Tinashe Nyaruwanga Social Media and Digital Marketing (Zimbabwe)

Blog Post


Are You Making These Mistakes on Twitter?


Story of the (3)

Twitter which gets its name from a light chirping sound made by certain birds is an enigma and polarizing to most. The little blue bird as it is affectionately known is complicated to some and difficult to understand, but most importantly to its enthusiasts and devotees it is dead simple and allows them to connect with friends or like-minded people and share ideas and events happening around them.

Hatched by a group of friends out of the ruminants and rubble of a failed start-up, Odeo, Twitter has changed how we consume and share information. For a long time we were under the tyranny of media houses who controlled how the information flow, what got out and when it was read. But not anymore!

Everyone is now a media house

A story is told of how residents of New York received tweets about an East Coast earthquake 30 seconds before they felt it.  All it took was someone with a smartphone to quickly type in a 140 character update and upload an image or video of what was happening and within seconds it was all over the web. The power and popularity of Twitter stems from its users who are mostly influential people who include Celebrities and Thought leaders.

Turning Media on its head

Newspapers and Media houses that used to shape opinion and be gate-keepers of information and  current news now look to the little blue bird for stories and constantly report on tweets. They use tweets as direct quotations when reporting stories. (Insert link to article featuring Herald and Pokello)

Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

For a long time, Twitter’s unofficial mission statement was “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow” which was only discarded by the current Chief Executive Dick Costolo as the company grew and discarded a long list of problems that plagued the little blue bird’s infancy.  In the same way, as a when you join Twitter you are unsure of how to use the platform but after a couple of tweets read and posted you finally get the hang of it. You evolve and let go of the things that plague your effectiveness.

Common Mistakes on Twitter that stem your effectiveness

#1 No Profile Picture

Lack of a profile picture give away the impression that you are a newbie and still finding your footing on Twitter or that you are hiding something. People want value and are unlikely to follow you if you have no profile picture.

 #2 Linking Your Facebook to your Twitter

It shows you do not understand how Twitter works. Twitter strives on conversation and someone cannot have conversation with someone sharing updates on Facebook when they are on Twitter.

#3 Not using hash-tags or using them too much

Born on Twitter and morphed onto other social media sites. Hash-tags are now common place in Social Media. They simply aggregate conversation about a certain topic. Include them in your tweets to help others quickly find your contributions.

#4 Not sharing tweets with links

People love reading tweets with links. On twitter that’s where you get most influential people and thought leaders because most share tweets with links to articles or blog posts that they would have authored or are simply curating. To get your tweets shared or read include links.

#5 Not including images or videos in your Tweets

Twitter now has a feature that previews your images or videos that you share in tweets. Research has shown that tweets with images and videos get higher number of clicks and shares.

#6 Not using Lists

Lists help you stay organised so that you do not miss tweets from people that are important to you. You see, Twitter does not have a filtering algorithm like Facebook to determine the updates you get to see. It gives equal weight to every 140 character update. This means you might miss important posts. As such Lists help you stay organised and never miss posts from people with posts you are interested in.

Wrapping It Up

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you did may you share the article with your friends on your favourite social network so they can enjoy it too. I look forward to reading your stories in the comments section.





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  • http://reasontouse.com Ahmad Imran

    Good Article. I think I am OK with most of the points. Just can you guide us to a good document or article on using “lists” on twitter. I am a bit thin on when it comes to lists building and using. Thanks

  • http://www.zimagic.com Douglas Dhire

    Great Article and Good insights too…

    • admin

      Thank you Douglas. Most appreciated.

  • Nokholo Mhluzani

    Good read. #3 is not so accurate. Twitter no longer requires one to put the hashtag symbol. If you check ‘Trends’ you will notice that some topics or words trend even without the hashtag. Numerous mentions of a word or phrase may lead to a trend without use of the hashtag.

    • Tinashe Nyaruwanga

      Thank you very much for the comment. You are right. In this case though I meant one should use hashtags to amplify their tweet so that it reaches a lot more people. Great observation though.