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5 Biggest Mistakes Made on Twitter

Would you like to learn how to avoid making big mistakes on Twitter?

Consistently making mistakes on Twitter can have a negative impact on your brand and prevent your audience from ever becoming customers.

This post will show you what's hot, and what's not when it comes to Twitter etiquette. Make sure you comment at the end of the post letting me know your thoughts/ additional 'Twitter mistakes'.

Mistake 1: You use an Auto DM

If you are reading this and you currently have an Auto DM active, please, please turn it off. For those that don’t know what an Auto DM is it is an automatic message that gets sent to your followers once they have followed you (in other words a SPAMessage).

I admit it, I regrettably did use Auto DM’s at one point and that’s why I understand why you may think they are useful, but they will do more damage than good. People buy from people, not an automated message that you've invested no time or effort in creating yourself.

Bin the Auto DMs!

Mistake 2: Not providing enough value

There are lots of people and businesses out there that see Twitter as a sales channel rather than a communication/ relationship building channel. This is their downfall. To build long term relationships with other Twitter users, you need to consistently provide value.

If you aren't providing any value to your followers, why would they follow you? More importantly, why would they ever become a customer? Think about it, what value are you providing your audience? Are you sharing helpful tips and advice? Are you providing entertainment? Are you engaging in meaningful conversations?

Think about the kinds of content and engagement your audience would value, and execute against it!

Check out this Social Media Content Strategy Guide for ideas.

Mistake 3: Your ‘Daily’ is out

There are a variety of Twitter tools out there which automatically curate specified Twitter content into your own ‘Daily [enter generic industry] Paper’. The automated tool tags featured Twitter users letting them know that the ‘Daily [enter generic industry] Paper is out!’ (very annoying).

I'm guessing the idea is to provide value buy collating various bits of useful content shared on Twitter into a handy personalised ‘paper’.

The trouble is, this is another automated service which demonstrates you can’t be bothered to curate your own value-adding content and share it with your audience. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of great Twitter tools out there which work very well (like this one and this one and this one).

However, pretending you have spent the time curating your own SPAMMY ‘paper’ is ludicrous.

Delete your SPAMMY automated 'Daily Paper'!

Mistake 4: You are a robot

As I mentioned previously, yes there are plenty of great Twitter tools out there to help you automate certain tasks ( I use various clever tools myself). However, many Twitter users are falling into the trap of becoming a robot and not being present (as a human) on Twitter.

How often do you write manual Tweets thanking other users who have shared you content? Do you ever reach out to influencers and manually engage with their content? Do you manually reply and provide value on a daily basis?

Humans like speaking to real humans. Be a human!

Mistake 5: You aren't creative enough with your content

A while back I fell into the ‘comfortable’ stage on Twitter. I was posting regular articles and images, getting reasonable engagement and I was fairly happy with what I was doing.

This is a dangerous place to be in as you are giving your competitors a free ticket to out-innovate you. Think about it, when was the last time you thought of new, innovative ways to share content on Twitter? Have you set up any Twitter Cards? Have you created any videos? GIFs? Infographics?

I soon jumped out of my comfort zone and started testing out new and innovative types of content (as mentioned above) and saw a huge jump in content engagement and reach.

Try it for yourself!


To wrap it up, stop making these common mistakes and start listening to advice from credible people who actually do this stuff effectively, and not just talk about doing it effectively.

What common mistakes have you seen on Twitter? What are your thoughts on the comments I have made? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Daniel Knowlton
Daniel Knowlton

Dan is the award winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter in the world in 2016 by Onalytica. Dan is a contributor for a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. He is also a keen speaker and has spoken at events internationally for a variety of organisations including NatWest and The Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors. Dan has a passion for helping others learn how to get to grips with Digital Marketing and is obsessed with providing value for his community.

  • KatyaLunchepreneurs

    Hey Dan! I agree with most of your points apart from the first one.

    From your post it’s not very clear why you think Auto DMs are bad. I have Crowdfire PRO and I can make them AS LONG as I want and delete the -via @crowdfire signature. If you are a naturally good copywriter, you can use it to start engaging conversation. Just like everything else, AUTO DMs can be used to SPAM but can also be used to build relationship.

    I get about 50% replies for my DMs which is incredibly high and people DO sign up to my email list because I have made my DM about them and not about my freebie.

    So just because it’s an AUTO DM doesn’t mean it cannot be used effectively.

    It’s just like all the amateurs saying that Facebook ads are a waste of money. Just because they tried it and it didn’t work, it doesn’t mean they are a waste. Just because a lot of people do SPAM with Auto DMs it doesn’t mean that the Auto DMs are spammy. It’s the MESSAGE inside.

    Katya x

    • Hey Katya, thanks for the comment, genuinely value your thoughts and feedback!

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear as to why I think DMs are bad, I wanted to try and keep the blog short, but this is a perfect opportunity to elaborate on it.

      I definitely agree using PRO software to take away the ‘via @crowdfire’ text at the end of the DM helps create a less spammy Auto DM (I use similar PRO software and used to use the exact same strategy).

      I also can’t deny that yes Auto DMs can produce ROI as you have proven (email list sign ups, engagement, likes, follows etc.).

      But in my opinion, despite the ROI they can achieve, I think that they have a more negative, than positive impact in the long run, let me explain why;

      – So many people are using Auto DMs badly (the opposite way to how you are using them) that I believe lots of people (including myself) get annoyed because it’s difficult to keep up with genuine DMs which have been sent manually.

      – Even when using an Auto DM which is world class, you are still misleading people into believing you are sending a personal message manually, when actually it is automated. People don’t like being misled, and if they find out it is an auto DM (which many more people are becoming aware of now) then they could feel as if you were being a bit ‘sneaky’, pretending to be a real person when in fact the message was automated (unless you state that it is an auto DM which kind of defeats the object of the auto DM).

      Facebook Ads are awesome, I can’t believe people have said that they don’t work??

      Just to conclude (sorry about the essay!), in my opinion, people who have used Auto DMs badly have ruined it for people who used to use them effectively. Even with a world class automated message, it is still not valued as much as a manual personalised message. People value when others invest real time in reaching out to them. Yes Auto DMs are good for short term gain and engagement if used well, but I think they are a bad idea when looking at building long-term real relationships.

      I do value your opinion though, maybe I’m wrong, but this is just how I feel 🙂



  • David Gabriel

    Great post! I’ve made all of these mistakes in my Twitter experience, but fortunately not for too long.

    It baffles me, that these things bring 0 results, however 80% of people still use them.

    Since I’ve embraced connecting with people and adding value in creative ways, I’ve been able to have more meaningful conversations and get individuals to share my content.

    Thank you Dan for writing this. It is such good advice!

    • Hi David, thanks for the kind comments. 🙂

      I’m exactly the same, I’ve made most of these mistakes but have learnt through experience how to do it the right way. I thought this was a great opportunity to share what I have learnt. 🙂

      Great to hear you are adding value in creative ways, I’d love to hear how you are doing this (I’m always looking to learn new tips from others)?

      Thanks again David,


  • Emma O’Halloran

    Great post, thank you for the reminders. My pet hate is the daily news!!! I never read them. I agree on the discussion here and in the comments about AutoDMs – a big negative for me. However, I would like to find a way to respond to everyone and I don’t have the resources to do this…I know engagement would go up but so would my unpaid work hours!! It’s a trade off………Happy Easter all.

    • Hi Emma, no problem, thank YOU for commenting. 🙂

      Yes the ‘daily news’ is one of my biggest pet hates and Auto DM’s also clog up my inbox. I tend to skim through my Twitter inbox on my mobile, you can usually tell which ones are automated by the first few words without clicking into the message.

      Have an amazing Easter! 🙂


  • Spot on post. ‘Daily Papers’ are one of my pet dislikes and Auto DMs are a waste of everybody’s time (in most cases). This article is exactly the type of polite education that makes all our interactions on Twitter more valuable. Also made me remember that Twitter Cards has been on my to do list for too long now. Thanks for sharing your advice 🙂