Common Twitter mistakes made by social enterprises (and how to fix them)

There are 330 million monthly active users on Twitter. As potential audiences for your social enterprise go, it’s an absolutely colossal platform to explore.

If you’ve already started your social enterprise, you’ll almost certainly have spent some of the setup phase creating a Twitter account. It may even form part of your daily routine, with posting and interacting with followers an essential element of your role.

If so, that’s fantastic. Providing there’s strategy behind your Twitter activity, you’re onto a very good thing indeed, and will find the social media giant’s ability to put you in front of a huge, engaged audience, really quite addictive.

Unfortunately – and like any form of digital marketing – it’s awfully easy to inadvertently make mistakes with Twitter when you’re running a business.

With that in mind, here’s some of the most common Twitter mistakes made by social enterprises, and how you can rectify them.

Forgetting the ‘social’ aspect of social media

It might sound odd, but it’s incredibly easy to ignore your audience on Twitter.

This happens when businesses focus too intently on raising awareness of the brand as opposed to connecting with the people who take an interest in it.

Social media is supposed to be just that – social – and if you forget to reach out and connect with followers, you’ll quickly alienate your social enterprise online.

Engagement is a two-way thing, so make sure you like posts that are relevant to your industry. Do the same whenever someone mentions your social enterprise, and reply to them, too (re-tweeting is also a great way to say “thanks” when someone says something nice about you on Twitter).

When you respond, aways speak the language of your enterprise, and don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun (within reason). Twitter is an enjoyable place if you get the social aspect right and remember that it isn’t just about promoting your business.

Treating it just like every other social media platform

Social media platforms weren’t created equally; they all have their own quirks and best practices when it comes to content, audience engagement and interaction.

The biggest differentiator for Twitter is the fact that it only allows 280 characters. Unlike Facebook’s 5,000 character limit, that means you need to get creative with the copy for each post.

It also means it’s best practice not to link all of your social accounts to enable single, unified posting. If you do that, Twitter will often get the rough deal and cut off anything you create that is longer than 280 characters.

People use Twitter very differently to other social media platforms. Your posts have a fleeting life as they scroll through their news feeds, and hashtags play an incredibly important role in ensuring your content can be seen by the right audience.

Rambling on about yourself – constantly

As previously noted, some self-promotion on Twitter is vital if you’re to put your social enterprise’s brand in front of as many people as possible, but too much, and you’ll be given short shrift.

People will be interested to hear your latest news or read your latest blog post, but too much self promotion is missing the point of Twitter. Consider the platform a massive, collective two-way conversation, and you’ll start to realise that it isn’t all about you.

Get creative with your content by publishing instructional posts or videos and graphics that are in some way linked to your niche but not overtly about your social enterprise. You’ll find this kind of content will chime well with your followers and stands the best chance of being retweeted and liked.

And finally…

Our last piece of advice on Twitter is to ensure you have a consistent posting schedule.

This is perhaps the hardest thing to get right and understandably one of the most common mistakes made by businesses. If you post infrequently because you don’t have enough time or don’t schedule Twitter as a daily action, your audience may lose interest entirely and unfollow you.

Don’t worry about republishing content, either. Remember that tweets have an incredibly short lifespan, therefore you’re not doing anything wrong by resurfacing the same tweet during a two or three day period.

Most importantly – have fun on Twitter! The best tweets come from experimentation, and if you take into account all of the above, you’ll start to build a fantastic presence for your social enterprise on this vital marketing channel.