Even if you are great with computers, an online marketing natural, and quick to learn new things, the format and feel of Twitter can take a bit of getting used to.  We’ve talked a bit before about hashtags on Twitter, and the ways in which your business can start gaining twitter followers to unlock your social media marketing potential.  But for new comers to twitter, some straight forward dos and don’ts are sometimes needed too.  So here it is: our list of the five things you should never do on Twitter.  Whether you are a social media marketing guru or a restaurant owner just learning Twitter for the first time, these tips are worth keeping in mind.

1.  Spam

Twitter moves a lot faster than other social networks, so it is a good idea to post on the platform more often.  But it’s never smart to post so often that your followers think you are annoying.  You want followers’ support, not for them to get fed up with your excessive updates and click unfollow.  You will need to spend some time figuring out how much is too much for your network, but a good starting point would be 1-3 tweets per hour tops.  If you notice that your tweets aren’t getting any engagements, try posting a little less frequently; people ignoring your posts is a sure fire sign that you are posting too much.  Just play it by ear, but make “thou shalt not spam” your personal motto.

2.  Tag people excessively

The Twitter “mention” feature, where you can tag big celebrities or whoever you want, seems like an easy way to get some exposure.  But if you tag a lot of people in a lot of your posts, it looks like just another form of spam.  Plus, if you are too liberal with the mentions, Twitter might give your account a temporary ban.  In any case, it’s very frowned upon.

3.  Post links to pictures instead of pictures

On every social network, pictures are king.  Social network users have a notoriously short attention span, and with most users posting text, you will certainly stand out if you post pictures.  On twitter, you can easily share links to photos, which will serve the purpose of catching your audience’s attention.  Or, you can take w few extra moments to share a picture itself, which has a few added benefits.  If you upload a picture to twitter to share it rather than sharing a link, people who see your posts will see a nice, clear version of the image you post, rather than a smaller, pixelated preview.  Plus, if your fans like it and re-share it, the attention grabbing effects will be continually amplified.

4.  Try to trade follows

It can be hard to develop a larger follower base on Twitter.  The right way to do it is to let your restaurant and food speak for itself, stay very active on the site, and post with a strategy.  The WRONG way to gain followers is to message other people and ask for follows, or ask to “trade” follows to build both of your fan numbers.  While it may make you feel good to have more followers on Twitter, people who start following your page on a simple “follow trade” probably aren’t genuinely interested in you or your business.  They won’t interact much, will probably stop following quickly, and overall aren’t good fans to have.  Plus, it makes your business look amateur and annoys potential customers that may very well have followed your restaurant on their own accord without a pesky “follow back!” request.

5.  Stop posting

The worst thing you can do on Twitter is give up.  Yes, Twitter can be a challenging platform to get the hang of.  Yes, the benefits of Twitter can someone times seem abstract, or it can seem like you put a lot of work into your Twitter profile and don’t see anything out of it right away.  But if you use Twitter right, and stick with it, the social media site can be a powerful online marketing tool.  If you quit now, or decided that Twitter just isn’t worth learning, you will miss out on some valuable exposure.  Plus, Twitter and other social networks will likely only get more important in the future, so avoiding learning Twitter now isn’t a long term solution.

Even when things aren’t going as well on your Twitter as you’d hope, and it feels like there is just too much to learn, keep posting.  Even if it doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot for you in the short term, keep posting.  The biggest no-no in the Twitter world is giving up, and leaving your profile dead in the water before it has a chance to change your restaurant for the better.