How I use Twitter, and you?

Everyone will approach Twitter in a different way, and should find the way that works for them, here’s my approach on Twitter:


[Rather than answering "What are you doing" reframe your thinking to answer "What's important to others?"]


How I use Twitter
While I am high volume twitter publisher (15 a day on average), I try to add value, here’s how:

1) As a ‘shared feed’ reader. I’ll post up links of what I’m reading that I find is interesting in near real time, and give some commentary. I try to add value here, rather than adding to noise. So use me as a news filter.

2) As a chat room. We collectively work out problems, issues, and I gain insight to other people’s viewpoints. Often when conversations are just between a few folks, I shift to direct messages or email –sparing my community from hearing my minutia.

3) Event capture: Lately, when I attend an event (like Mark Cuban’s presentation at BlogWorldExpo, or Teresa’s webinar on Facebook yesterday) I’ll fire off the top nuggets I learn.

4) Listening tool: It’s interesting to find out what others are sharing and talking about, from very personal to big concepts. I frequently use the search tools around different topics to keep on top of what’s happening.

5) Traffic direction tool: I use it to direct people to this blog, sometimes (I’ll admit) a bit too enthusiastically. Google Analytics indicates this is one of the largest referrers of folks to my blog.

6) For work: When I’m conducting interviews or briefings that aren’t confidential, I’ll state who I’m speaking to and what I find interesting, if you listen closely, you’ll hear me tweet about other interesting findings from my job as a social media analyst. Also, I will announce new research, request interviews, and promote workshops, conferences and other services.

How I don’t use Twitter

1) Personal Minutia: I rarely talk about waking up, eating lunch, or starting my car, instead, I want to add value.

2) Excessive personal discussions: I’ve been criticized for not @replying at people, but it’s because I’m sensitive to not overload the community with a discussion that’s only relevant to a few people. Instead, I may direct message them, favorite a tweet, or shift to email. Update as of Sept 2008, I have sent/received over 4000 direct messages, out of 10,000 updates. So 40% of my communications shift to private discussions.

A few people have found me too noisy (filling up their stream) but there’s a simple solution, although I would hate to see it happen, one can simply opt-out. You’ve got to do what’s right for you and I understand.

So, how do you use Twitter?

Mentions About My Twitter Usage


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  • Claire Axelrad

    I need to learn from you.  What am I doing wrong?  I link to my blog posts on Twitter, but get almost no traffic to my blog (I get a ton from LinkedIn).  Is it simply because I don’t have enough followers?  I’m stumped.  I look forward to following you and learning from you.

  • Europeo Cars

    Great article indeed! Thank you very much for the information! Even if most of them seem to be clear to most of the people, people keep doing the same mistakes over and over again with the opposite results on their businesses than what they expected.

    I will keep an eye on your activities and i hope i find more interesting stuff!

    Thanks a lot,
    Vaggelis Vernadakis
    Web Designer & Seo Expert
    Online advertising and reservation manager
    Europeo Cars

  • Buzz Brothers

    Great post. I use Twitter for personal branding (@taissacharlier), trying to not add to the general noise, I love the 80/20 rule. 80% of professional content, 20% of interesting news not related to my sector, fun stuff, etc.  About the opt-out solution you mentioned: another solution for people we consider noisy but still want to follow, is to build lists. From time to time one can check those lists, a good way to not be overwhelmed by the constant (subjective) noise. I personally almost never check my general feed, instead I rely on all the custom lists I built. This requires disciple though in your list management process – adding up new members, removing those who are not relevant, etc. I must confess that HootSuite helps me a great deal in managing those lists creating feeds. The great thing with lists is that they can be either public or private. The downside is their limit in number. 

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  • Marc Binkley

    Great post Jeremiah.

    Over time, I’ve noticed that my perception of what Twitter is has change the way I use it.

    First, i started by trying to “build a brand”. I thought that meant to use Twitter to retweet info and curate content.

    Then, I used Twitter for “thought leadership”. I thought that meant that I share as much information about myself as I could.

    Then, I during Dec 2012 I tried a 30 day test to use Twitter for listening. For 30 days, i tried to stop tweeting any original content or curating others info without reading what they said AND adding some personal thoughts to their insights.

    Now, I use Twitter to learn. I regularly join tweetchats like #CXO, #brandchat and #hbrchat to learn from really great people and think on my feet.

    I really appreciate your post – it gave me a chance to reflect on why I use this platform.



  • daryl

    “top nuggets”

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  • Catie Ragusa

    Very helpful, Jeremiah! Thanks for the great insight. I’ll admit that I abuse my Twitter feed pretty often (way more often than I should!); however, I do share plenty of content as well. Maybe I should cut back on the former.

    Again, thanks for the great post (even if I’m a little late on commenting!)

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  • Michael L. Atkinson

    Are you a RUSH fan?

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