Top 4 Twitter Mistakes And How to Fix Them

I was having lunch (a chilli cheese jacket potato if you’re wondering) with a potential client when 3 of the 4 mistakes you’ll find in the list below, came up in conversation. It’s actually what prompted me to write this post.

Almost everyone will have made at least one of these mistakes. I know I did, I made mistake 2, 3 and 4 when I first started using Twitter.

Mistake #1: Auto Direct Messages (Auto DMs)

It goes without saying that when you meet someone, whether in person or online, you only get one first impression so make it count!

Apart from directly insulting the other person, Auto DMs make the worst first impression. Not only is it spammy, it shows a complete lack of care or consideration for the person you are connecting with.

These are just a few of the Auto DMs I’ve received this week.

My name is not {scree_name} and no I do not want to connect on LinkedIn!

There is a new problem arising though. Auto DMs have become so synonymous with SPAM that people are now sending auto tweets.

Don’t be fooled by these, they look just like regular tweets, but they have been generated automatically by a twitter tool, such as the same tool that generates Auto DMs.

If you go to that person’s profile you will often find the same message repeated to everyone that follows them.

That’s not fooling anyone Shirish Kulkarni.

How to fix it

Simple. Just don’t do it, ever!

Mistake #2: Starting a tweet with @username

Twitter doesn’t do a good enough job of explaining this when they first onboard users, as this is by far the most common mistake I see people making.

If you start a tweet with a users handle only the people that follow BOTH you and the person you’re sending the tweet to, will see that tweet.

By making this mistake you are killing the potential reach of the tweet and any chance of engagement.

How to fix it

There are 2 ways:
1) Rearrange the tweet ensuring it doesn’t start with the person’s handle.
You can read that post here
2) Add a period (.) before the person’s handle.
Comic Sprout & Product Hunt are awesome!

Mistake #3: Not repeating tweets

Repeating tweets is often thought of as being spammy, people who think this are wrong!

Twitter streams are updated in real-time, meaning that if your followers are not using Twitter at the exact time you post a tweet, give or take up to 24 minutes (the half-life of a tweet according to Wisemetrics) they’ll miss it and it will be lost in the Twittersphere forever!

How to fix it

Start repeating your tweets, today.
There is no hard and fast rule about how many times you should repeat a tweet or how long you should wait between each repetition, experiment with it and see what works.
For example, Guy Kawasaki repeats each of his tweets 4 times, 8 hours apart, to hit all time zones.
I follow a similar practice, but 70% of my followers are either here in the UK or in the US. I normally repeat a tweet between 4–6 times over a 2–3 day period, hitting UK and US timezones.

Mistake #4: Not using images

With the introduction of inline images back in 2013, images have become the best performing type of content. I analysed data from a number of clients and found that tweets that included images received twice as much engagement, than ones without.

Data from the likes of Dan Zarrella and Buffer, who both analysed larger data sets, came to a similar conclusion.

The brain recognises images faster than text, which explains why you notice a tweet containing an image before one with just text.

Well that escalated quickly.

How to fix it

The rather self-explanatory answer is to include images in your tweets.
Don’t just stop at one image though, you can add up to 4 and create a collage image. I created one about the #Oreoeclipse campaign and it unexpectedly received over 20k impressions, with a 7% engagement rate and was picked up by SocialBro.
You can read the full story of exactly what I did here.
Donna Moritz is a pro at using visuals in her content and has some excellent resources you should definitely check out.


Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we learn. You can significantly improve your Twitter marketing just by avoiding these 4 common mistakes: using Auto DMs, starting a tweet with @username, not repeating tweets and not using images.

Have you been making any of these mistakes?

I’d love to hear you opinion even if it is just to say you like (or don’t like!) the article.

Tweet me at @charlielawrance

These Medium posts are just the tip of the iceberg. If you liked this post, subscribe to Charlie Lawrance’s Newsletter to get instant access to much more free content and special deals on my upcoming Twitter Marketing course.