Three Ways to Maximize Your Twitter Time for Networking, Marketing and Fun

Twitter

Earlier this month, Brian confessed that he has succumbed to a newfound Twitter addiction. He’s not alone. Twitter is facilitating all sorts of communication from all sorts of people. But it can be fascinating and distracting all at once.

So, how can you maximize your use of Twitter to benefit both yourself and your followers?

Here are three easy ways to empower your Twittering for networking, marketing and fun:

1. Utilize the “Track” feature

If you’ve set up Twitter to work on your phone or IM client, you can use this feature. Simply type “track” and then the word or phrase you’re interested in and you’ll receive any Tweet that mentions that word or phrase. For example, if you want to track Tweets that mention the Cleveland Indians, type track Cleveland Indians. If you want to stop tracking the term, type untrack Cleveland Indians. This is a great way to meet people and connect with other professionals in your industry.

2. Add Value

Some people have called Twitter a micro-blogging platform. This is a good way to look at it. So many users get caught up in answering Twitter’s question: “What are you doing?” But unless you’re doing something out of the ordinary, most people will find the answer to that question boring. When you’re writing on Twitter, approach it the same way you would approach your blog or copy – only publish posts that add value to your followers, and you’ll see natural networking and marketing benefits.

3. Engage in Fascinating Conversation

Following along the last point, Twitter is best when you’re engaging your followers rather than updating them with the mundane details of your life. Think about this as a digital networking event, party or cocktail hour. Talk to people on Twitter the way you would if you were in a group. Save private conversations for Direct Messages.

I hope you found those Twitter tips helpful and that your social networking sees a boost as a result. Happy Tweeting!

About the Author: Nathania Johnson is the Editor of Social Media Butterfly . You can follow her on Twitter here.

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  1. Nathania:

    I’m a new tweeter (as of about ten minutes ago), and the point you make about needing to add value to your readers is a great one.

    At first twitter seemed to me like a glorified facebook Status Update. And in fact it can be, if you don’t follow your advice and write for your readers’ benefit.

    For a college-aged guy like me, I can let my friends know how I’m feeling effectively through facebook. But micro-blogging (for my generation anyway) can serve a much more useful purpose, just like you’ve said.

    Thanks, great post!

  2. Nice to see more twitter praise. It’s been a great way to keep up with happenings in certain communities but one big bonus I’ve discovered is the value of a re-tweet.

    Someone with many followers sending around your url in a re tweet can lead to significant extra traffic.

  3. I have yet to understand the value of twitter. Lot’s of people seem sold on it, though. I suppose I should sign up and see if it really is useful to an old guy like me.

  4. I love twitter and have found both business and personal value in its use. Initially I really didn’t get it and certainly did not believe you could actually develop relationships…but it’s true. It is a tool of course and you have to evaluate how to use it best to suit your purposes. I also like Tweetscan which allows you to scan for topics, keywords very quickly.

  5. Twitter is an invaluable networking tool, and any blogger not yet using it is really missing out.

    We hear/read so often the importance of building relationships with other bloggers on a more personal basis, but so many lack the understanding of just how to do it except for commenting on each other’s blogs.

    Twitter allows users to interact with each other personally, showcase links to blog posts (NOT just their own), ask and answer questions and so much more.

    Anyone who hasn’t yet spent quality time on Twitter really needs to sign up and get to Twittering with other users. Not only has Twitter brought an increase of traffic to my blog, but also an increase in subscribers. I highly recommend Twitter.

  6. Xander, Michael, and Lin – glad you liked the post and are seeing great things on Twitter.

    Karen – I didn’t get it at first either. But once I realized how people were using it for networking, it suddenly clicked and it’s been highly useful ever since.

    John – I think that with any social media tool or technology tool, you should only use it if it makes sense to you. For a number of people, Twitter will never really fit into their goals, lives, etc. And that’s fine too :)

  7. So far, two weeks or so in, Twitter’s kind of fun. It does increase traffic and some friends have joined in the following, so it’s a nice distraction. The jury’s still out.

  8. The Track feature is something I’ve been meaning to put to use.

    I find I only spend about 6-10 hours a week partially on Twitter, which means I miss a lot.

  9. Great post, and very timely. I just joined Twitter (after resisting for some time, viewing it as a rather pointless and narcissistic endeavor!) I can see how its very addictive, and interesting. But I am really digging your ideas on how to use it to full advantage. I can get behind microblogging, and will be exploring those options.

    Thanks for the great info!

  10. Hi… I signed up for twitter a few weeks ago and forgot all about it — then received an e-mail saying that someone, who I didn’t know, was watching me! It was from twitter and I got quite a shock! I laughed a couple of minutes later when I realised what was going on!
    I haven’t got into it completely yet… but this post has given me a better understanding of what it’s about!

    Thanks for the insight
    Jeanne

  11. I am defiantly not using the tracking feature to it’s fullest potential. I loved your point about conversation. Don’t just post a message then leave for a while and then check your replies, engage people. Talk about their tweets, their sites, industry news, etc.

  12. I’ve always thought what’s the Twitter point? But your micro-blogging insight give me a new prospective so I can say to myself: I am not loosing time I am engaging my audience!

  13. I’ve actually got other coworkers in my company to utilize Twitter–albeit for personal users. But now I’m using it to promote our blog and market any product released for our company. It’ll take time to build up a pack of followers, of course, but I didn’t think about the tracking feature. Another great way to just find people.

  14. I wouls also add Branding to the list. I’ve found that if you spend the time to make your Twitter setting look more professional it adds credibility. I wrote a how-to post about branding your Twitter account at http://www.dbstudio.net/2008/04/01/polishing-your-twitter-profile/

  15. I thought this was a really solid post. Short, but sweet.

    Then I saw that you wrote it Nathania. Great stuff. Keep it up.

    ~Jim

  16. Great article about the benefits of Twitter. I did not know about the “Track” feature. Now I do and will use it to see how it helps. Thanks for a great blog post!

  17. peter parker :

    ————————————————
    Dave Winer, father of RSS says “Twitter, as it was conceived, was never meant to live.”

    “It’s very possible with better engineering its architecture might have gone on for a few more years, but eventually it would have hit this wall, where there were too many people posting too many twits to too many followers. The scale of the system as conceived rises exponentially.”

    So is the end of Twitter getting near? I hope not. Twitter I hope that you are listening and you better start taking things more seriously.
    ———————————————–

    Here’s my two cents.

    For instance there are about 100m users of yahoo messenger and usually 2-3 of them talk at a time that means scalability of 300m conversations. On the other hand with 100m twitter users who usually send messages to 100-10,000 other users the scalability required is 10,000m to 10^6m I have never known any current architecture based on webservers to handle such a scale. So according to me Twitter was never meant to live. It is like a concept car that will never see production. Users of twitter don’t understand this and they don’t care.
    They don’t know whats happening when the website is down. The sad part is that the best analysts claim that Twitter is a billion dollar company in one year of operations. There is an old saying before the days of when people understood permutation combinations. One peasant asked a king to give him rice equal to the total amount gotten by placing double the number of rice grains on a chess square than the previous square, starting with one rice grain. There are 8×8=64 squares. We seriously need to visit grade 7 mathematics.

    I know of only one News/Messaging system that supports around 1 billion users sending messages to all 1 billion users each. Thats a scalability of 10^12m. It is not Web based but rather on a massively scalable serverless P2P architecture based. The team is soft spoken and when I last talked to them I was told that they don’t care about money or hype or fame but rather for just the passion of next generation global systems that will stand the test of worldwide use. Its called Mermaid News Mermaid

    They have other softwares too but this post is about Twitter and Messaging. Once everyone comprehends basic mathematics that goes behind scalable algorithms they would go past the flashy screen and hype to actually want a system they can trust. To the analysts I would say it is easy to create a business plan, create a hype and raise $20m funding it is far more difficult to create something of use.

  18. I have yet to understand the value of twitter. Lot’s of people seem sold on it, though.

  19. Thanks for sharing these tips! Happy tweeting everybody!