A Twitter presence won't cost you anything out of pocket, but getting it right takes time and effort. And that includes avoiding minor errors that can do as much damage as any major faux pas. Writing at MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog, Megan Leap discusses several "gruesome Twitter pet peeves that could irk your profile visitors—and cost you followers." Here are few major no-nos:

The automated direct message (DM). Twitter allows people who follow each other to exchange private messages that don't appear in public timelines. Some people use this function to send automated DMs to all new followers that say "Thanks for the follow. Let's figure out how to work together!" or "Nice to meet you. I offer social media consulting services. Hit me up if you have any questions." "If you have these set up," says Leap, "please turn them off. They are rude, irrelevant, and oh-so-obviously automated."

The typo in your bio. We have less stringent proofreading standards in online venues—no one will crucify you for tweets with an occasional typo. But it looks bad when your profile contains poor grammar or spelling. "Please, if you only proofread one thing, proofread your Twitter bio," she pleads. "Copy and paste it into Microsoft Word. Have your coworker review it. Whatever you need to do, don't let typos happen in your bio. It's a pretty permanent piece of your online presence."

The absence of a profile image. When you first sign up for Twitter, you're given a generic "egg" avatar as a temporary placeholder—if you don't immediately upload your headshot or your company's logo, expect users to regard your tweets with suspicion.

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