One of the most important aspects which makes Twitter such an awesome place to share and exchange thoughts and links is its openness to all users. Twitter’s guidelines on do’s and don’ts are extremely loose and leave us, the users, with a large degree of freedom. We are left with using the service to how it suits us best.

Additionally, there are also many good examples of what works and what actually harms your twitter activities. Here are 5 things you should avoid if you are interested in genuinely building up your twitter presence.

1.) Turning yourself into an auto-bot

Whilst cruising through the twitterverse there is one important action that should be avoided at large. It is switching your account to full auto-pilot. In our viewpoint, there is no problem with optimizing your twitter activity, if you for example schedule genuine tweets in order to provide value when you are not around or want to create a certain consistency.

However changing over to fully automated feed-tweeting, where you have no knowledge about the content being tweeted, is something which can have a substantial negative impact. Followers who are looking for your personal tweets will be turned away and lose interested in you and may unfollow you eventually.


2.) Linking to your own blog far too often

Another bad habit we observe, which can really turn off people from clicking your links and engaging with you, is giving too much love to your own blog. Of course, no one will be annoyed if you tweet your latest blog posts a few times, to get the word out.

However striking a good balance, where the larger amount of your linking tweets point to other sites and resources you’ve found useful will build up trust far better.


3.) Spamming your followers with #FF – Tweets

You have most likely heard about the Twitter tradition where you give credit to the most recommendable twitter users you’ve come across during the week. You do this by sending a tweet that includes the #ff or #followfriday hashtag. In our view, this is a very powerful and important habit, which you should definitely make good use of.

In order to really use it to your advantage you should avoid sending out tweets including #ff and then cramping in as many twitter usernames as possible to flatter as many people as you can. Instead, try to only give credit to one or at most 2 people, whom you truly appreciated during the week.

Provide value for your followers by sharing why they are worth being followed. This guarantees an experience your followers will start looking for instead of ignoring.


4.) #Don’t #hashtag #every #topic

Speaking of hashtags, there is also another important aspect we want to share with you regarding this topic. It is our understanding that using hashtags is a way to enhance the twitter experience for your followers, instead of cluttering their timeline.

Our suggestion is to use no more than one hashtag and only if it is a topic you are aware of having a notable audience for the hashtag(s). This will give your followers an opportunity to read more about this area, without feeling overwhelmed by several different hashtags.


5.) Usig bad grammer and shrtning evrythng

The last hint we want to give here is to look out for correct spelling and use of language everyone understands. We believe that it is possible to send a strong message to followers by showing sophistication about the use of words.

Even though there might be lots of different abbreviations you feel everyone is already aware of, the LOL-ing and WTF-ing is something that impacts your personality as a twitter user. If you are looking to build a sustainable following around your twitter account, make it a simple requirement to watch out for your language.


These are the 5 things, which are really putting us off from continuing to follow someone. Which are the deadliest sins for you? Let us know, so we make sure not to commit them!

Photo credit: KungPaoCajun

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • nupurmaskara

    Was guilty of shortening everything, herdly do that now. We need to be considerate towards the reader, love will follow then:)

    • LeoWid

      Yeah, it really helps to get a good and well written english going, doesn’t it? Glad you found it useful :).

  • Follow friday is just an annoyance now, why do people think I will bother following the person they suggest if they don’t give a valid reason?

    • LeoWid

      great point Stephen, exactly my thinking! A tweet, stuffed with loads of twitter username helps no one! Many thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Lionel Faleiro

    For the #FF I just make a FollowFriday Twitter List and Tweet the link so people can subscribe to it and all the users at once, instead of following each user individually one at a time.

    How do you differentiate between auto-bot and Scheduled tweeting with programs like TwitterFeed/ ?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Lionel,

      Oh right, yes, I think that is a good way of doing it and less cluttering.

      Sure, I think there are many different views and I don’t think there is a “right” way. Yet, in my view programs such as Twitterfeed or take out any personal element of a tweet. As a person, I am no longer involved in Tweeting. This is the biggest difference to Tweet scheduling for me. If you schedule or Buffer tweets, they are still your own. Not sure if that is applicable to everyone, what do you think?

  • Excellent list – I try hard every day to NOT do those things but fail regularly 😉

    • Anonymous

      Hi @twitter-14317166:disqus great to have you here! 🙂

      Haha, same here, it just so happens sometimes that you fall back into one of the traps. I regularly go back here to get myself a few reminders! 

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

  • I do a mixture of these. Not so much number 5 but 1-4 certainly. Time to gradually change how my feed looks and reads out to my following.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jonny,

      Thanks for your comment. Oh right, glad I could point out a few interesting things then. 

      Indeed, we need to always play around and change things gradually in order to stay on top! 🙂

      • When I look at my timeline, I seem to do 2 & 4. I barely tweet out #FF – perhaps one tweet per Friday?

        • Anonymous

          Indeed, I think one genuine tweet mentioning one or two people on a Friday is a good thing. 🙂 

  • I agree with your point 5 about grammar and indeed punctuation – now have a look at that apostrophe in “its” in your second line….

    • Anonymous

      Hi @twitter-13341432:disqus , thanks a lot for stopping by.

      Absolutely, just fixed that, thanks for the heads up on this! 🙂

      Glad you liked that point. 

    • Guest

      The use of “its” as possessive pronoun seems correct in that sentence.

  • All valid points – would add courtesy and politeness to the advice, being rude to or too casual with strangers won’t do you any favours

  • valid points and a real worthy note thanks for the cautious warning to all 

  • And to add on #3, it would be helpful to know WHY we should follow those recommended people! All too often, I see over-the-top promotions – and when you check the accounts, these are the original tweeter’s alternate accounts!

    Jason of

  • nice point.