Common Twitter mistakes and how to avoid them

Even big companies make mistakes on social media every now and again. From broken links to silly typos, here are a few common mistakes to watch out for and some easy ideas on how you can avoid them yourself.

Starting a tweet with an @ handle
This is a common mistake which is easy to avoid. If you start a tweet with an @handle, Twitter thinks you are directing the tweet to that particular person. Therefore, the only people to see the tweet will be that person and anyone who follows you both. This means there will be a huge group of people who completely missed the message. As long as there is some text before the @handle, the tweet will be seen by all your followers. You can either reword the tweet until the @handle is later in the message, or simply start the tweet with a full stop.

Typos and Broken Links
There’s nothing more annoying than pressing tweet and then seeing you’ve made a spelling mistake. If you catch it quickly, there’s nothing wrong with deleting the tweet and starting again. If you don’t notice the mistake until much later on after people have engaged with the tweet, just leave it as it is. It’s better to keep that engagement.

There is a way of reducing typos however. First, write the tweet into a word document to see if it picks up any errors. Secondly, using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, schedule the tweet to be sent out for five minutes time. This will give you enough time to check the links and give it a final read through.

Using the right @ handle
Ever added in a twitter handle, only to find it’s for completely the wrong person? One famous example of this is an American with the handle @johnlewis who regularly gets mistaken for the department store. Not only is it frustrating for the person you’re directing people to, but you’re also missing out on potential engagement because the tweet is wrong.

To avoid this, don’t rely fully on Twitter’s suggestions as you write the @handle into your tweet unless you know the @handle from memory. To double check, open up Twitter in a second tab and do a quick search to make sure you’re using the correct one.

Using the right hashtag
Is the hashtag #2015conference, #conference15 or #cnfrnc2015? If you’re engaging with a hashtag, make sure you’re using the right one. If everyone’s using one and you’re using another, those searching for tweets using the correct hashtag will completely miss yours.
To avoid this, try and find the original source of the hashtag (the manager of the event or the campaign creator) and get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Creating hashtags
The problem with hashtags is that there are no spaces between the words. Because of this. there have been famous (too rude to repeat) examples of hashtags creating new, unfortunate words. Always see what the hashtag looks like on paper and show it to colleagues to see if they see anything wrong with it. Whilst you are creating a hashtag, always keep it as short as possible, as easy to remember as possible and as easy to spell as possible.

Seen any other mistakes that people make or have any questions about the above? Let me know in the comments.

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