Don't let Twitter hurt your brand

20 Twitter Mistakes That Hurt Your Brand

Tweeting is content and your content should have a strategy. Call it content marketing or content creation, what matters is you’re getting the most from your content without hurting your brand or wasting your time.

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1. Automated Overload: I’m referring to those that rarely post to Twitter other than through other websites like YouTube or Instagram. When every tweet is , “I liked such and such YouTube video” or an Instagram image, those folks aren’t present.

2. Auto DMs
Auto direct messages ARE spam to most of us. I recommend against it, even when it’s just thanking them for the connection.
Twitter direct messages

3. Stupid Avatars
Twitter is a great way to make connection, get to know others, and get your message out. People connect with people (or your brand). They’re less likely to connect with an image of your cat, a cartoon representation, or your favorite gamer star. Use an image of yourself that best represents who you are as an avatar (Profile photo).

4. Mile long Twitter handles Your real name can be 20 characters long but your username (Twitter handle) can only contain up to 15 characters. You only get 140 characters per tweet so keeping your handle as short as possible helps free up room for re-tweets and tweets mentioning you.

5. Off Brand Twitter Handles Try to create or change your Twitter handle to match your brand. You may need to get a little creative here but try to get your brand uniform on every social platform. For example, we can and do say, “Find us @HotBlogTips everywhere“. That wasn’t the case for Content Creators Lab.

Visit:How To Find Social Accounts When Your Brand Is Already Taken” to see how we handled that little challenge.

6. Off Brand Tweets Try to stay on target with all content, including tweets. Sure, it’s perfectly fine, even recommended by many, to let a little of your personality shine through, but avoid taking that too far. For example, don’t shut out 50% of your market by expressing your political or religious opinions (unless that IS your business) on your business account. We should also avoid diluting our message with other off-topic tweets that have nothing to do with our brand message or niche. Sure, you may love 15 CollegeHumor, Perez Hilton, and Gawker articles a week but why share those with a targeted audience you worked so hard to attract?

7. Hashtag Hijacking Don’t use trending #Hashtags to get in front of an irrelevant audience. That is spam and never recommended.

See: What is Hashtag Hijacking? Using Trending Hashtags For More Exposure.

8. Arguments and disagreeing Taking a stand can be important. Before you start smashing that keyboard out of anger or to teach someone a lesson, ask yourself how it helps your customer, follower, reader. You thought I was going to say “your brand“, didn’t you?

Be honest answering yourself. Don’t think “they should know what an ass that guy is” because that’s going to backfire every time.

With that said, listen and pay attention to customer feedback.

9. Re-tweeting garbage I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of this and it’s embarrassing every time. Just ask Sheryl and Mitch, they’ve both pushed-back on my crazy tweets first hand. Click over and check the page you’re going to retweet to your followers. There’s enough useless content being spread around the net. Twitter tools make it super easy to retweet garbage.

See:How Do I Get More Retweets? Twitter Tools We Use To Increase Re-Tweets“.

10. Too Salesy Every tweet shouldn’t look like it came straight off an ad copywriters desk. Keep in mind, it’s conversation. Yes, content needs strategy but part of that needs to be conversation. Anyway, you’re not going to make a sale from a tweet, take them to a post, video, or sales page. Better yet, get them on your list.

11. Incomplete or “cute” profile Try to use your profile bio as a way to showcase your brand or your person (personal brand). It might seem cute to say, “I’m the kat next door” but does that help with your branding? I’m assuming Nestlé Kit Kat isn’t reading this. 😉

12. No website link I recommend a link straight to your website. When is the last time you felt safe clicking a random link? No website? Get one, please. Don’t link to a sales page unless that single sales page is the entire reason for that account’s existence.

13. Being selfish At the end of one of my favorite Kid Rock songs you hear one of the guys saying, “Dude, there’s just more to life than just you“.  Know the song? Tweet it to me.

Don’t let your social life just be all about you.
Jab, Jab, Jab… and then Right Hook!

14. Tuned out
Are you listening? Seriously, don’t even bother getting on Twitter if you’re not going to listen for mentions and @replies. Direct messages? DM are up to you. Personally, there’s just too much spam there for me. But we need to be present on the social networks we commit to and Twitter is no exception.

15. #FF Overload
I love a nice Follow Friday mention but don’t let those tweets take over your entire brand message. There’s little to gain from dozens of #FF tweets when you’re annoying the crap out of your other followers.

16. Retweeting inappropriate content
This should be common sense but I unfollow (and then ban) someone about once a week because they thought it was okay to re-tweet a guy smoking a fatty or a chick bent over a truck’s tailgate getting more than she can by reaching into the truck bed. I’m not uptight but there’s a time and place. Publicly on a social platform associated with our business is not the time or place.

17. Not including your Twitter handle to social share buttons
PLEASE let social share buttons or “Click To Tweets” publish your Twitter handle with the pre-populated tweet. People shouldn’t have to search your site for recognition. Again, it’s not all about you and no one cares that you’re using other listening tools.

See:How To & Why Add Your Twitter Handle To Your Social Share Buttons“.

18. No room for retweets
We want social shares so it’s important to make it easy by leaving enough room for the people to retweet. I like to leave around 15 characters or more so others can retweet.

19. Joining the #TeamFollowBack brigade
Please, you have more pride than that. Don’t allow yourself to look so needy that you’re begging for followers. Just pathetic.

20. Starting tweets with an @Name
If you want to talk to one person, or you’re replying to someone, that’s exactly how to do it.

If you are sending a public tweet for the world to see (at least your world), don’t “tag” people at the beginning of the tweet.

A tweet like , “@Mitch_M are you going to watch the Star Trek reunion tonight?“, ONLY people that follow BOTH Mitch Mitchell and myself will see that tweet in their streams. It’s still visible to everyone from your profile or search.

Changing it up to “Are you going to watch the Star Trek reunion tonight @Mitch_M ?” opens it up to everyone but, really, why do that for a two way message?

Bonus: Tweeting while driving
Seriously, please just don’t.

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. Guilty of some mistakes as well, like using the favorite button all too often! Appreciate your post, Brian, and yes to turning it into a pdf!

  2. I think we’re all guilty of hitting that Fav button too much Barbara. It’s such an easy way to thank someone for a retweet. Especially automated tweets, I don’t think anyone really wants it to go beyond that initial share anyway if it’s automated.

    I’ve been noticing a lot of automated or pasted questions lately. Like, “Hey Brian, thanks for the RT. How was your weekend?”.

    There’s nothing inherently evil about that but when I see the same tweet going out to dozens of people and only the name is changed, well… I guess we’re trying to automate the look and feel of genuine interest. lol So silly.

  3. Thanks Geraldine, reading in between the lines I’m thinking a post on the best methods for using Twitter might be in order.

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