Using Twitter To Learn, Share & Connect
Twitter is not just a social network. It’s an amazing tool that let’s each and every one of us (assuming you have a smart phone or laptop connected to the Internet) join a global conversation based on what we are interested in.
I joined Twitter in 2009. At first, like many others, I too did not understand what it was all about, but I eventually got the hang of it, learnt how to use Twitter and have since realised that it’s an extremely powerful network and tool that I use on a daily basis.
In this post I’d like to help you understand what I use Twitter for and how you too can tap into the value that this network has to offer.
1. Research & Learning
Twitter has become an extremely busy conversation and unfortunately like any online channel there is a lot of rubbish and spam to filter through, however once you understand how to best avoid all the junk you will quickly realise that there is a lot of value at your finger tips. Follow reputable accounts and hashtags and you will soon be learning about the latest trends, developments and best practices. I use twitter to stay up to date in a wide selection of interests including Online Marketing, Digital Media, Digital Nomadism, Entrepreneurship and Technology.
2. Connecting & Building Relationships
I’ve met some amazing people through the Internet. Some of them I’ve been fortunate enough to have met in person at events or while travelling and other remain online friends that I hope to meet in person some day in the future. Over the past years Twitter has gives me the opportunity to reach out, connect, keep in touch and interact with those that I have a connection with. This opportunity to connect, interact and have proper conversations online is what makes Twitter so powerful. Instead of browsing an endless feed of noisy tweets, take time to reach out to individual users, start a conversation and build a relationship – you might just make some amazing connections.
3. Sharing Valuable Content
Twitter let’s you send out public updates to the network. These updates may be seen by your followers or if you include topical hashtags, then your updates might be seen by someone searching for that specific hashtag. Either way you have an opportunity to share valuable content with the world. Maybe it’s an amazing article you’ve read or an inspirational quote that uplifted your day. Whatever it is that added value to your life, pass it on and share it on Twitter. The sharing economy is here and Twitter makes it easy to share your own valuable content – there is quite a high chance that there is someone out there looking for that something that you have to share. I like to share useful and interesting articles, graphics, quotes, courses, tips and ideas. Whenever you share, make sure to use hashtags so that other users can discover your tweets even if they’re are not yet following you.
4. Interacting & Networking at Live Events
While watching or attending live events I use Twitter to follow the event specific hashtag to filter down to the tweets relating to the event. Tweeting out questions, comments or valuable take aways at conferences, workshops and meetups is a great way of interacting with other attendees and showing up in the event feed. Following and tweeting at fellow attendees is also a great way of making contact and possibility planning an in person meet up. Always make sure to include the event hangtag(s) with all your tweets to make sure that other participants will see your tweets in the events’ feed.
Some examples of event hashtags: #TedxCT (TEDx Cape Town Talks), #ContentlySummit (Content Marketing Summit), #SMMW15 (Social Media Marketing World Conference 2015), #RWC2015 (Rugby World Cup 2015).
5. Following Breaking News
I don’t spend much time following the news, but when there is breaking news that affects me or that I am interested in, then I will jump onto Twitter to get the latest updates. A while back I was on a plane from Doha to Cape Town that got turned around while we were over Saudi Arabia due to airstrikes that had broken out on our flight path. When we got back to Doha Airport, I used Twitter to find out more about what was happening and how we were being affected.
News channels that I follow on Twitter include: @BBCBreaking, @AJEnglish, @ewnbreaking, @TWCBreaking, @SkyNewsBreak and @ReutersLive
6. Promoting Your Personal Brand & Business
I have purposefully left the topic of promotion and selling for the end, because this is something many Twitter users get horribly wrong. They use Twitter predominantly as an advertising channel to try promote and sell their services and products. As you can imagine, this can be extremely off putting to other users and is therefore not recommended. What works well is finding a great balance of sharing valuable content and promoting what you have to offer. The 70/30 rule works well, where you spend 70 – 80% of your time sharing valuable content and interacting genuinely. The other 20 – 30% of your time you should spend on promoting your own brand and any valuable and useful services and products that you might be selling.
Time To Take Action
I encourage you to get more active on Twitter. – I’m waiting to read and reply to your tweet. You can follow and interact with me on my personal account @posmay or the agency account @posmaymedia. Thanks for reading and happy tweeting.
Do you have any questions about Twitter? Tweet us @PosmayMedia or email firstname.lastname@example.org.