Friday, July 10, 2015

Top Twitter Fails

For the past several months I have been building a presence on Twitter and learning how to effectively use it as a tool for promoting my various projects, notably those with Skirmisher Publishing LLC, the d-Infinity game franchise, and the America's Haunted Road Trip series of travel guides. One thing that continues to strike me in the course of these efforts is how poorly a great many organizations manage their Twitter presences, even though it is clear that they want to use it as a tool. 

Following are the first of numerous common "fails" by Twitter users -- labeled as such primarily because they impeded growth or simply do not ultimately accomplish anything useful. Note that I am posting these for the benefit or individuals, businesses, and other entities that have a message they want to get out to an audience. If you don't care whether people follow you on Twitter, whether you can reach them about what you are doing, etc., then the following information does not apply to you, because it is kind of irrelevant to the world at large whether you are on Twitter or not. 

* Talking about things that are "coming soon"! It is hard enough to get people to genuinely pay attention to what you are doing and to get out the word about your existing products, projects, etc. Promises about things that do not yet exist, especially if they appear in your bio, look justifiably weak and just make the people who include them look silly — and this is all the truer if the promises are about something like a crowdfunding project! No one will ever say, "Oh, wow, these guys are going to have a Kickstarter 'soon'! That really makes me want to keep coming back and seeing this message again and again." 

* Misspellings in your bio. This is not particularly important in personal accounts but can be the kiss of death in professional or business ones. No one is going to buy anything from you if you can't spell, especially as this will raise the suspicion that you are running a scam and don't really have a real business at all.
* No Bio. Don't forego including a bio! Bots and other spurious users often do not have one and this is the kind of thing that can make people opt not to follow you and make it difficult to tell whether or not they should. A lot of accounts with no bios will also have no tweets, and this is indicative both of bots and of people who have set up accounts and then promptly abandoned them. 

* Failing to promote your own interests. It is amazing how many people indicate some economic motive for being on Twitter but will not actually take the most rudimentary steps to serve their own interests. If someone claims to be a "freelance fantasy artist" but does not follow back a fantasy game publisher, then you can be pretty sure that they are really much more likely to be a Starbucks barista. And a Twitter account that has something as blatant as a Kickstarter project associated with it that does not immediately follow back every legitimate follower is simply poorly run -- and if they can't even run a Twitter account properly, how can they be trusted to manage the project for which they want your money?