Twitter is an amazing tool for online magazines and publications. It's a great way to share your latest articles, to find out what is trending, and to do some networking with sources and other online publications. however, there are online magazines who are using Twitter incorrectly, or are tweeting in a way that drives followers crazy instead of engaging them. Here are five annoying things that online publications do on Twitter, and why they drive followers nuts:
- Tweeting 20 Times an Hour - That's once every three minutes! Even if you have that many articles coming out per hours, tweeting more than two or three times an hours clogs up the feeds of your followers. That's annoying, especially if your followers are looking for things to retweet or just want to see what's going on with the people/companies they follow. Pushing so many tweets in a short period of time makes it hard for your tweets to be relevant to your followers, or even get any attention as their competing against each other as well as against competitors.
- Tweeting a Headline w/o Context - This one drives people crazy because just tweeting the headline and the link to your article doesn't make the reader interested or engaged. Why should I care about your headline and article when a lot of online magazines are pushing their content the same way? To make your tweet stand out, start by asking a question, or revealing a startling fact or statistic from the article. It provides a context that the reader could consider or relate to. It gives them a reason to read your article.
- Blatant Advertising - Without naming names, there is one online publication who constantly tweets "check out our website," "like us on Facebook", "share our web page". And that's it. It doesn't tweet articles. It doesn't tweet updates or questions or anything other than advertising. It doesn't give any reason why this Facebook page or web page is worth checking out or sharing. Non of their tweets provide anything useful to readers and followers. That's annoying, and will lose you followers instead of gaining them.
- Using Meaningless Hashtags - Hashtags are a way to categorize your tweets. This makes them findable by those curating content or looking for tweets related to a certain topic, like #solarenergy or #contentmarketing. However, some like to throw in all kinds of hashtags just to make their tweet show up in more places. Yet, some of these hashtags are useless and meaningless, such as #like, #alternative, #loving, and #this. Those hashtags cannot possibly describe any tweet well, and their use is only meant to file the tweet in more places in hopes of getting a few more eyeballs. Irrelevance is low quality, and using meaningless hashtags only ruins any value your tweet could possibly have.
- Tweeting Without Links - I've actually seen an online magazine do this, where their tweets ask people to check out an article or their latest issue, or they tweet about an event coming up, and provide no link to it! Granted, not every tweet should contain a link, but if you're going to tweet about an article or an event, then a link adds value to the tweet by giving followers a chance to read that article or to learn more about that event. No one is going to take the time to search the web for that article or event after seeing your tweet without a link. Make it easy for followers to engage. Do yourself a favor by giving people the links so they can actually visit your site or attend your event.
Twitter can be indispensable, but it won't do anything good for your online magazine if you do any of the five annoying things. These five annoying things irritate your followers, and will only drive them away or stop people from following you in the first place. However, stop these bad habits, and put good habits in their place, and you'll see a real difference in the results.