25 Suggestions For How To Use Twitter

Twitter sent an email around to users yesterday, giving four suggestions for getting the most out of Twitter in 2011:

  1. Follow your interests: Follow the people who share your passions
  2. Get specific: Follow your favourite leagues, teams, players, writers etc
  3. Don’t panic: Search for hashtags and relevant accounts during emergencies to stay informed
  4. Return to Twitter: A call for lapsed users to return to  a service that apparently now has over 200 million user accounts

Four suggestions seems a little thin to me. I often get asked why people should use Twitter; here are 25 ideas for ways you can get value out of Twitter, with a mix of business and personal focus:

  1. Stay in touch – Find your friends and use Twitter to post and read micro-updates on what’s going on in your lives
  2. Meet new people – Get to know friends of your friends and widen your circle
  3. Network professionally – Follow and get to know other people working in your industry
  4. Find local events – Watch for interesting events that your connections are attending. Take advantage of the opportunity to take online connections offline
  5. Research destinations – Travelling somewhere? Search for what people are saying, and poll your network for pointers on your destination
  6. Get recommendations – Looking for a vendor, at home or at work? Ask your Twitter friends for recommendations on who to go with
  7. Grow professionally – Identify the leaders in your industry. Read what they post; follow who they follow; learn from their activity
  8. Fuel your passion – Find people who share the same interests as you, and geek it up! Let other peoples’ passion for your interests fuel your own
  9. Influence the influencers – Get to know the people with influence in your field, before you need to ask them for anything
  10. Stay on top of news – Follow news-related accounts, both traditional and non-traditional – to stay up-to-date with news in your area and your industry
  11. Get to know journalists – Whether you post or you just lurk, follow the journalists in your field, learn what they read and what they like, and get to know what will be helpful for them
  12. Research competitors – Follow your competitors. See what they post; see who they engage. Learn from their successes and their mistakes
  13. Gain insights – Solicit feedback from your connections on ideas, products and services
  14. Filter your reading –  Rather than fearing drinkin from the Twitter firehose, create a list of people who consistently post things that interest you and let them generate your reading list. Bonus: you’ll find stories from sites you don’t normally check
  15. Generate ideas – Whether it’s through case studies other people post, ideas sparked from conversations or reactions to your posts, let your connections help you to generate new ideas
  16. Organize meetups – Found yourself with some time on your hands? See who else is around. Planning to be somewhere at a certain time? See if anyone wants to meet up with you
  17. Boost your reputation – Post your own content or curate others’ to build your own reputation in your chosen area
  18. Inbound job hunting - Network with peers in your industry, build relationships with hiring managers, develop your own reputation and watch the number of job offers you receive rocket
  19. Outbound job hunting – Follow executives at the companies you want to work for and keep your eyes open for job openings
  20. Stay on top of trends – Identify the thought leaders in your industry and stay on top of trends by listening to what they’re saying
  21. Drive conversions – As a business user, point people towards your points of conversion… but don’t do it too often, and make sure it’s something people will find valuable
  22. Engage with your community – Don’t focus all of your company’s posts on pushing content; try to make a majority of your posts more conversational
  23. Solve problems – Monitor for problems with your company’s customers, and solve them
  24. Re-purpose content – Have something interesting on one of your other online properties? Let people know where to find it
  25. New business generation – Get to know people at companies you want to work with; watch for requests for help from people looking for your services; post/curate content that generates inbound demand

I’m sure you can think of a tonne more. Let me know what you’d add in the comments below!

10 comments
Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

These are definitely "ideas." Not so much, detailed, actionable steps (which is cool). Social media requires you actually figure out creative ways of doing all of these things (to be effective). That's where the real results are!!  Either way, good, solid ideas. 

Geoffrey W. Holman
Geoffrey W. Holman

This is great. Will start implementing some of them now. Really appreciate you taking the time to share this with all of us.

John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald

Great post. Except for #1, I can't help but think Twitter has an advantage over Facebook for all these things. It's such a powerful and misunderstood/feared tool. I just wish we could still use UberTwitter!

Niki823
Niki823

As a PR student I found this article particular interesting as I had no idea of why and how to use Twitter. I have learned if you follow and Tweet about what your interested in then organisations who find you interesting also will follow you. Found number Tip #8 inspiring: For example I like to play Badminton so I was following players from the England Badminton team and last week I found Badminton England was following me. But great tips and I have found that I'm using Twitter now more than I'm using Facebook!

stephen hoshaw
stephen hoshaw

Fantastic tips on often overlooked aspects of Twitter. I particularly like your points on 'geeking it up' and following journalists in your field. I use Tip #15 at least four or five times a week! Thanks for adding to my tweet-ideas!

clavoie
clavoie

Thanks for the helpful tips - they work! Case in point for Tip #14 - I found you and this post courtesy of an industry colleague I follow who re-tweeted it. Examples like this add to my knowledge every day.

Menisa Lindra
Menisa Lindra

thanks Dave.. you have given some brilliant points regarding twitter usage. I like those, like building reputation, meeting new people and solving problems... excellent stuff I must say

davefleet
davefleet

Great to hear you're getting something out of it... and what a neat example!

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