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5 Reasons Why Your Twitter Efforts Aren’t Working

Oct 24, 2011 4 min readTips / How To

There were some great conversations I had led recently with people in the startup scene here in San Francisco. Quite a few people, for both their personal and business use haven’t “gotten” into Twitter yet.

Words they mentioned were that “I heard Facebook works a lot better than Twitter” or “I am not sure I have enough time to be on Twitter too.” We spoke further and I jotted everything down which I thought could use a little further explanation.

From our research we found that Twitter is hands down the best marketing tool. And making your Twitter management effective, is easier than you think. So here are the top 5 reasons why your efforts might not be working.

1.) You Behave Like A Company And Not Like A Publisher On Twitter

One of my favourite thinkers in Social Media is Jay Baer, who hit the nail on the head in a recent video of his. The most crucial sentence that stuck with me was this:

Through Social Media, every company, no matter which industry is also in the publishing business.

The rationale behind it is very simple. Many seem to try exchanging billboards where you were able to brag about yourself at the bus with Tweets doing the same thing. So people would tell me they are now posting about their latest promotions and products on Twitter and no one listens.

Instead, try to make your Tweets interesting. Find content that doesn’t talk about yourself all the time and engage your customers in interesting discussions around it. It worked amazingly well for us:

By the minute we started to stop complete self-promotion and only pushed great content out to Twitter things changed. More and more people would actually be interested in both our Tweets and our product.

2.) You Are Not Smart With The Content You Tweet

Another, very easy to improve, issue I found was that people aren’t smart with the content they are Tweeting. Now, that you understood you have to provide value with your Tweets instead of self-promotion, you can still be smart in how you go about it.

With Buffer for example, we have an App for Twitter. So we would Tweet about the best tools and tips to make Twitter easier and more useful. If others like the content, and check out what else we are about, they are a lot more likely to start using Buffer because it has to do with Twitter too.

In short, if you are a bakery, try Tweeting great recipes, pics of delicious desserts or interesting facts about eating. If you are a car retailer try tips on what to think about when buying a car, news, infographics and facts from the car industry.

Take the business you are in and go one level higher.

3.) You Don’t Tweet Frequent Enough

This is an “oh so simple”, yet oh so overlooked piece of advice, that has helped me immensely. The dynamics of Twitter are such that you can easily Tweet 10-20 times a day. I would even go as far as saying that you are losing out on Twitter’s power if you don’t Tweet at a stable frequency of daily Tweets.

There is also great research out there suggesting why you should Tweet a lot more often. Try scheduling a few Tweets each day to save time on your daily output of Tweets. Once you get into a consistent habit of Tweeting more frequently you will soon realize how much more powerful

We recently looked at some very interesting data Kevin Rose published, where he arguably said I see a lot better results from Facebook than I see from Twitter. However, by simply Tweeting more frequently, Kevin’s results could have changed dramatically.

4.) You Don’t Invest Time In Follower Acquisition

A very common thought, one that actually was in my mind too for a long time might go like this:”All I need to do is jump onto Twitter and those followers will come.” What I learnt the hard way was that this doesn’t happen.

Spending time on getting real and engaged followers is one of the most crucial aspects. One of the best guides about was written by Dave Larson from @TweetSmarter. To sum up my own findings and Dave’s I would suggest:

  • Optimize your blog and email signature with “Follow” buttons
  • Reach out to influencers in your niche found through Klout, TweetLevel or PeerIndex
  • Engage in heavy Tweeting and TwitterChats to boost followership
  • Promote others religiously and genuinely with your Tweets.

5.) You don’t have something amazing behind your Twitter account

Looking at the bigger picture, I actually think this is the most important reason to succeed in Social Media. What I found was that people would jump on the Social Media bandwagon and actually doing a great job. They would Tweet great content, engage with followers and amass a strong following.

Yet, when it comes to visitors clicking through to their profile link, seeing their product or project, they would be turned away immediately. As vague as this tip might be, have a tested and developed “something” behind your Twitter account. If you jump in before that, your Twitter marketing efforts will largely be wasted.

Eliminating these issues has helped me the most to put Twitter to work again. Over to you now. Which are the most important reasons your Twitter efforts might not work? Do you think any of the tips mentioned could help?

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