With the ability to publicly broadcast messages and contact anyone on the network, Twitter is a powerful marketing platform that can produce traffic and business. However, there are some commonly made mistakes that can kill your chances on Twitter.

Mistake #1: Incomplete Profile

With Twitter’s character limitation of 160 characters, even the profile has to be concise. All too often, Twitter users neglect their profile, but if someone reads a tweet and wants to find out more about you or your brand, the profile can be valuable real estate. Since it is only 160 characters, you need to get to the point quickly but there shouldn’t be any excuses since it will only take a minute to fill out.

Mistake #2: Not Tweeting Regularly

To build a following, it’s essential to tweet regularly. A common Twitter fail is to setup an account, be active for a short period of time, then drop off for days, weeks or months at a time. It’s a place to put out continuous messages and build relationships over time, not a quick hit. Use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to help make this easy and keep your profile active.

Mistake #3: Auto DM’s

The point of social media is to connect with people… not to get an automated reply from a Twitter user I just started following. Auto direct messages are impersonal and obviously automated. It’s a wasted attempt at engaging your followers and does much more to hurt than help. Keep the messages real and refuse the temptation to make this third Twitter mistake.

Mistake #4: Too Many Hashtags

Hashtags can be used to become part of large conversations, gain visibility related to trending topics and to build your brand name. However, using too many hashtags can take away from your tweets. Keep it to one or two hashtags per tweet, otherwise run the risk of looking spammy or just not providing enough context in your short tweet to keep followers paying attention.

Mistake #5: Jumping Into Random Conversations

The beauty of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation at any point. That doesn’t mean you necessarily should. Keep your tweets in your wheelhouse — talk about things that you know and that matter to you. Don’t tweet about celebrity gossip if you’re in real estate, unless that’s a personality quirk that you want to showcase. It’s okay to delve into personal, but stay consistent it you do.

Mistake #6: Selling

Resist the temptation! Everyone wants to go straight for the kill when they’re starting out on social, but don’t do it, no one is on social to be sold. Like asking a girl to marry you on a first date, it’s awkward, weird and you look like a nut when you do it. Social can make the sales process seamless, since you can convey the features and benefits out over time, answer questions and really position your product or service as the best. Let the sale come and don’t scare off your followers.