot of followers or is high profile doesn’t automatically mean you’ll gain much from following them.  As other people start following you, they’ll look at the list of those you follow.  If they see a bunch of spammers, it will reflect poorly on your credibility
  • Don’t get personal or be negative – your Twitter updates are in the public domain. Don’t say anything on Twitter you wouldn’t say in person to your customers and the public at large and avoid being lured into arguments or negative discussions that run counter to your brand promise
  • Send out lots of automated DMs or tweets – while some automation is great, your followers will quickly realise if your account is not being run by a real person and that means they will probably un-follow you
  • Tweet about everything single thing you’re doing – this will just bore people. Before you tweet, ask yourself if you think your followers will find it interesting or useful

Consistently practicing any of the above five points is likely to lose you followers, generate bad PR or even force your account to be suspended.