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Twitter has become a popular marketing tool for many businesses. It’s a way for them to promote their products, services and expertise in their industry, it allows them to build relationships with their current and potential customers and it provides them with access to additional resources and tools that are beneficial to their business.

Some companies think that creating a successful Twitter account means having an account and sharing a few tweets every now and then, but they’re wrong. Being successful on Twitter is more than just having an account. Due to this mentality, many businesses are finding themselves making common mistakes that keep their business from finding success on the popular social network.

In order to be successful on Twitter, make sure that you’re not at fault for any of these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not having a profile

Some businesses create an account without taking the time to fill out the profile on their business, and this is a huge mistake. Your tweets are not the only thing that people pay attention to. When they see your tweet (especially if they don’t know anything about your business), they will turn to this profile in order to learn more about you. The information they find will determine whether or not they decide to follow you or retweet one of your messages.

Make sure that you create the best possible profile that gives users information on your business that highlights your company’s strengths. You should also always include a photo, as users tend to think that handles without photos are spam.

Mistake #2: Not interacting

Yes, Twitter allows you to share information, but it’s best used as a channel to interact with your current and potential customers. Get to know them, learn what they want and find out how you can make them happy. Start conversations to get more insight on your target market or simply learn how your business is being perceived by the outside world. When you see an interesting post, retweet it. If you don’t use Twitter to interact with your followers, you’re not taking full advantage of all it has to offer.

Mistake #3: Interacting too much

It’s important to use Twitter as a way to interact with current and potential customers, but you shouldn’t bombard them with tweets and retweets. Try to limit yourself to one to two tweets per day. This provides your followers with information to help them learn more about you or generate traffic to your site, but it also keeps them from becoming annoyed with you and your constant 140-character posts.

Mistake #4: Using direct messages

Though the direct message feature can be handy when you really want to reach out to someone and you don’t have any other contact info, most people think of it as a hub of spam messages. Nobody likes receiving the fake “thanks for following message” that is generated every time you follow someone new. Nobody likes the individual who is constantly sending DMs in order to get you to click on a link that leads you to an unknown location. As a rule of thumb, leave DMs to the spammers and keep your own conversations flowing freely in the threads.

Mistake #5: Using an unidentifiable handle

When you use Twitter for business, it’s a good idea to have your Twitter handle as close to your business name as possible. For example, if the name of your business is My Dream Company, then your handle should be @MyDreamCompany.

If you were late to joining Twitter, it’s possible that the Twitter handle that would make most sense for your business will already be taken. If this is the case, you need to create a handle that has something to do with your business. If @MyDreamCompany was taken, try @MyDreamCo instead.

If you choose a handle that does not correlate with your company, you’re not going to build any brand recognition through your handle because nobody would know that the two were related. If @ComcastCares decided to go with @CableCompanySolutions, nobody would know that the handle had anything to do with Comcast, and they wouldn’t have earned as many followers.

If your business is on Twitter, make sure that you’re not making any of these mistakes. If you are, fix them immediately before they damage your social media efforts.

This article was written by Caleb Grant for SEOMAP – a group specializing in SEO keyword research.