How to Enjoy Twitter

Social media is often worked into the strategy of a given project. Twitter is a great way to connect with users, if it’s used well. Here are some basics.

How does Twitter work?

  • Twitter is like a grocery store. You wander the aisles passing people, and every so often you stop to chat. The longer you’re in the store, the more likely you are to recognize other people, and ultimately you’ll get to know the regulars.
  • As a Twitter user you can “follow” other people, which means everything they post will appear in your Twitter feed.
  • Twitter posts are always shown chronologically, and most users follow enough people that any given post will only appear high enough in their feed to be seen for about five minutes. In other words, the “life” of a Twitter post is five to ten minutes.

Why should I use Twitter?

  • Twitter is a great place to build brand awareness and display “value” by posting free resources (articles, videos, images, quotes).
  • Twitter’s use of hashtags (#) allow users to follow topics in addition to people, so your content is easily categorized for people who are interested in the topics you tag.
  • For personal use, Twitter is a great way to stay on top of new trends and best practices within a topic of community.

How to get started

  • Choose an alternative app, like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Tweetcaster to use in place of Twitter. These tools provide the ability to customize and simultaneously view multiple feeds.
  • Search for topics you’re interested in by hashtag. This may take some trial and error; for example, searching “#content” brings up so many posts about such a variety of things that it is not useful. Searching #userresearch brings up so few posts that it is not useful. However, searching #contentstrategy brings up a list of posts that updates every few minutes, with most posters focused on the relevant field.
  • When you find a topic with a useful hashtag, add it as a feed via your app of choice.
  • Schedule tweets in advance, so that you can be active without needing to spend hours every day online.
  • Visit your app when you need some inspiration or a break from work. It’s a good way to learn something or build your brand while feeling like you’re not working.
  • Make a point of replying to people who follow or retweet you. It’s like saying hello in the (metaphorical) grocery store.
  • Follow people who consistently post interesting things in your hashtag feeds.

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