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13 Statistically-Proven Ways to Look Like a Moron on Twitter


Worst Twitter Mistakes Ever

content marketing statsTwitter has been compared to a cocktail party. I'd argue that making the right impression at a cocktail party of a few dozen people is much easier than standing out on a social media network with over 500 million registered users. And sometimes, you might say the wrong thing entirely. In a piece of content that recently went so viral it was acknowledged by the New York Times, blogger Gary Copeland cautions against the following basics:

  1. Don't Get Too Personal. That probably includes politics, religion and hangovers.

  2. Don't Take a Week-Long Vacation from Being Social.

  3. Don't Gush Over Mentions and ReTweets. Be genuine, but not syrupy. 

  4. Don't Overdose on Hashtags. It's just irritating.

  5. Don't Ignore Difficult Customers. Your prospects are watching!

  6. Don't Try and Sell Anything. 

Have you mastered these techniques? Awesome. We're about to apply inbound marketing analytics to uncover some mistakes that could be hurting you worse than you think:

7. Don't Read Links Before You Tweet

If someone has 100,000 followers on Twitter and says they're a social media guru, their content must be ReTweetable, right? Wrong. There are so many reasons it's not worth risking your reputation to tweet without reading. Imagine if some of your most important clients discovered you'd shared an article that was about something incredibly offensive--and then you had to explain you didn't mean to, because you never read it in the first place? Ouch.

Recently, HubSpot's Social Media Scientist in-residence Dan Zarrella did a whole bunch of math on 2.7 million blog titles. Turns out, 16.12% of them had more social media shares than clicks. That means there's more than a 1 in 10 chance you've Tweeted without reading in the past. For your own good, we implore you to stop. 

8. Don't Use Any Punctuation

To look really intelligent and establish a reputation as a thought leader "U SHOULD ALWAYS WRITE LIKE THIS." Just kidding.

Around 85.86% of published tweets contain some punctuation. 97.55% of ReTweets are punctuated. If you want to get shared and extend your social media reach, don't forget the grammar. 

9. Fill Up ALL 140 Characters

When it comes to social sharing, it turns out that using every possible character of a Tweet isn't always a good thing. Tweets that contain 120-140 characters are statistically less likely to be shared.

Why? It all goes back to the fact that many people are lazy, and they don't want to edit your content before sharing it themselves. If they do edit and ReTweet, they could end up changing the integrity or intelligence of your words. Being too verbose on the world's pithiest social media network just doesn't pay off.

10. Ignore Bit.ly

If you really want to look trustworthy on Twitter, don't use link shorteners that people have never heard of. Back in the early days of Twitter, Bit.ly was the network's chosen link shortener. Turns out that most of us have never learned to click on anything else:

twitter statistics
















That's right, using Bit.ly increases your chances of earning ReTweets by over 9%. Who wouldn't bet on those odds? 

11. Not Shortening Links in the First Place

Failing to shorten links is a common mistake that's sure to result in almost no click-through traffic or ReTweets at all. 

12. Be Shy

Sometimes, just asking for what you want is incredibly effective. Twitter content that asks directly for a Retweet, usually denoted as "Please RT" or "Pls RT," is four times more likely to be ReTweeted. What's even more interesting is that actually spelling out "Please ReTweet" is by far the most effective. Will it look desperate if you do it every time? Probably. But once it a while it's almost certain to help. 

13. Don't Link Your Website to Twitter

Your prospects want to stop and talk a while before they make the purchase. So why are you among the 80.5% of small business owners who fail to link to their social media profiles on their website? If your prospects are interested enough to actually Google your company's Twitter handle and make it to your profile without getting distracted, they're not going to be impressed by your 13 followers. 


image credit: graur razvan ionut/freedigitalphotos.net



Twitter rocks for lead generation and sales. I just read an article on LinkedIn about this and the high ROI at Twitter if you work it correctly. I completely agree. The majority of my fan base is at Twitter. Like many I have found content marketing works best for me there. Thanks for posting these Twitter tips. You're absolutely right!
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:13 AM by Laura Stamps
Twitter is also a social media powerhouse for our company and employees. Our new senior copywriter Jen Barry is an author, and she's had great success marketing her books through Twitter. I think it's really about where your personas are hanging out - some of our clients see much better success distributing their content marketing on LinkedIn. Thanks for sharing!
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:17 AM by Jasmine Henry
I definitely agree with some - but the URL shortener data is 3, almost 4 years old. Doesn't include fb.me, ht.ly or a lot of other common ones now. I would guess is.gd, su.pr, and all the Hootsuite shorteners get more clicks now, along with Youtube.
Posted @ Monday, December 10, 2012 4:25 PM by Matt A.
That's a great point Matt, and I'm glad you brought it up. You're most likely right. As a general rule, I try to avoid any data older than 2 years old in the realm of social media - which even might be a big generous for how fast things change. Who'd heard of Pinterest 2 years ago? Thanks again!
Posted @ Monday, December 10, 2012 4:26 PM by Jasmine Henry
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