What is Twitter and how do you use it effectively?

If you do not know what Twitter is then you are missing out on a great communication tool that can help you stay up-to-date with your contacts and get the latest news or gossip. Twitter is an online social media tool that allows those with an account to write anything they want in 140 characters or less. Twitter is used by various organizations, businesses, celebrities, and ordinary people.

So, how does it all work? Let’s take, for example, and imaginary user by the name of John. John joins Twitter to follow his friends and favourite athletes. Every time one of his contacts tweets, John is able to see it and know what is happening. Similarly, John can update those who subscribe to follow him with his latest tweets. The nature of those updates can very, as some users may post their selfies from, let’s say, a concert, or announce an upcoming wedding. Although John can follow many people, they don’t have to follow him.

Having twitter can be fun as it allows you to interact and meet new people who have similar interests as you, but how can you use it effectively? Below are my top 5 tips based on my personal experience:

1. Tweet daily – tweeting on a daily basis can keep your contacts engaged and up-to-date. In addition to tweeting from your computer you can use your cellphone to tweet using text messaging or the Twitter app. You can also program your tweets ahead of time using TweetDeck and Hootsuite.

2. Retweet – create conversations with your contacts by retweeting others’ posts.

3. Use hashtags when tweeting – Hashtags can help find people who are interested in the same topic as you.

 

4.Thank your new followers – if you have a new follower, thank them for following you. Users feel good when they are recognized.

5. Think before you tweet – do not tweet stupid things. It would be up to you to figure out what is a stupid tweet, but remember that your followers may consist of friends, coworkers, and unknown people so you should consider their reaction to your tweet before tweeting out.

The above tips are based on my experience and I hope you find them useful. If you have other tips, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, follow me at Yuliya_Mass and let’s tweet to each other!

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7 thoughts on “What is Twitter and how do you use it effectively?

  1. Yulia I never thought of thanking followers. That’s interesting. What do you do? Tweet them and say thanks? Is there any other way to do it? I’m still getting used to tweeting and though I like the idea of acknowledging a follower, I feel like tweeting my thanks is…don’t know. Kind of a waste of a tweet? No one else would want to see that, would they? How do you do this without feeling like you’re contributing to the giant pile of e-waste already out there?

    1. Hi Cat, what I usually do is I would simply tweet: “Thank you for the follow @user_name!” I never thought about it until people I began to follow did that for me. It indeed shows appreciation and I felt good about the recognition. Hence, I am passing it on to my followers as well!

  2. I’ve been using Twitter for about three years and the community generally finds the generic “thanks for the follow” to be annoying and can often times lead to then unfollowing you. I’ve found that a more strategic way to engage with a new follower is to: tweet them a genuine comment regarding something they have tweeted or something you have in common with them. Another way is to retweet something they’ve tweeted. It shows that you’ve noticed them and also helps you build a stronger more authentic connection.

    1. Hi Nicole, this is a great comment. I never thought about it this way, will try to add in a comment to my next retweet for new followers! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a great overview of how to use Twitter. Thanks! The other part of Twitter that I like is the ability to find new streams of thought that I hadn’t considered before. This is a bit trickier but works on similar principles. I look at the people I follow and then look at their feeds, or their lists of followers. Try to spot trends. There’s a good chance that if I appreciate their ideas on one topic, I might also like something they like that I just don’t know about yet.

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