Tweeting No-Nos

You and Twitter have come a long way… from gossiping about teen heartthrobs to marketing your business. But don’t abuse the microblog tool, says Ilana Bercovitz, a social media expert who works for San Francisco-based ReTargeter. She says the five worst Twitter sins are:

» Shameless self-promotion. Tweet about your business, but in moderation. And always add value to the conversation—news people can use or will enjoy sharing.

» Retweeting mentions of your brand. If you keep retweeting a mention, it looks as if you have nothing to say. Would you continually repeat compliments you received? Probably not. Same goes for Twitter: Send thanks to the person who mentioned you and move on.

» Using too many hashtags. #Stuffing your #tweets with #hashtags automatically makes a business look like a #spammer! Pick one or two keywords related to your tweet and place those at the end of hashtags… the moderation thing, remember?

» Including misleading link descriptions. It’s annoying to click on a link in an interesting tweet and end up on an unrelated page. Everyone wants high click-through rates, high engagement and large followings, but misleading links hurt your reputation.

» Making robot posts. Yes, busy little ol’ you wants to be social online, so you schedule tweets in advance with a service. Overusing a scheduler can make you seem like a robot, though, so send scheduled tweets in moderation (that word again!) and always inject personality into them.

For more information on how to run a successful social media campaign, read "5 Easily Overlooked Tips for Social Media" on


Robin Amster is a writer and editor whose work appears in magazines, newspapers and the web. She specializes in travel and the travel industry. Robin has also written extensively on business, lifestyle, interior design and architecture.

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