Composing a Tweet

5 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Tweets

Composing a Tweet

If Twitter is just a hobby to you, then you can write whatever tweets you may like.

However, if you’re on Twitter in order to market your stuff (products, services, blog posts, etc), then the situation changes…

You should comply with some simple copywriting & advertising rules that take into consideration readers’ psychology not your mood or other collateral variables.

Maybe your very loyal fans read your tweets no matter what and how you tweet.

But if you’re a real marketer, you will always want to extend your audience. To increase your chances to extend it, I suggest that you avoid these marketing mistakes…

Upfront Bonus: The Biggest Twitter Marketing Blunder

Not understanding that a tweet is an ad is the biggest Twitter marketing blunder. Most of the other mistakes derive from it.

Each and every tweet has to be considered an ad, and composed accordingly.
Each tweet promotes you, your brand, your content. Even if there’s no link included in some tweets. Your tweets are your image. Take care of it!

Don’t get it wrong. An ad doesn’t necessarily mean “Buy my stuff!” As a matter of fact, the best ads are the ones that don’t look like ads.

For example, the title of your latest blog post and the link to it. It doesn’t look like an ad, does it? However, it’s still an ad. It promotes your latest blog post. The headline gets the readers’ attention and tells them what they can get. Then the link reveals where they can read that piece of info. “What” and then “where”. In this order, never vice-versa (see the mistake #2 below).

At the same time, some apparently inoffensive tweets may affect your marketing.


Obama sucks/rocks

Tweet one of these variants and I guarantee you that you’ll lose prospects. For no reason.

Now let’s see the five marketing mistakes I promised in the title…

Mistake #1 – Posting Meaningless Twitter Updates

Meaningless Facebook Updates Posted on Twitter

A link without text is useless. It’s like an ad that tells your address but doesn’t tell what you sell. Some people may call you and ask you what you sell. But not too many.

“I posted a new photo” and “Check out my latest blog post” (without actually revealing the title of that post) are better than a link without text. But they are lazy Twitter marketing practices that will not get you too many clicks on your links. They are like an ad that tells everyone that you sell “something”, but they don’t actually reveal what you sell.

[Side Comment – Don’t confuse this mistake with the ads that don’t reveal the product that is advertised but make the reader curious. The readers don’t get curious when you don’t tell almost anything unless they are your most loyal fans.]

Mistake # 2 – Posting Upside Down Tweets

Upside Down Tweet

First the link and then the text. English speaking people and many others read from left to right. You know that, don’t you? ;-)

First you need to grab the reader’s attention. That’s the role of the text and that’s why it should be placed before the link. After the attention grabbing text, in case the reader wants to find out more… there must be the link.

Mistake #3 – Link in the Middle of the Headline

Twitter Marketing Mistake Example: Link in the Middle of the Headline

If your only goal is to show everyone how smart you are, then you can post anagrammatic headlines. Or change the order of the words. Or other similar things. Otherwise… get serious…

Don’t try to sell me a “cute kitten with blue Seattle, WA, eyes, USA” ;-)

[Side Comment – Don’t confuse this mistake with the tweets composed like this: meaningful headline – link – hashtags or another meaningful additional text like a PS]

Mistake #4 – Boring Stuff Before the Attention Grabbing Content

Twitter Marketing Mistake Example: Boring Stuff Before Interesting Content

If you tweet via JustRetweet, there’s nothing you can do but ask the owner to modify the software.

Besides that exception or other similar systems, think twice before starting a tweet with RT @username or similar things.

You don’t have the whole time in the universe to get the reader’s attention. You can lose it within seconds. So don’t put boring stuff in front of your tweet. Move it at the end of the tweet.

Note: Giving credit to the author or to the original poster is a good Twitter practice. It helps you build relationships. Don’t get rid of it.

Mistake #5 – Not Using or Misusing the Hashtags

While not every tweet needs a hashtag, there are many cases when using hashtags may increase the effect of a particular tweet.


What if one day Google was deleted… link #Humor

The addition of the hashtag makes a big difference. It reveals the topic of the tweet, and at the same time it will make that tweet being displayed on Twitter search when someone looks for humor.

When used properly, the hashtags will help your marketing. However, the hashtag abuse and the usage of irrelevant or redundant hashtags may make you look like a noob. That’s the last thing a professional wants ;-)

Finally, get used to write the hashtags like this: #GoBigOrGoHome instead of #gobigorgohome. It’s easier to be read and it won’t get you into trouble unexpectedly. For reference see the famous case of #susanalbumparty, a PR disaster.

To Your Twitter Success!
Adrian Jock

P.S. Do you make any of these mistakes when writing your tweets? Is there any of the above mentioned practices that you don’t consider a mistake? Which one and why? Do you want to suggest any other marketing mistakes that should be avoided when writing tweets?

P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter for more interesting internet marketing tips & news.

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30 thoughts on “5 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Tweets

  1. These are good actionable tips. Hashtags is likely the biggest key of all, so I see why you left it for last. Twitter, using hashtags, took our brand new eBay store to top rated seller and power seller in under 3 months. Yeah, they really do work.

  2. Hi Adrian,

    Nice post. #1 really gets to me. You should be careful about cross posting. Especially in situations like that where there is absolutely no value in the tweet.

    I don’t remember seeing #3 for myself but I surely see why it made the list!

    I hope all is well Adrian. Take care…

  3. Hi Steven,

    Thank you for your comment. Indeed syncing Facebook and Twitter is dangerous. If someone doesn’t really know how to do it, that person would better not do it at all ;-)

  4. Hi Adrian,

    I confess that I am guilty of making mistake #4 too often. As you said, some when using tools such as justretweet you can’t do anything about it.

    Although other applications such as Tweetdeck etc. are also putting the RT info in front of the post, it is possible to edit it and put it at the end.

    Thanks for pointing that out!


  5. Hi Torsten,

    Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you agree with me on that #4. I wonder why so many Twitter marketing apps and tools put RT in front of the tweet. To me it really doesn’t make sense.

  6. Hi Adrian

    Thanks for listing those. I know I need to improve my use of hashtags, so I was grateful for the pointers.

    Also reading Bill’s comment about the results he had from using hashtags, gives me real incentive to work on that aspect.


  7. Hi Joy,

    Thank you for stopping by. If you improve your hashtags usage, you’ll get more from Twitter.

    For example, you recently tweeted “Do you want to watch the news or create it? link”

    When someone searches for money making on Twitter, your tweet won’t be displayed. You’re the only one who knows that your tweet is about money making. No one knows what’s the topic of that tweet but you.

    If you change it to “Do you want to watch the news or create it? link #MoneyMaking” or something similar, your tweet provides more info ;-)

  8. Hi Adrian,

    Another refreshing post. I agree with all of your points. As always, you point to the things that most people miss (and I have corrected myself many times after you pointed out a couple of times).

    Speaking of “Just Retweet” type tweets, I wonder if people really think it’s a boring stuff (including myself). Sometimes, I click on the link (or read the tweet) just because I noticed it was from you or from one of those I admire.

    What do you think of that? Is it really boring? I mean people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. :-)

    Have a great new week!


  9. Hi Kumar,

    Thank you for your comment. That’s a good question. Indeed (many) people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

    Here’s my view…

    1) That part of the article is about all the retweets, not only about the retweets of the leaders’ tweets. So the case you’re referring to may or may not be an exception. Let’s see…

    2) John may consider me a leader, but I might be an unknown person to Mary and many other people. If John uses “RT @IMTipsNews headline link” and Mary reads it, “RT @myusername” is boring stuff to Mary.

    No. 2 was about “local” leaders. What about “national” leaders?

    3) If someone thinks that I’m a leader, most probably that person follows me and reads my tweets. More than this, that person is subscribed to my blog and to my mailing list. Usually that person doesn’t need to see a RT of my stuff. If they see it, the whole retweet is boring stuff anyway because they already knew it.

    Finally… What about “international” leaders?

    4) I noticed that your blog posts start with the headline and THEN there’s the author’s name. Not vice-versa ;-)

    If Seth Godin lets you post one of his articles on your blog, will you change the whole layout of your blog? Will you change it to author’s name and then under it the title of his article?

    5) I noticed that from time to time you tweet quotes. You always tweet in this order: quote, then the name of the famous author of that quote. Why don’t you compose the tweet the other way around? ;-)


    P.S. “I” and “me” were used for the sake of simplicity, not because I think that I’m kinda world-wide leader or something ;-)

    P.P.S. When in doubt whether to apply or not my “rule”, you can always use the original style retweet. Or why not composing the tweet like a recommendation?

  10. Hello Adrian,

    It has being a while. Please how are you doing?

    Now coming to the post proper, the question I kept asking myself is this, have I being making such mistakes as well and obviously the answer is;yes.

    I have learnt my lessons as usual and will obviously apply them when needed.
    Thanks for this.

  11. Hi Adrian,
    This is my first visit on your blog and really I’m impressed! :)
    What a wonderful post you have posted and yep while blogging and tweeting we made a lot of mistakes. We need to reform all these mistakes. All the tips that you have mentioned here seem very helpful and useful for us. We all need to implement all these tips while tweeting and blogging.
    Very informative article indeed! :)

  12. Great post, very funny SusansAnalBumParty LOL!

    I do make the mistake of place RT @ in front of my retweets. I’ll start changing that.

    I need to cut down on promo and add a little more value as well.

    God bless,

  13. Hi Curt,

    Thank you for stopping by. Keeping the balance between promos and the other stuff is a good thing. It will help YOU in the long term ;-)

  14. In most cases posts on my blogs got syndicated immediately, I try to leverage the strategy with photographs and additional tweets. As well as sharing from LinkedIn and Pinterest. Though I am have to admit that Twitter have never bring much to my business – nor traffic or sales.

  15. Hi Kaloyan,

    Thank you for your comment. If you want to get more from Twitter you should

    1) get more followers (you have 1.2K only)

    2) read once again this article and correct the mistakes you’re making…

    – posting meaningless or lame updates; example: “I earned 68958 points (#256162) and 124 results (#29088) by donating over 26 days (#376174) of cpu time to WCG” – no one cares ;-)

    – sometimes you’re not using hashtags, other times you’re misusing them ;-)

    – etc

    3) I checked all your tweets sent in July. You never engaged with anyone. Twitter is a social network, remember? ;-)

    I hope these tips will help you.

  16. Adrian
    Thanks for these great tips about posting on Twitter! Thinking of every post as a ad is very helpful.

    I have wondered about hash tags and how people overuse them. I see Twitter posts (and others) with so many hash tags that the message is lost in there somewhere.
    I love your suggestion for how to write the hash tags. Makes the tag more readable and understandable.

    thanks again!

  17. Adrian,

    Thanks for the tips! I never thought about making sure the good stuff stays at the beginning but that makes total sense. Tweeting now!

  18. Hi Adrian, I find the part about ReTweets interesting, I sometimes use Tweetcaster so I can add something personal in front of the RT but the regular Twitter app does NOT allow it. Frustrating!
    And on desktop you must copy and paste to do it more personal. Any other suggestions on using the RT feature easier and personable?

  19. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve started to write a reply but after a while I realized that it’s way too long and I asked myself, “Why not writing an article on the retweets topic?”

    So I deleted my reply. I’ll let you know when the new article is posted. Sorry for delaying my “real” reply :-)

  20. Hi Adrian,

    Though I’ve an account for awhile, just now learning about using Twitter.

    I’ve seen & been annoyed by the tweet writing mistakes you mention in this post.

    Because I didn’t know the protocol, I’ve never used a hashtag. Thanks to this post, I just may…

  21. Hi Adrian,

    Hi! Its been a while. Social media sync can be a big problem, the first time i did it caused me the problem of double posts since i used way too many linking programs!

    At the end of the day, talking your time and doing it manually is the best way.

    Also, using hashtags is not really necessary since your tweet will show up in search anyway! I suppose hashtags just looks pretty if used right?


  22. Hi Piyush,

    1) If you don’t agree that #5 is a mistake, then you should tell why do you think that ;-)

    2) A tweet doesn’t appear in any search anyway. See once again the example from the article. If someone searches for “humor” and that hashtag isn’t part of the tweet, then that tweet will not be displayed as a result for that search.

    How do you think that Twitter is supposed to know that the wording “What if one day Google was deleted” is related to humor? The software cannot know unless I add that hashtag.

    3) To see a proper usage of the hashtags and to see the huge difference produced by an appropriate hashtag, read the article mentioned below in my sig line.

  23. Hi Adrian,

    Sorry if it came out wrong, I didn’t mean that #5 is wrong, It’s just that i have seen certain tweets come up in search for certain keywords where hashtags were not used.

    You are 100% correct that it makes a tweet much more crisp, visually appealing, and result oriented when a hashtag is placed appropriately.

    Just adding too many tags is like needles being poked in the eyes!


  24. Piyush,

    1) I recommended that you read that article in order to understand the difference between a tweet without hashtags and exactly the same text plus a hashtag.

    According to the stats of the blog, you haven’t read it. It’s not about making a tweet crisp or appealing.

    2) You’re quite confused about these hashtags. Indeed the tweets appear in search even if no hashtag is used. You missed the whole point.

    Here’s an example:

    Tweet #1: 5 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Tweets link

    Tweet #2: 5 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Tweets link #Twitter

    If you search for the keyword marketing, both tweets will be displayed.

    If you search for the keyword Twitter, the first tweet will NOT be displayed even if it’s obvious (to a human being, but not to a piece of software) that the tweet is about Twitter.

    By adding that hashtag, the tweet #2 has a bigger potential reach in search.

  25. From this day forward I will try and use hashtags. I didn’t know what they were actually for or where they were to be placed. I appreciate the fact that you keep your statements very easy to understand. Thank You

  26. Hi Adrian,

    I finally unsynced Facebook and Twitter. I actually forgot how to do it, hence the delay :) Too bad JustRetweet isn’t managed anymore, they could have improved it to knockout all the issues. Also, they could have added a hashtag search within their own platform so people could find tweets relevant to their field.

    Oh well, it’s kinda sad :)


    1. Hi Piyush,

      I don’t know whether a hashtag search will help on JRT. Some tweets don’t include hashtags, other tweets include irrelevant hashtags, etc. I think that a simple search would be more useful ;-)

  27. There was a time when I was probably guilty of at least 3 out of 5 with nearly all tweets. However, with some research and helpful tips (like these) I have gotten way better at using Twitter.

    I help people now by retweeting instead of just hoping they do it for me and I try to be as clear in my tweets as possible.

    Great Post Adrian!

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