I love Twitter. I have met some of the greatest people I know thru Twitter and have even managed to meet quite a few in real life. In addition to professional connections, I have made many personal connections as well. I formed an “in real life” group called the BWTs (Broads Who Tweet) so that the online group of tech savvy women that I had met over the years could meet face to face. We’ve even gone on 2 retreats to share ideas and learn from each other.

All because of 140 little characters that form together to become “Tweets”.

Being on Twitter pretty much all day, every day I see a lot of tweets, tweeps and hashtags and while a lot of folks really get it and do it really well, there are as many who do a really bad job. I”m not here to tell you that you’re doing it wrong (because I really loathe people who say you’re doing it wrong when what they REALLY mean is you’re not doing it like them) but rather to suggest that if you’re committing any of these “offenses” to drop them out of your Twitter rotation.

  1. Your profile is incomplete and your avatar is an egg. If you haven’t filled your profile completely out, you’re probably not gaining a lot of followers. If you’re serious about learning and using Twitter to your advantage, put your best foot and face forward. You have 160 characters to wow people with your bio and good news – you don’t have to take up any character “real estate” with your web address anymore. You want it to be interesting enough for people to want to follow you or follow you back. Here’s mine: twitter bio
  2. You treat Twitter like a Ronco Rotisserie oven. Twitter is not a “set it and forget it” social media tool. As a matter of fact, of  ALL the social media sites, many will tell you that Twitter is the most time-consuming and difficult ones to get going. I tell our clients that they have to give Twitter at least 6 weeks in the beginning and usually a minimum of an hour a day. You have to find people to follow, contribute worthwhile content and engage with people.
  3. Your Twitter stream has more links than a fence. While Twitter is a great way to share links to articles you find interesting or blog posts that you wrote, it shouldn’t be the only thing you tweet. Think of it this way – if you met someone at a party or networking event and all they did was throw out news bites to you, how long would you stick around? In addition to being boring, posting nothing but links will make people think you’re a bot.
  4. You don’t share other people’s things. Make sure you’re taking the time to retweet other people’s tweets and info. Trust me when I say that this is the quickest way to grow your relationships on Twitter. The beauty of Twitter is that there is NO barrier to other people. You could (unknowingly) retweet something from someone who’s the CEO of a company you love and strike up a conversation. Or win a new client. You just never know so share what you find interesting.. just make sure you credit the source.
  5. You pound the hashtag to death. Repeat after me: Do not put a #hashtag in front of every single word in your tweet. Every time you do that, a unicorn dies. Actually, I don’t recommend you use more than two #hashtags in any tweet – one should be sufficient. For instance, when I tweet the link to this post, I will use one and it will either be #Twitter or #SocialMedia. That’s it.

What other things do you see people doing on Twitter that you call foul on?