With Twitter reporting nearly 300 million active users, this social media platform is still considered one of the best for reaching your target audience.

However, despite the potential that exists this platform, what a lot of companies are tweeting is not resulting in much return. 

This tells us that some companies are doing it all wrong when it comes to Twitter, because followers are not engaging with the tweets being posted.

If you aren't getting the replies you expect, you might be making some critical mistakes in how you are leveraging Twitter. Here are seven things you might be doing wrong:

1. No one wants to read about just your company. 

Stop focusing on self-promotional content, because your audience will get bored and not check back to see if you've gotten over talking about yourself. Instead, share other content that might be related to the issues and needs you are addressing, reply to others on Twitter who are sharing content, and retweet other valuable information.

2. Your audience doesn't need to see every tweet someone else did about you either. 

Similarly, you are still just self-promoting by retweeting what others have said about your company. Simply reply to those who have tweeted about you and let them know you appreciate it--but your Twitter followers don't care, because those tweets aren't doing anything to help them. Rather than retweeting about yourself, focus on sharing the relevant and informative content that your audience craves.

3. Everyone hates auto direct messages. 

When your followers get an auto direct message that thanks them for following you, it's a "fake" reply and doesn't feel genuine at all. This canned response immediately sets the precedent that all your tweets will be just as indirect and impersonal.

Rather than utilizing this automated tactic, personally respond to followers and use this beginning as an opportunity to get to know them, engage in a conversation, and find out why they are following you so you can address future tweets to their specific interests.

4. Your Twitter account is not a soapbox and shouldn't be a place for negative news. 

It's important to keep your opinions about politics and other sensitive topics for your own social media accounts and use this channel for topics that concern your audience. This is also not a place where your followers come to hear negative news.

They want to know that you understand their personal pain points, so discussing those is OK, but stay clear of pure negativity, complaints, and any urge to rant about something that frustrates you. Keeping a positive outlook tends to attract and engage more followers, because you are adding something uplifting to their day and they will want to come back for more.

5. Stop sharing everything you have to say at one point in the day.

Though you are worried that your busy schedule will cause you to forget to post in regular increments throughout the day, you are not making the most of your content by delivering it all at once to your followers.

Not everyone will be online and checking their Twitter at that time, and your tweet, if done in the morning, will then be lost to those who only sign in in the afternoon. To help you space out your tweets all through the day while you focus on putting out fires, use TweetDeck or Social Inbox to schedule your tweets to post at various times.

6. Don't hide your profile or lists from your followers, because they will instantly become suspicious.

With literally millions of fake Twitter accounts, many users are concerned about who is behind an account they start following. If you keep your profile and lists private, your audience may have a difficult time trusting you, because they may come to the conclusion that you are hiding something.

Instead, you want to make sure your audience knows who you are and what you are about so you can gain their trust. While you may want to divide up your followers and choose to keep some private who are friends and family, don't hide all your followers, because this also breeds suspicion. You can build up that credibility you are seeking just by showing your list of followers and being open.

7. Don't be rude to others on Twitter, because it's just bad form--and doesn't help your brand reputation. 

Many think the cloak of anonymity that social media offers allows them to be rude or mean to others--something they most likely wouldn't be if they were face-to-face with these people. Some advice out there insists that being edgy or controversial will attract attention, but, at most, it will just get you the wrong attention and it certainly won't win fans, who would immediately think they might become your next target.

Plus, your brand doesn't need to be aligned with rudeness or bad, unprofessional behavior because no one wants to do business with a company that thinks it's OK to treat others this way. The old adage that says, "If you can't think of anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all," holds true here. Recognize what those on Twitter trying to engage you in this bad behavior are doing, ignore them, and focus on positive things to say to others.

Conclusion

If you are still not sure what you may be doing wrong on Twitter, you can look at your competition or at others who are getting the most responses and engagement to see what they are doing right and then determine how you can put those social media ideas and best practices into action with your own tweets.