• 07/18/2013
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10 Ways To Lose Twitter Followers

These 10 worst practices will kill your Twitter mojo faster than you can say "self-serving."
LinkedIn: 10 Important Changesr
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LinkedIn: 10 Important Changes
Twitter is a great way to maximize branding efforts, engage with existing customers and, with any luck, gain new customers. One basic metric for gauging your performance on Twitter is the number of followers your brand has. Numbers go up, good. Numbers go down, bad. What causes someone to cut bait? Here are 10 almost surefire ways to lose followers.

1. Post Too Often.

It's important to post regularly on social networks, but you don't want to post to the point of spamming your followers.

2. Post Too Little.

By the same token, if you hardly ever post at all, you are likely not to make the cut when users periodically edit the list of people/places/things they are following.

3. Be Explicitly Self-Serving.

Sure, the whole idea of marketing is to market. But people don't follow you to get fed a bunch of self-serving fluff about your company and its products. They want to be informed or entertained or rewarded in some way.

[ On the flip side, we heartily recommend these Twitter habits: 10 Twitter Power Tips. ]

Make sure you are providing something of substance in your tweets -- early announcements of new products, links to coupons, ideas for using your products in new and innovative ways and so on.

4. Never Retweet, Favorite Or Follow.

Social media is in large part a game of tit for tat. If you never retweet posts or follow others, you are not keeping your part of the social contract.

5. Retweet Anything And Everything.

Although it is important to demonstrate appreciation for posts other than your own, you don't want your feed to become a long list of retweets (or retweets of retweets of …).

6. Automate Responses.

Posting for the sake of posting, especially using automated systems, gets old fast. Make sure your company is not relying solely on timed, automated responses.

7. Post Everything All At Once.

It's amazing how many organizations, especially publishers, dump all of their content onto social media sites at once. And it seems like it almost always happens at the end of the day. Although you don't want to overuse it, scheduled posting can be a very helpful tool in making sure that your content is spread out at times when people are most likely to appreciate it.

8. Shy Away From Topical Issues.

It's probably not a good idea for your company to publicly weigh in on every topic that's in the news. But people respect companies that publicly and genuinely recognize breaking news and issues that business should take a back seat to.

9. Shy Away From Mistakes.

Yes, when it comes to mistakes that your company makes, in whatever realm, it's important to respond carefully. However, it's also usually important to own mistakes publicly and to do so within a reasonable amount of time.

10. Don't Evolve.

Social platforms such as Twitter are changing all of the time, and so, too, must social business practices. You should be able to demonstrate a willingness -- or, better yet, an eagerness -- to relatively quickly incorporate new features that will add value to your customers. (And don't forget to Tweet about the changes.)

What practices have gained you followers on Twitter? What don'ts would you add? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.


re: 10 Ways To Lose Twitter Followers

These are some very good points. I just wanted to add one which I see has buried a few companies in the past:

DonGt tweet on controversial issues: I have seen companies tweet regarding their stance on issues such as homosexuality, abortion, immigration, race and other controversial topics, and the backlash to these companies, especially from large internet forums such as Reddit is incredible. When it comes to controversial topics, the best thing is to stay neutral.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor

re: 10 Ways To Lose Twitter Followers

That's a really good point, Jay. I think, as a rule, companies should stick to business. Having said that, I also think its important for them to stay tuned to the world around them, being sensitive to what they post and when they post it.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editir, InformationWeek

re: 10 Ways To Lose Twitter Followers

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