7 Twitter rules you must ignore

This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.

Though there’s no doubt that Twitter is a proven success story, I strongly believe the best is yet to come.

In the last couple of years, businesses have understood the value of social media and Twitter in particular as an innovative means for advertising, marketing and customer service. Twitter has grown exponentially and unfortunately, so have the myths associated with the world’s most popular micro-blogging service. In this post, I aim to set the record straight on 7 most important Twitter rules that you should ignore. Call them myths, artificial Don’ts or whatever – these need to be busted or else your business will never be able to get the best out of Tweetosphere.

Myth #1 – 140 Characters Aren’t Enough

Not many people believed that you can do a lot with 140 characters. Therefore, it’s understandable that it took Twitter three years, two months and one day for Twitter to rack up its first billion tweets. To put things in perspective, Twitter now witnesses nearly a billion tweets each week.

It’s a learning curve to use the 140 character limit judiciously to get your message across. Once an individual/ business are comfortable with the limits, there’s virtually nothing that’s not achievable within 140 characters.

Myth #2 – Not for businesses

This is perhaps the most widespread myth about Twitter. I’ve come across several business owners who believe Twitter is great for personal use but it makes little business sense. There are millions of Twitter success stories in the enterprise as well as the small business world. Heavyweights such as Dell, HP and others serve as a classic example of how Twitter works as a vital business communication tool. Other such as BP serves as a reminder of how NOT to use Twitter in the business world.

Myth #3 – Twitter Lingo is complex

I agree that terms such as tweet, RT, #hashtags and @replies can be overwhelming for newbie users. However, once you are comfortable, it’s a matter of getting used to the routine. Each social network has its own vocabulary and Twitter is no different. For example, Facebook has the concept of likes, pages, fans, and so on.

Myth #4 – I’m better off using Facebook

Facebook is fast approaching the 600 million user mark. I strongly believe one of the major reasons behind Facebook’s stunning growth is the simplicity and intuitiveness it offers. In contrast, Twitter sounds a bit cumbersome. However, choosing one over the other from a business perspective may be a crucial mistake.

Facebook and Twitter aren’t substitutes to each other. Each offer a different value proposition and businesses are best advised to use both appropriately to make their presence felt in the social media world.

Myth #5 – I won’t find customers on Twitter

I’ve come across a number of businesses that have stayed away from Twitter simply because they believe it’s difficult to find and build a customer base. Their argument is that they would be left feeling lonely on Twitter. Twitter is a perfect example of community spirit – you follow interesting people, follow your favorite brands, celebrities, people who like the things that you like.

Myth #6 – The more the followers, the greater the returns

Social media isn’t just about volumes. It is about building a targeted audience for your business. It’s a common misperception that the more the number of followers you have, the better it is for your business. While quality is important, it’s crucial to have followers who are genuinely interested in your business.

Myth #7 – Twitter is all I need

Twitter has been a runaway success in the enterprise as well as small business world. Therefore, a large number of businesses throng to Twitter hoping it would turn around their fortunes. They have no strategy, no planning and consider Twitter as a means to earn some quick bucks. This just isn’t true – Twitter requires a lot of patience, effort and perseverance.

Would you like to add any Twitter myth to the above list? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.