Failing at Twitter? Here’s 7 reasons why

- September 28, 2016 2 MIN READ

Most businesses that fail to succeed on Twitter do so because they don’t understand the platform. Twitter is unique in that the half-life of a tweet is just 20 minutes. As well as this, the real value in Twitter lies not in how many followers you have, but how you can leverage the voice of other Twitter users to retweet your content. Here are seven of the most common Twitter mistakes that I see businesses making.

No use of multimedia

Studies show that people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that contain photos or videos so make sure to add eye-catching images, videos or GIFs. If you don’t have your own images to share, search for copyright free Creative Commons images or better yet use free tools like Canva to create infographics and quotables.

Not responding to mentions

According to a recent study 42 per cent of consumers now expect a 60-minute response time on social media yet only 11.2 per cent of brands deliver on this. The trouble is many brands automate their social media posts (which is a good idea) but forget to check in regularly to see responses and comments. Remember to check in, engage and interact. After all – that is what social media is all about.

Using too many hashtags

Two hashtags per post is plenty for Twitter. The key is to focus on the most relevant hashtags not use every combination possible. If you use too many hashtags, tweets become hard to read, dilute your message and can mistake you for a spammer.

Ignoring negative feedback

It can be tempting to not respond to negative feedback particularly if it seems unfair or uncalled for. However once a negative comment is out there for the public to see, all eyes will be on your business to see how you respond to it. If you have genuinely messed up, sincerely apologise, be accountable and if possible outline how you will make amends or change your processes. If the negative feedback seems to be trolling, again respond with graciousness or use appropriate humour to deflect the situation. You may not win over the troll, but other people will notice and respect your ethics.


What works in push marketing and print advertising will not work on Twitter. It’s okay to promote your products but you need to be more creative and relational in your copy. Tweeting “Buy this product!” is a surefire way to lose fans, as is repeatedly posting about a competition or product multiple times a day. If you do want to post several messages related to the same thing throughout the day vary the messaging.

Misusing trending topics

Always do hashtag and trending topic research before joining in on a conversation. Many businesses have had their entire reputations destroyed overnight by joining in on completely inappropriate hashtags for their brand. Google “hashtag fails” and you will see countless examples of this.

Begging for followers

Shamelessly begging for followers will get you nowhere so just don’t do it. Focus on offering something of value and your followers will build organically over time.

Luke Chaffey is a Digital Marketing Specialist with KBB Digital. For advice on Digital Marketing, including SEO services and Digital Strategy, visit

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