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10 Do’s and Don’ts To Using Twitter For Marketing

Posted by in Affiliate Marketing, Featured, Twitter

Is Your Twitter Marketing Plan Really Working?

It’s been a long time since I wrote something about Twitter and marketing.

But sadly, even with ALLLL the great information out there…

I still see people doing things wrong.
I still have people complaining about how they get no results with Twitter.
I still have people asking me what my “Tricks” are.
I still see good bloggers that write good content that still get no Tweets on their posts.

twitter for marketing

The good news?

You may be doing everything right and just ONE thing wrong that might be keeping you from success.

The bad news?

You are probably doing EVERYTHING wrong.

To help you figure out which one you fall into, I thought I’d share a few things I see that are good and a few things I see that I think are bad.

If you see yourself doing many of the good, then keep going, the success will come.


If you see yourself doing more of the bad? Stop now, re-evaluate and start over.

Here Are My 10 Do’s and Don’ts To Using Twitter for Marketing.


Don’t Forget To Show Your Appreciation

Each day the people that follow you have 100’s if not 1000’s of things and people they can choose to retweet to their followers, so when they choose to share you, make sure you let them know you SEE them.

Show your appreciation, acknowledge what they did to help you and at the very least say Thank You, or kick them back a tweet once in awhile.

I’m not saying retweet every person that retweets you on a tit-for-tat pay plan, but when you see someone tweeting you on a regular basis, then give them one back.

On Twitter you live and die by the people that surround you, share you, mention you, so you need to respect them, and help lift them up if you want to continue to benefit from all their support.

Don’t Follow Without A Plan

When you start to follow people actively, what you don’t want to do is ONLY follow big number influencers.

Yep I said it, influencers are great, but they take a lot of work to get in front of most of the time.

A better plan is to follow “some” influencers and follow regular targeted people that are working Twitter correctly and that you can connect with much easier.

Also following people just because they have big followers numbers is a mistake and so is randomly following people just to build your numbers.

The point of gaining new followers is to be able to connect, engage, and start to build a relationship with them with the end goal that they will share your stuff.

So why would you put all that work into a follower that is not interested in ANYTHING you do and has followers who are NOT interested in anything you do?

It’s a waste of time.

Don’t Chase Big Follower Numbers

Just to be clear here, when I tell you to actively follow people it is NOT for you to build a large following, it is for you to get in front of target people each day.

Putting in the time and effort it takes to follow people JUST to get a lot of followers is a waste of time and is silly.

Yes you want to have a lot of followers, but you want those followers to matter, to be targeted, your numbers growing should be a nice bonus not the goal of actively following people.

Don’t Count The I Love You’s

You know when your dating someone and you finally get to the “I love you” stage?

You start to secretly count who said I love you more.

“I’m at 20 this week sweety, your only at 10” :)

You start to think, ok no more I love you’s for her until she catches up haha

This is what you DON’T want to do on Twitter.

There will be days where you GIVE more then you RECEIVE.

There will be days when you RECEIVE more then you GIVE.

Either way it doesn’t matter, you can’t keep track, it will drive you nuts. Just give because you want to give and help and you will get, you may get less or you may get more it will always work itself out.

Talking to my man MJ other day and he asked me “why I share peoples content on FB even though those people don’t know I shared them.”

“I said it’s cool with me because I need good content to fill my stream, so either way I have to share something so whether they see it or not, it helps me.”

Sidebar: if I tweet you on Twitter there is a 99.999% chance I also sent your link to Facebook and LinkedIn :)

Bottom line is give when you want to, don’t expect anything in return and don’t feel obligated to share just to share someone.

Don’t Believe The Best Times To Tweet Hype

This one erks me like you wouldn’t believe.

Do you want to know the best time to tweet, I mean really the best time for YOU to be tweeting?


Does the best times to tweet information have some merit? yes, some.

But the problem is, when you tell people this they get so focused on it and they get lost.

To be honest for me and the followers I have, posting at the so called best times hardly works for me lol

I tweet when I’m told to and most of the time the tweets get ignored or much less attention than other times of the day.

So don’t get so caught up in the best times to tweet blah blah and lose out on sharing at other times of the day that may be bringing you much more attention and retweets.

Test Test Test

Do Use The Twitter Header and Pin A Tweet

The new Twitter header spot is a great place to do many things like, branding, promotion, community outreach or even go with something personal.

To go into more detail on that you can read my post on How To Use the New Twitter Header.

The other great new feature I have been using is Twitter’s Pin a Tweet.

I have been using this to promote my Free Twitter guide for the past few weeks and so far it is working really well. It works even better when you are actively following new people :)

For me, I am offering a Twitter guide on Twitter so it’s a no brainer, but you can use the pinned tweet to promote anything, just have a good call to action and I nice image to go with it.

The other thing I have tried is to pin a new post for a couple days, I tested this on @BrainyMarketer and it seemed to work pretty well. I left it there for 2 days then removed it.

DO Include Photos

By now you should know the power of adding images to your tweets. From my own experience, adding an image to a tweet even out performs using Twitter cards.

Try using different images each time you tweet the same message to help you get more attention on a repeat tweet.

Try a funny image, try a text related image, try a dramatic image, I even tried a quote image a few times and it worked really well.

You try different images for the same reason you change the title of a repeated tweet, to grab more attention.

Some people like funny, some people want text, and some people will want a dramatic powerful image, so by changing things up you give yourself the best chance to get more attention and shares.

DO Follow Targeted People

I have always been and still am a big promoter of people actively looking and following people that fit what they are doing online.

Following new targeted people is a quick way to get out a Twitter slump and start to see new interactions, conversation, retweets and traffic to your blog.

Stay on a 80 – 20 rule, 80% highly targeted people and 20% softly targeted people.

Example: highly targeted follower for me would be other bloggers. A soft targeted follower would be a real estate broker.

The real estate broker should or may have a blog so there is some interest in my blogging and social media advice.

DO Use Hashtags

I have a love hate relationships with hashtags. On one hand I knew they are useful and on another hand most people use them obnoxiously and incorrectly where they become annoying and not helpful.

I like to use no more then one or two hashtags in a tweet and I make sure to separate the hashtags AWAY from my url.

This way your hashtag links are not competing with your ACTUAL link.

example of bad hashtag use:  #This is a #really #bad #example of a #tweet #with #hastag www.myurl

See how the url becomes VERY hard to find? Not smart.

example of better hashtag use:  This is a really bad example of a tweet with hashtag – www.myurl …. #hashtag #hashttag

Now the tweet is easier to read and the url is easier to find.

Do Change Things

Sharing content that is unrelated to why you’re on Twitter or content that is personal to you is a great way to mix things up and show your a regular person and NOT here JUST for business or promotion.

Into sky diving? Share things about that.

Into photography? Share things about that.

Have a sense of humor? Show it of because social media loves funny.

Sharing a few things daily that are unrelated BUT personal is a great way to get people’s attention and get better conversations started.


Hopefully these 10 Do’s and Don’ts help you get a better handle on using Twitter for marketing and help you grow your blog or business.



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  • Marketing Bees

    I expected to see 10 Do’s and 10 don’ts and was surprised how short the post was :) But I enjoyed reading it anyway, nice work!

  • http://www.adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey John Paul,

    I can always use more advice about Twitter. At times I feel like I’m doing everything right and then there are other times that I feel like I’m still missing the boat.

    I have not done the Twitter header pinning at all. It took me forever to finally get a header made that wasn’t totally horrible.

    I’m also horrible with hashtags, there are a few things I’m still behind on I admit.

    I love sharing, I really appreciate it when people share my content and I love to chat with others so I know I have that going for me. But, I can still improve some.

    Thanks for these tips and I’m going to read your post on the Twitter header. Wish me luck.


  • http://www.blogengage.com/ Brian Belfitt

    It’s a really smashing post John. I know for several years now you have been mastering twitter and trying to understand it to best help you cause. I think from my standpoint, the largest advantage of twitter is seriously connecting with people, sending a tweet and engaging the users. I love how you can easily connect with new people and promote yourself naturally at the same time. One of the biggest mistakes I see users make is when they private message me trying to connect yet they don’t follow me and when that happens I can’t even message them back. What a waste of energy lol.

  • http://smallbusinesstalent.com/ Stephen Lahey

    As usual, you’ve summed up the essentials so well. I might add that your practice of thanking people for RTs is a great way to build rapport with / stay top of mind with Twitter followers. I’ve tried it and it’s well worth the effort.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Stephen there are many benefits to thanking people, the gratitude of it is just one :)

    Glad you see the value in doing it too.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Well then the post would of been called 20 do’s and don’ts right? haha

    Glad you were able to get thru the “short” post and see value.

    N4ext time you comment, please use ONLY your name.. like to keep things clean.. TY :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    I’m not a HUGE user of hashtags, one or two or none most of the time so your not alone Adrienne :)

    I will say the pinned tweet has worked really well for the free ebook and for getting a new post on Brainy seen more… so I would say try the pin tweet and test what offer and image works best.

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    I think of myself as one of those good bloggers that doesn’t get enough RTs. Though to be fair I 1) don’t post nearly as often as I should, and need to revamp the blog and 2) don’t tweet my own stuff as often as I ‘could.. should?’ Like anything else, you have to give way more before you get back. I play w/ the pins, I have mixed in more images, I have my way of doing things.

    I think for many a small business the problem trying to use SM to promote themselves is that.. they are using SM to promote themselves. Skipping past if they have a biz worthy of such self hype, that’s not the point of SM. Too many brands, and esp. a time-strapped budget-deprived small business, want to use SM as a ‘free channel’ to sell sell, automated ‘set and forget’ broadcast and that’s not gonna help whether they post or tweet at the best time (ha, ITA w/ you that) or not. Listen, talk, chat, be helpful, be supportive, if you’ve got something worth sharing then post it. Worry more about fixing your business, your brand then be social about that. FWIW.

  • http://bit.ly/mmgetsocial Meg Rulli

    great read thanks for sharing John – I like your advice on “Don’t Believe The Best Times To Tweet Hype” – people get too wrapped up in this. As long as you have a consistent presence on social media, you are in a good place. We also use auto-scheduling via hootsuite to take the guessing game out of the equation on when to post.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    That the problem Meg, people get lost in that and lose focus on the other times of the day. Here is the reality, even “influencers” have times when they tweet and it doesn’t get attention.

    No one hits a home run on EVERY tweet they send… so why stress the best times, just share when you are available to be there.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    TY for the great comment Davina.

    As far as your 1 and 2.

    I’d say yes post on your blog at least 2 times a week giving you more content to be able to share on Twitter more.

    Also, tweeting your own stuff is important since well, we are all here to promote something. Try to keep it to no more then a 70 – 30 split, you stuff being the 30 and other peoples stuff being the 70.

    80 – 20 would be even better for a beginner.

    Also make sure to tweet thru the day.. the amount isn’t so important as the “presence” is.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Thanks Brian, glad you liked it. I agree, connecting with people is Twitter best use… and I also agree on the DMs lol

    They say they love your stuff, yet you never seen this person lol

  • http://www.timemanagementchef.com/ Tor Magne Refsland

    Hi John Paul,

    great post :)

    I really like the part about Don’t Forget To Show Your Appreciation.

    Karma is usually an important piece in content marketing as well as in life.


  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

    Hey John Paul,

    Great post here.

    What you said about the “best time to tweet” really resonated with me because so many people have so many thoughts on the best time, that it makes my head spin. You’re absolutely right, the best thing to do is test it out yourself.

    Certain times of the day may work for some and not for others. You won’t know if it truly works for you unless you test it out and see for yourself.

    “Try using different images each time you tweet the same message to help you get more attention on a repeat tweet.” That’s really interesting. I use Twitter cards and never thought to do anything other than that. I may really try that to test it out and see how it works.

    Thanks for this great post.

    – Andrew

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Tor, it is all about showing Appreciation,, the first step to building relationships :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Andrew, thanks for stopping by man, and glad you like the post.

    Like anything you learn, you need to test it for yourself. The images thing will work 1000% because the twitter cards are great, but it shows the same pic each time, so adding your own image will get new eyes on your tweet.

    Let me know how it works for you.

  • http://www.beamoneyblogger.com/ Muba Mi

    Hi John Paul

    Dos are very easy to do and dons are equally must to not do and become a better Twitter user.

    I think two types of people are dominant on Twitter. One is those who tweet to make their voice heard. Other type is of those who achieve their objectives or support achieving them with it. They are more important and we being internet marketers need to focus them more.

    Thanks for sharing a very useful post on Twitter optimization which I also have shared with my friends.

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    John, I love your point about tweeting at all different times, people get so hung up on which times are the best. The world is so small now and schedules are all over that anytime you have time to tweet (or buffer) is good! I also like your 80/20% rule on who to follow. Thanks for the advice!

  • http://www.shermansmithblog.com/ Sherman Smith

    Hey John,

    I really like the Do’s and Don’t’s… You know at one point I was following all of those high influencers that you mentioned, which actually didn’t get me anywhere LOL! But that was one lesson learned.

    The one tip that really stuck out to me was that there is no specific time to post a tweet. I’ve used tools like Followerwonk to post tweets at a certain peak time, which I did. Did it amount to anything? Not really! So now I just focus on my target market. They see my tweets anyways no matter what time of day it is, and I also see their tweets as well. So i’m going to stick with this strategy!

    Thanks for the share John! I hope you’re having a great week!

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Sherman lucky for you you have learned and have made moves to fix things. Many people just keep following the advice blindly.

    Like I mentione din the psot, the issue with telling people what the best times to tweet are, is say that person works at those hrs, he will then think.. ok I can post at those times, I might as well not use Twitter.

    and that is a BIG mistake.

    Post when you can, try different times of the day over a few weeks and you will see what works for YOU.. then post AT THOSE TIMES.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Lissa you are so right, people are in different time zones, different schedules then take that and it all changes on a weekly and daily basis.

    Like I mentioned to Sherman.. test what works for you then post at those times.. or just post when ever you are available to engage on those tweets, that works just as good.

    That 80/20 rule has worked so well for me the past 4 years and I have gotten jobs, sales and advertising and interviews from people that weren’t “technically” laser targeted.

    There is gold in them there soft targets lol

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Muba, that is correct.. glad the post helped :)

  • http://xeeme.com/mqt Michael Q Todd

    Always great tips from you especially about the time to tweet

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    TY Michael.. Good to see you around my man.

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