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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.