17 Mistakes You’re Making on Twitter and How To Fix Them

Peter Guirguis Twitter 87 Comments

[alert heading=”Update” type=”success” close=”true”]This article was edited and updated on January 26, 2015. All of the information is still relevant to Twitter.[/alert]

Do you want to be a success on Twitter?

There are things that  you’re probably doing right now that are preventing you from getting more followers, causing people to unfollow you, or decreasing the number of clicks that you’re getting on your tweets.

Or worse yet, people could be so annoyed with you that they’ve blocked you all together on Twitter.

I’ve been on Twitter for a while and I can tell you from experience what works and what doesn’t.

That’s a big part of the reason why I created the free guide to getting hundreds of Twitter followers, the safe and legal way.

In this blog post, I share with you 17 mistakes that you can make on Twitter and how you can fix them.

I’ve made some of the mistakes mentioned in this blog post and other’s I’ve read about on the best social media websites and blogs.

Avoiding these Twitter mistakes has helped me to get the more than 100,000 followers that I currently have (thank You Lord  :-D)

If you need help getting started with using Twitter, check out this blog post.

Mistake 1: You send an auto-DM to everyone that begins following you

The problem:  There’s software or web apps that you can use that will send everyone that begins to follow you a direct message (after you’ve auto-followed them back).

Those who use these apps will setup their Twitter account to send a direct message with a generic message asking their followers to visit their website or to buy their product.

The problem with this is that most people view this as spam.  As a result, the click-through ratio on the links in these DM’s are very low and it prevents people from building a relationship with you.

The solution:  Don’t auto-send a DM to anyone on Twitter.  Build relationships with people first to find out what their needs are.  Then if you think your website or product is going to be helpful, go ahead and share it with others.

The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble. -Proverbs Click To Tweet

Update:  After publishing this post, a few people told me that they experienced some success with sending auto direct messages to their new Twitter followers.

I still think that it would benefit you more in the long run to build a relationship first with others before asking them to do your call to action.

Nevertheless, feel free to experiment and measure your success if you like.

Mistake 2:  You post too much

The problem:  You love Twitter and you’re replying to tons of people and sending out lots of cool tweets that your followers find valuable.

The only problem is that you post too often and your tweets are not spaced out.

When your followers look at their timeline or their lists that you’re a member of, they see a flood of your tweets.

They don’t want to see every single public conversation/reply that you’re having and they’re not seeing enough of your cool tweets with your most valuable content.

I’ve been guilty of this myself and I found that a bunch of people unfollowed me when I reply and send all of my tweets one right after the other.

The Solution: Limit your tweets to no more than 2 per hour.

If you do a lot of public replies on Twitter, try posting one reply followed by one tweet that has valuable content for your followers so that they don’t get bored.

You can also spread out your tweets throughout the day without going to Twitter 5 million times.

All you have to do is use an app that will allow you to schedule your tweets in advanced.  My personal favorite is Hootsuite.

There is a free version and a paid version of Hootsuite.  For me personally, I need some of their premium features so I’ve signed up for their premium account.

Mistake 3:  You post too little

The problem:  Yes, not posting enough on Twitter is a Twitter sin although you might not know it.

If you aren’t posting multiple times a day, then you aren’t interacting with others and you aren’t driving traffic back to your website.

The solution:  You’re probably really busy and you don’t have time to visit Twitter multiple times a day to tweet.  I feel you.

So again, this is where a tool like Hootsuite comes into play.  Visit Hootsuite once a day and schedule multiple tweets for that day (at least 3).

If you know you’re going to be unavailable in advance, then you can schedule for the next day or even week.

Mistake 4:  The things you tweet have nothing to do with your target audience or niche

The problem:  In the guide that I’ll be releasing on how to get thousands of Twitter followers, I tell you in step 5 that in order for you to be a success on Twitter, you need to create a tweeting strategy.

If you’re just tweeting whatever you want whenever you want, people will stop following you and you’ll have a hard time getting new followers.


If you’re tweets don’t bring any value to your followers, then you’ve got a problem


The solution:  Find out what your Twitter goals are.  Is it to drive traffic back to your website?  Connect with professionals in your industry? Sell a product?

Once you’ve done that, decide who your target audience is and create tweets that they’re going to find valuable.

Mistake 5: Your tweets are all about YOU

The problem:  All you ever tweet about is stuff about you, your website, or your products.  The problem with this is that people see it as selfish, self-centered, and boring.

The solution:  Tweet links and videos about other things that your followers are going to find valuable.  Re-tweet other people’s tweets and send other people traffic back to their sites.

The selfish shall be punished but the generous shall be rewarded, especially when it comes to social media.

Mistake 6: You post at the wrong times

The problem:  You send your tweets at times when your followers aren’t online.  As a result, your tweets don’t get clicked on and you don’t get re-tweeted.

The solution:  You need to find out when a majority of your followers are online and schedule your tweets for those times.  Luckily, there are a couple of services that can help.

I’ve used Tweroid and Fruji to help me find out when most of my followers are online.

I recommend trying both because Tweroid will give you detailed information organized by day of the week . On the other hand, Fruji will give you basic time zone information but it will give you other really useful information as well.

Mistake 7: You give bad apps access to your Twitter profile

spam apps

Some Twitter apps that you authorize can send spam messages to your followers so be careful

The problem:  Because Twitter is so darn popular, many apps and software that are created today can integrate with your Twitter account.

You have to authorize an app to have access to your Twitter account so that you can tweet from it.

The problem is that not all apps and software are created equally.  Some apps are bad and will post tweets and direct message on your behalf to your followers.

These tweets are considered spam and they can contain links to virus-infested websites.

The solution:  Only authorize reputable apps that want access to your Twitter profile.  How do you find out if an app has a good reputation?

Be familiar with the app’s website and take a look at its user base.  Spammy apps aren’t going to be very popular with people and they tend to have a shady element.

You’re going to need to use your discernment on this one.

If you need to remove an app’s access to your Twitter account, just follow these instructions here.

Mistake 8:  You’re not using any kind of metrics to measure how your tweets are doing

The problem: Yes you’re creating tweets, yes you’re interacting with others on Twitter, but how do you know if you’re tweets are doing well?

How do you know if people are clicking on your links?

You need to be able to measure how your tweets are doing so that you can make necessary adjustments when your tweets aren’t getting clicked on and so that you can keep doing the things that have been working for you.

The solution:  There are a number of free tools that can help you by giving you an inside look at how your tweets are doing.

  1. Hootsuite:  These guys have built-in reporting using their own Ow.ly system that they created.  Their reports are very insightful.
  2. Buffer App:  This is another tool that helps you to schedule your tweets and that gives you analytics that show you how your tweets are doing.
  3. Bit.ly:  This is a url shortening tool that will give you reporting if you use their free service.  You can integrate your Bit.ly account with a majority of third-party Twitter apps.

Mistake 9: Your Twitter handle is too long

The problem:  You have a Twitter handle that looks like this: @JohnSmith123XYZ.  When people want to re-tweet you by adding your Twitter name in their tweet, it causes them to go over their 140 character limit.

Many people get frustrated when they are over their 140 character limit and will just delete the tweet that was going to mention you.

The solution:  You have two choices and I recommend doing both:

  1. Change your Twitter name: you can easily do this by going into the settings and choosing something else with less characters.  Once you’ve done this, tweet out to your followers a few times throughout the week that your Twitter name has changed.
  2. Create Tweets with some padding:  That means that don’t ever create a tweet that takes up all 140 characters.  Give yourself room of at least 12 to 20 characters so that people can easily re-tweet you without them going over the 140 character limit

Mistake 10: You thank everyone & their cousin for following or re-tweeting you

The problem:  Every time you get a new follower, you send them a mention thanking them for the follow.  Every time someone re-tweets you, you thank them for the re-tweet.

The problem with overly doing this is that you fill up other people’s timeline with your thankyou’s and a majority of them don’t find that very valuable.

People will get tired of this very quickly and they can either unfollow you, block you, or just ignore your tweets all together.

thanking everyone on Twitter

thanking everyone on Twitter for following you or giving you a mention is a sure way to lose some of your followers


The solution:  Thank people for the follows and the re-tweets sparingly.  Also, once you find out when a majority of your followers are online, schedule the thankyou’s in advance to go out during your non-peak times like I shared with you in mistake 6.

Mistake 11: Your tweet’s are timed too close together

The problem:  All of your tweets are sent out in just an hour or two throughout the day.

For example, let’s say that you send out 10 tweets, you send 6 of them at 12 pm during your lunch break and the remaining 4 at 7 pm after you eat dinner.

The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. You followers don’t wants to see a whole bunch of your tweets filling up their timeline at one time.  They’d rather see a variety.  Some people will unfollow you if you continue to do this.
  2. Your tweets don’t get enough exposure if you don’t schedule and space them out in advance to coincide with when your followers are online.

The solution:  Use Tweroid or Fruji to post your most valuable tweets when most of your followers are online.  Space them out as much as possible during that time period.  Also, read the solution to mistake 2.

Mistake 12: Every other word in your tweet is a hashtag

The problem:  If you’re not sure what a hashtag is, you can go to my guide on how to use Twitter where I’ve dedicated a section on hashtags.

The problem when using too many hashtags in your tweets is that they become harder to read.

Also, some people will stuff their tweets with hashtags hoping to get more exposure so they add keywords that aren’t really relevant to the tweet or the link that they’re including.

The solution:  If you want to include hashtags, limit your use to just 1 or 2 per tweet.  Your followers will thank you for it and you’ll get more re-tweets :-).

Mistake 13: Your tweets are filled with mentions (replies) and not enough content

The problem:  You reply to different people’s tweets and send them at the same time (ex. 5 tweets at 5 pm).  Or, you want to reply to someone but you need more than 140 characters so you create 3 or 4 tweets that go out after one another.

The problem with this is that your followers typically find this annoying because again, you’re stuffing their timelines with tweets that they don’t find valuable.

Also if you have a potential new follower who is considering following you and is looking at your tweets to see whether they should follow you or not, they’ll see a whole bunch of replies and many won’t follow you if you do this too often.

The solution:  There are several things you can do:

  1. Schedule your replies in advance using a tool like Hootsuite.
  2. If you have a lot of replies to people, schedule them during non-peak times.
  3. For every reply that you have, follow it up with a Tweet that has valuable content for your followers
  4. Use a service like Twitlonger that will help you to create a tweet without the 140 character limit.

Mistake 14: You tweet people asking them to follow you back

The problem:  You want someone to follow you so you send them a tweet that looks like this:

follow me on Twitter please

This makes you look desperate and it doesn’t put you in the best possible light.  People should follow you because they find your tweets valuable and because you’re a delight in conversation.

You shouldn’t have to tell anyone to follow you.

The solution:  Don’t ask anyone on Twitter to follow you back.  Instead, use my guide to getting more Twitter followers.

Mistake 15: You ask people to unfollow you when you don’t like their bio or tweets

The problem:  Someone started following you and you check out their Twitter page.  You don’t like their tweets, or their bio, or you don’t want them to view your tweets so you ask them to stop following you.

The solution:  Please don’t do this.  It’s quite impolite and offensive.

The whole Twitter culture revolves around following and unfollowing others and it’s as simple as that.

If you feel really strongly about that person that just followed you, use the block button to block that person.  I don’t even recommend this but it’s the next best option.

Mistake 16:  You send tweets asking influencers you don’t know to tweet your link

The problem:  You find someone that’s following you that has a large following and you send him or her a tweet asking them to tweet your link to their followers.

The problem with this is that influencers with large followings get tweets like this all the time.  Many of them just ignore these requests because they feel like you are using them for their influence.

The solution:  Build relationships with influencers first.  See first what you can do for them and not what they can do for you.  After that, if God opens up the doors for them to tweet your links, then it’s a win-win situation.

Mistake #17: You never engage your followers


If your followers don’t feel engaged, your tweets will be ignored

The problem:  People like your tweets and so they reply to them.  Only you never reply back and you don’t keep the conversation going even it’s just a polity acknowledgement.

This is a good way to make your followers feel disengaged and like you don’t really care what they have to say.

The solution:  Reply back to other people’s replies when you can.

Once your Twitter following grows, you won’t be able to keep up with everyone that mentions you so you’re going to have to pick and choose.

Nevertheless, replying to some people is better than not replying to anyone at all.  Also, don’t forget to space out and schedule your replies so that your followers don’t just see a bunch of your conversations in their timelines.

Key Takeaway

Be a blessing to everyone that you can on Twitter.

The result will be that people will follow you, people will re-tweet you, and you’ll be blessed 100 times more in return.

Be others minded and do everything that you can to help your followers meet their Twitter goals and they in turn will help you to meet yours.

[author title=”About the Author”]

Comments 87

  1. Just when I think I almost have it figured out, I realize I’m still learning. Great post Peter! Can’t wait for your next one.

    1. Thanks Kurt – I’m trying to give our community over here a shortcut to Twitter success. On some of these I learned the easy way and on others I learned the hard way. I hope everybody can learn the easy way 🙂

      Blessings Kurt

  2. Great article Peter! Next up your book on Twitter??? I’m joking but that thought does keep occurring to me as you are rather knowledgeable about Twitter!
    I can believe it took a long time to write this, very well put together…thank you again!


    1. Thanks Greg for your very kind words, they really go a long way especially since it’s coming from you 🙂 Yeah, it did take me quite a while to put all of this together in this blog post. I would estimate that all in all with all the editing, proofreading, and pictures that it probably took me close to six hours but it’s worth it for me because it’s fun 🙂

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  5. This was a great article – I am glad someone passed this link along. Thanks to @cottonpreacher for directing me here.

  6. I disagree with #1. Maybe I ought to clarify. I disagree that ALL auto-DMs are bad. If you get targeted followers and you greet them with a free download, designed for them, you’ll get engagement. My email list has increased about 60 people in the last couple of months from that alone. The conversion percentage to my list is the same as conversion of people I follow to those who follow me back, so it feels right to me.

    I don’t start with “buy something from me.” That won’t work very often. I also don’t start with “like my Facebook page” or “visit my blog” because you need a good reason. I bet “like my Facebook page to get a free book” might work, though.

    Just something I’ve noticed.

    1. I can see your point Paul. In my humble opinion, in order for us to reach an accurate conclusion to the whole DM issue, I think we would need to run some A-B split testing. Test A could be how many followers you gain/lose over 30 days when you send a DM and test B would be how many followers you gain/lost over 30 days if you don’t send the DM.

      The other thing too that I’d like to bring up is that notice that when you follow some of the bigger accounts who are experts in social media, like Social Media Examiner or may be Pro-Blogger, you’ll notice that they never send an auto-DMs to their new followers. I believe that they chose not to do this for the very same reason and these guys are experts in the field of social media.

      1. I got the idea because “Need2Breathe” sent me an invitation to get a free song.

        Here’s the question, though. What if test A shows that I gain 3,000 followers and 600 newsletter subscribers, but test B shows I gain 3,600? Which is better?

        I think I’d say A because newsletter subscribers are more valuable to me than twitter followers b/c twitter followers tend to miss what I say if they’re not on twitter or looking at their app. Newsletter subscribers get it in their inbox and have to delete it to not read it.

        Which is better? It feels to me that newsletter is further in the sales funnel than twitter followers.


        1. Sure that can be the case. On the flipside, I’m sure that you would love to have quality over quantity. But if that has been working for you and that is what you value, then by all means go for it. It sounds to me like you have an excellent quality blog and that people are finding value in your direct message.

          On this blog, we are going through a series on maximizing Twitter followers so that is what’s valued.

  7. Hi Peter,

    First of all, many thanks for the comprehensive – and completely true – article. I’ve underused Twitter, am now embarking on a campaign to change that, and your article is a great template. I do have much experience with following someone on Twitter, and they come back with an auto-response saying something like “Thanks for the follow! Do you like romance? If you do, my book “Leslie and the Blonde Guy” is FREE on Amazon – check it out!”
    Needless to say, I reversed my decision on the follow pretty much on the spot.
    Thanks again,


    1. Hi Thomas, thank you very much for taking the time to write your feedback. So for you, does that mean that every time that somebody sends you a direct message that you don’t like then you go ahead and unfollow them?

  8. Pingback: A great article with 17 mistakes you might be making on Twitter…:) | Thomas Rydder

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  10. Number 16 is the one I despise the most!!! I want to tweet them back and say YOU ARE RUDE! lol but I don’t..because it’s RUDE lol vicious circle there hehe

    Penelope Jones

    1. Ha ha, that’s funny Penelope 🙂 However, I totally understand where you’re coming from, I used to feel that way to until I’ve just been on Twitter for so long that I just kind of got used to it.

  11. I have a problem with my twitter nobody sees my dm’s i get all of theirs but they don’t get mine i am on pc not a phone any advice please ?

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  19. Hi, There is one particular follower and he does something really annoying, he only favourite my tweets, most of them, rarely a retweet. It annoys me. I don’t want to block him but I would like to block the favoriting of all my tweets, even the most banal ones.

  20. You are twitter wizard, thanks Rigo. The name of your blog is very relevant to my mindset lately. I recently remembered my Christian upbringing while in Australia preaching the gospel of volunteering. I realized telling people to travel wasn’t really going to make a life changing difference, and I started to have flashbacks of being a child going around with my Gparents, inviting people to house church in their basement. When they came and were accepted for who ever they were, with compassion and love, I watched them turn from sad, lonely people on the brink of desperation, to virtuous followers of Christ, and begin a change that lasted, that brought them purpose.

    Where is the gospel being shared today? I’m only ever approached by Mormans, and old people when I’m in South America.

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  22. Great post. I came here after noticing my followers leave. I usually send a thank you to each new follower and lately I have been getting several per day. I’m starting to feel as if people may be “unfollowing” me because my messages are spamming their stream. You’re article confirmed my suspicions.

    1. You’re welcome Mark, I’m glad you found the article helpful.

      You might also want to sign up to my guide to getting thousands of Twitter followers. It’s free and the most important part is that it will help you to come up with a Twitter strategy in which you will provide value to your followers. That way you’ll be adding Twitter followers instead of losing them.

      Here’s a link https://notashamedofthegospel.com/twitterguide

    1. I would recommend following back Anna, if the person that followed you is someone that you’re interested in or, if he/she also fits your ideal audience that you’d like to have following you.

        1. Yes, I do recommend Anna that you do some kind of acknowledgement. Twitter is all about engagement, and the more engagement that you have from your followers, the more likely that they will retweet you and click on your links.

          So I would recommend that you send them a friendly tweet thanking them for the follow, and then asking them about something that you read in their bio.

          1. “Twitter is all about engagement, and the more engagement that you have from your followers, the more likely that they will retweet you and click on your links.”

            Very good point. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.

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  27. Dilemma. A follower RTs my links regularly, and in the beginning I RTd as well until I noticed that all his links are about the same person who I don’t particularly care for or find any interest in whatsoever. This follower has now taken to DMing me whenever he writes something asking that I read & share. If I dint respond he favorites then RTs when I reply. I honestly wish he would unfollow me… I don’t want to be rude and Block but it’s coming to that. I want authentic engagement and this just doesn’t feel like it. Thoughts?

    1. You can tell him that due to schedule constraints, you aren’t able to reply and check out his links like before. Let him know that you would like to kindly ask him to send less messages to you because you can’t spend so much time on Twitter like before.

      Just use this only if it’s true. You can always find nice ways to tell people to DM you less often.

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  29. There’s something wrong with my account – I’ve tried the smart suggestions that you generously gave to us readers. The problems that I am having are: 1) I cannot contact twitter @Support to tell me what is wrong with my account -2) I keep receiving new followers, but they do not appear on my account page, it stays at the same number, 3) I’m frozen @ 2000 followings. I’ve read all of the pubs that twitter has available and followed those instructions, to no avail . . .any ideas? @redteamusa

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  30. Wow, this was a really good read. I learned a lot of new things of what not to do. I knew a few like tweeting too often (fortunately I do not do it), but many tips were totally new to me. For example auto welcome DMs. Obviously I had that set up, so I turned it off and will try to do it manually (and sparingly). Nevertheless, my account started picking up new followers quite nicely lately, so I must be doing something correctly, right?

  31. I just happened to stumble upon this article when I was searching for how I can expand my follower base. I think the information provided here is as relevant today as it was when it was written a few years ago. Thanks for all the helpful tips! I’m looking forward to utilizing them.

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  32. I like this a lot..but my problem doesn’t really pertain…I want someone to really follow me back…but trying to play it cool (like some of their tweets, post funny things she may like, etc.) is only coming off as weird/creepy…I want to just tweet at her “any chance I can get a follow back for a day? :)” or something…that way I can just DM a message on how I feel…what do i do?

  33. My followers aren’t received any notification from my this twitter account ?? @bullet_bahuna
    How can I solved this problem please help me

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  34. Hi, tnx for the tips. I was wondering if you could tell me how to turn someone’s notifications on? I mean I follow someone then that someone DMs me to turn his/her notifications on? How exactly do you do that?

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  35. Great advice, I would just say that I often block users on my professional B2B twitter account when they are clearly a bot, or for example, they post extreme views or very inappropriate pictures. I think its better to disassociate. I would never ask someone to unfollow, however.

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