Whenever a prospective client approaches us about our services, we always ask them whether they would like us to manage their Twitter account as part of a wider online PR campaign.

Yet you wouldn’t believe just how many times a new client will tell us that, having already tried the microblogging platform, they think that Twitter is overrated and a complete waste of time.

But when we take a look at their Twitter profile, it all too often becomes immediately clear as to why they feel they’re simply talking to a brick wall and why so few people are showing any interest in what they have to say.

And this invariably comes down to making one or more of the following five simple mistakes that unfortunately many businesses are still repeating time and time again:

1. No profile picture
There’s no better way to blend into the background than use the default egg graphic that you see everywhere on the social networking site.

By using a photograph or business logo, you’ll at least give people an easier way of identifying you and help your Tweets to stand out.

2. A rubbish bio
Before deciding to follow you, people will want to know who you are and what you do.

It takes just a few minutes to add a short description about you or your company, so why neglect giving potential followers this most basic of information?

3. No link to your website
The fundamental PR objective of any Twitter campaign is to raise awareness of your business and get more people clicking through to your website.

If you have a website then make sure you include your URL in your Twitter profile. Not only does it provide other Twitter users with the opportunity to dig deeper and find out more about you, it can also help towards your SEO.

4. Buying followers
It’s incredible just how many of our prospective clients still think that they need to buy followers in the mistaken belief that it will make them look impressive and highly popular.

However, we always strongly warn against such desperate and deceptive social media tactics. Quite simply, you will parade yourself as a fraud and destroy your credibility in an instant.

5. Too much sales talk
As I’ve said before and will no doubt say again, this has to be by far our biggest bugbear where Twitter is concerned. It is important to remember that Twitter works exceptionally well as a PR platform but not at all well as a direct marketing medium.

Followers will not take kindly to a consistent stream of sales messages in your Tweets. At best they will ignore them; at worse they will stop following you altogether.