Is Twitter not working for your games? Maybe it’s you, maybe not. But chances are you’re committing at least one of these seven deadly Twitter sins.
I’ve seen game developers and publishers with millions and millions of players make these mistakes. And whenever I see it I sink my face in my hands, stare at the screen from in between my fingers and sigh.
Twitter has been one of the most popular social networks on the internet since 2006. And what some people, some businesses mind you, consider appropriate for Twitter nowadays never ceases to amaze me.
Before you read this list take a moment to prepare yourself.
I too have been guilty of some of these sins in the past. And in order to change our ways we must read on with a certain level of self-awareness, a willingness to beat ourselves up a little bit and recognize the error of our ways.
Let our confession begin.
1. Apathy: No Passion For Twitter
Everyone can tell you don’t really like Twitter – you post once a day, when you do it’s some article, maybe a retweet. Meh.
To be successful on Twitter you have to show some passion. Actually, scratch that, you have to be genuinely passionate about the network.
If you don’t genuinely like Twitter then either learn to like it or leave.
Find another network, any one that you prefer for whatever reason, and make the most of that network instead.
There’s upwards of 500 million new tweets per day on Twitter. If you’re going to be indifferent, forget about it.
Twitter’s popular, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t use it. And some games will naturally do better on other networks. This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s about selling more games.
And that brings us to our next sin.
2. Greed: Selling With Every Tweet
This is when every single one of your tweets includes a link to download or purchase your game on whatever marketplaces you’re using.
If I had a nickel…
The bottom line is it’s canned, it’s predictable and it shows you’ve got nothing valuable to say.
But honestly, it’s much worse than that.
Social networks are, well, social, which implies conversation. And conversation is a two-way street, right? When you’re constantly asking something of someone that’s one-way. And no one likes to be talked at.
If you’re currently doing this don’t let your stats fool you. Yes, you get clicks. I know. But unless you can prove to me that those clicks are converting into high quality players then I don’t care and neither should you.
Marketing your games isn’t a signature at the end of every communication.
Are you interested in using Twitter as an advertising platform? Fantastic! You can do that, just not at the end of every tweet.
3. Neglect: Ignoring Your Real Audience
Who, by and large, plays your games? Not other game developers or industry celebrities.
Your target market is the people who play your games.
And if it’s not people who play your games it’s people who would play your games if they knew your games existed. But they’ll probably never know your games exist, at least not on Twitter, because you’re too busy talking shop with your industry friends.
It’s marketing 101, who’s your audience? How do you know that? What do they like? Ok, now talk to them about that.
This will be a hard habit to break, just like this next sin.
4. Narcissism: Only Talking About Yourself
Your audience doesn’t care as much about you and your cool office space, or what you had for lunch, as they do your game, the one they love and can’t get enough of.
Stop talking about yourself all the time.
Instead use your tweets to speak to your audience (see deadly sin number 3).
Is your game about survival? How about using Hashtagify.me or BuzzSumo to find hash tags and trending content related to survival, and then using those tags to tweet content that may bring more attention to your game?
I know, it makes so much more sense than tweeting about your sloppy Taco Bell run.
In full disclosure, I love me some Taco Bell which itself is probably a sin.
5. Imbalance: Tweeting Too Much Too Fast
Strangely enough, some people don’t understand Twitter isn’t the world’s most popular chat client. The days of AIM are gone, leave them in the grave. Don’t be deceived by the 140-character limit.
Rapid-fire tweets annoy everyone.
There’s few things that make me roll my eyes harder than scrolling past your hundred tweets so I can continue reading the rest of my feed.
Posting up to 20 times a day can drastically improve your engagement, but if you do all twenty, or more, within about an hour then you’re doing it wrong.
Space things out, have something of worth to say. Please.
I’m annoyed just thinking about this.
6. Obscurity: Meaningless Tweets
You know that person in your feed who’s always posting vague comments in hopes that you’ll reply and ask what’s wrong? Or that person who simply posts single words followed by a mysterious link?
Don’t be that person. And whatever you do, don’t respond to those people. Ever.
Obscurity is of the devil.
Your tweets should be about 70-100 characters long. The reason? Probably because that’s about the amount of characters it takes to explain whatever it is you’re talking about.
If you’ve found something fun on the internet like a cat GIF, that makes sense to actually share with your audience, don’t tweet, “Awesome,” and then a link. Tell me what it is! Or at least give me your feelings on it.
I’m getting stressed out now. Let’s get this last sin over with.
7. Insipidity: Being Boring
Go to your Twitter profile and briefly skim your last 50 tweets. What’s the percentage of text-only tweets to tweets with an image or video?
It’s probably far more in favor of text-only, right?
I’m not saying to go image crazy, but images and video are 5x more likely to be clicked on than text-only content.
There’s constraints here.
Pictures of cats work best so please use them sparingly (that was supposed to be a joke, but seriously the internet loves cats).
Post images that have something to do with your game or images that speak to what your audience wants to hear from you.
Over and over, give them what they want!
There’s no shortage of lengthy guides out there on how to successfully use Twitter. They’ll all tell you what peak times to post in, how your tweets should be formatted, headline suggestions, blah blah blah and all that other crap.
But if you’re committing these seven deadly Twitter sins no amount of technique will help you.
So, do yourself and your audience a favor, confess these sins, get over it and move on.
Is there something that inherently annoys you on Twitter? I’d love to commiserate with you. Let me know about it.