10 Twitter Mistakes Made By Ad Agencies for New Business

Twitter is one of the social media tools that can be used as tool for your agency’s social media marketing strategy to generate online traffic and a pipeline for new business leads.

Many ad agencies that are finally jumping into social media have no strategy.  A good number seem to be working from a social media checklist that they now have an agency Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to show prospective clients they are participating in this new space. But what is still lacking is a genuine credibility and comprehension of how to use social media for themselves to actually generate new business.

Here are 10 mistakes agencies should  avoid if they want to generate new business through Twitter:

  1. Signing up then not participate. A tell-tale sign that Twitter is nothing more than a check-off on your social media check-list. When you rarely post to Twitter it will show.
  2. Self Promotional Tweets. Agencies that sound more like cars salesmen, constantly using promotional Tweets to tout their agency’s new hires, new business acquisitions, awards, etc.
  3. Hiding behind the agency veil. Using your agency’s name as the Twitter account without revealing who is doing the Tweeting. Even Ford Motor Company gets this right, having allowing @ScottMonty to be their social media spokesperson under his own Twitter name rather than through the company’s name. It’s awkward to try to engage with a company. Social media is about people. A lot of the same principals of face-to-face networking applies to social media networks such as Twitter.
  4. Automated Responses. These drive not only me but will drive your prospects crazy. They are impersonal, and usually contain no value other than to clog up your Direct Message box forcing you to scan through dozens and dozens to reach those who have sent you a personal one.
  5. Little if any value to your Tweets. If you want to build a following that will provide new business leads, you must Tweet content that is of value within those 140 characters.  My article, “A Simple Twitter Formula for Ad Agency New Business,” provides a simple formula for using Twitter.
  6. Fail to generate Twitter traffic ‘to anything”. I have recommended that to agencies that they have a blog that becomes the “gateway” to the agency and generate traffic to the blog through tools such as Twitter. The blog serves as the central platform for your social media strategy.
  7. Failing to use 3rd party Twitter tools. These can tools help you identify your best target audience and build your Twitter account’s data base of followers within the ratios mandated by Twitter. Your agency’s blog content can stay fresh with new postings but older posts have a very long shelf life from not only SEO but also through repurposing posts to Twitter using some third-party Twitter Tools such as SocialOomph. You can create a Twitter schedule as you would any other type of media schedule. It’s naive  to think if you have written a post that everyone has read it.
  8. Using the reply function when you should use a direct message. Not every reply needs to be share with your entire Twitter audience. Almost all replies should probably be sent by Direct Message to the person.
  9. Failing to engage in the conversation. It amazes me that most agency principals have reservations about engaging with their prospective client audience.  Social media and tools such as Twitter, provide the most efficient means of creating personal network with your agencies best prospects. I have over 30,000 followers on Twitter alone and it is easy to stay engaged and be part of the conversations without it requiring an undue amount of time. I probably spend no more than 15 minutes a day responding through Twitter.
  10. Allowing the early adopters of Twitter to mandate how your agency should use it. Face it, Twitter has superseded anything envisioned by its creators or early adopters “way back in 2006.”  It’s amazing that it was the celebrities, not ad agencies, that first figured out the value and potential of Twitter.

Here are 20+ additional Twitter articles, specifically for ad agencies that can help you take advantage of Twitter’s growth for your new business:

  1. To Get the Most Out of Twitter Be a Maverick
  2. How to take advantage of Twitter’s growth for ad agency new business
  3. A Great Ad Agency New Business Tool to Optimize Twitter
  4. How to Generate Traffic to Your Ad Agency’s Blog with Repeat Tweets
  5. Twitter 101 for Ad Agency New Business
  6. Ad Agencies: Useful In-Depth Data on How Twitter is Being Used
  7. Study: Fortune 100 companies using Twitter more than any other social media platform
  8. A Simple Twitter Formula for Ad Agency New Business
  9. Ad Agencies: 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter
  10. 5 Ways I Use Twitter to Help Ad Agency New Business
  11. Edward Boches, CCO for the Mullen Agency: What Twitter Can Do For You
  12. Ad Agency CEOs Should Use Twitter
  13. Twitter Traffic Explosion Being Led By 45-54 Year Olds
  14. 3 Ways Twitter Can Make You A Better Writer
  15. Tweetlater A Great Ad Agency New Business Tool
  16. Ad Agencies: Top 10 Articles for Twitter Search
  17. A Twitter Business Model Contest is Won by an Ad Agency
  18. Socially Benefitting from My Twitter Habits
  19. Today’s Top 10 Twitter Post for Ad Agency New Business
  20. List of C Suite Executives Using Twitter
  21. Top 5 Twitter Tools for Ad Agency New Business
  22. Promoting Your Ad Agency Using Twitter?
  23. Twitter List: 500+ Advertising Agencies on Twitter

photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Its interesting for me to know about all these Twitter mistakes.I think all Ad Agencies should read this post to avoid their mistakes.For Ad Agencies Main mistake is to fail in generating Twitter traffic which is very important.

  2. do you use another twitter account besides http://twitter.com/michaelgass? I noticed you said 30k plus followers on twitter.

  3. Very helpful — especially #3, #6, and #9! And thank you for your work — you are an excellent resource to me as we navigate our building business efforts within the world of social media for our agency.

  4. Thanks Sandi. Very much appreciated.

  5. Dan, the other Twitter account is @fuellines (15,301 followers)

  6. My biggest Twitter pet peeves:
    1. Incomplete profiles
    2. Infrequent tweets
    3. Bios that are completely unhelpful (or no bios!)
    4. Private profiles

    * These are more reasons why I won’t follow someone in the first place, but I totally agree with you on why I would UNFOLLOW someone. Great post!

  7. Thanks for sharing Marian,

  8. Great post as always Michael. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned third party Twitter tools. I’d like to let your readers know about Hootsuite, which I’ve been using a couple of years. It’s a great timesaver! My blog has quite a few posts about how to get the most out of it, as well as a post about highlights of Hootsuite’s latest improvements, just rolled out today, coincidentally!

  9. Good evening Michael! I’ve been absorbing your articles this whole day, and I absolutely dig it to no end. Regarding this particular article though, everything made clear sense except for point #8.. Would you mind elaborating a little further?

    Thanks in advance! I’m in the process of sussing out the potential benefits for our agency to have a blog/twitter, and your insights are a great source of inspiration. I wish you the best in all your social media-flavoured endeavours!

  10. Ah also I failed to see the relevance of the balcony photos to this article. I only say this as I remember reading somewhere here how you’d make sure to put something that’s absolutely relevant/visually symbolises to the topic.. Thanks!

  11. Thanks Ryo. Very much appreciated.

    Regarding #8. Using the reply function when you should use a direct message. Not every reply needs to be share with your entire Twitter audience. Almost all replies should probably be sent by Direct Message to the person.

    My experience, my followers don’t want to see a lot of one-to-one conversation. What they are most interested in are Tweets that are informational. So, most of what I share through Twitter are resources, mine and a mixture of other sources that I think will be of interest to my audience.

    My point-of-view, for what it is worth … A lot of one-to-one conversations that aren’t helpful to the majority of followers would work better through direct messages.

    That differs from the way some of my friends who have large Twitter followings are doing it. But when I click on their profiles to see what some of them have Tweeted about recently, there’s almost nothing in their Tweets that is pointing me to helpful content, either from their own content or content from other sources.

    Regarding the photo. I liked the image. Which is clearly evident that someone made a huge mistake in building that building … thought it tied in well with the title for this post … Twitter Mistakes. Just a personal preference, instead of posting a Twitter logo or another variation of the Twitter bird.

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