There is a right way and a wrong way to send messages on Twitter. Here are some helpful ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’, to make sure you never annoy people and always get the right results from your Twitter campaign.

Never send a “Thanks for following me!” auto-message

What you might think: “Wow, look at all these great people following me on Twitter! I know, I should set up an automated ‘thanks for following’ message. That way they’ll know exactly how much I value their follow.”

What people actually think: “*Receives new Twitter notification* I wonder who that is? What a surprise, it’s just another one of those annoying ‘thanks for following me’ auto-messages!”

Why it’s not effective: Firstly, everyone does it! It can get pretty annoying seeing a constant stream of people saying exactly the same thing. Secondly, if you send an automated message to everyone that follows you on Twitter saying a generic ‘thanks for following’ ,or ‘this is what I do’, provides absolutely no value to followers.

What to do instead: Rather than say “thanks for following”, why not use the automated message feature as an opportunity to start a conversation with someone, or provide some kind of value. For example, you could ask to learn a bit more about what they do, what kind of clients they are looking for and actually show personal interest. You could also invite them to an upcoming networking event or webinar you are organizing.

Why this is effective: Social media is all about providing value. If you provide value to people and show an interest in them, you will generate a constant supply of leads as a result of your Twitter campaign.

Always reply back to people on Twitter

What you might think: “Someone just sent me a real message on Twitter. I’ll get back to them later today or tomorrow when I have more time.” *One week later* “Hmm, who was that person I had to reply back to? Nevermind, I can’t remember now! I’m sure it wasn’t that important…”

What people actually think: “I took the time to respond but never received a reply. I guess that person wasn’t really interested in speaking to me after all.”

Why it’s not effective: If you don’t reply back to people who message you, people who are genuinely interested in speaking to you, then you could be missing out on new business opportunities. We work with clients who are very quick to respond to any new leads and messages, as well as others who are a bit slower. Without a doubt, the clients that get the best results are those that follow up consistently with people each day.

What to do instead: For most small business owners, you aren’t going to have hundreds of new messages each day, so you don’t need to respond to each message immediately. Instead, dedicate time at least once a day to reply and respond to the messages you do have in one go. Something is better than nothing. By responding to all your messages in bulk, it will save time and make the task feel easier to manage.

Why this is effective: By responding to people, it shows you are a real person/business. It also builds value, trust and a relationship with your target audience.

Never auto-retweet or auto-post other people’s content

What you might think: “A great way for me to be active on Twitter is by reposting other people’s content.I could also save time by doing this automatically each time someone I like posts something new.”

What people actually think: “This company/person doesn’t look real. Everything they post is automated. it’s a bit weird and doesn’t make any sense.”

Why it’s not effective: Even though the intentions are good, auto-retweets are easy to spot, sometimes don’t work correctly and can also look a bit spammy. Just turn them off. Also, posting other people’s content on Twitter automatically without doing a quality control check means you are just aggregating content rather than curating content. You need to pick and choose content that is right for your target audience.

What to do instead: Manually select a few pieces of quality content you’d like to retweet each week. Research, optimize and post your own content alongside other people’s content. Only post content that will be valuable, relevant and interesting to your target audience.

Why this is effective: By posting content that is valuable and interesting to your target audience you will build a better and stronger brand.