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
- Forbes: Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, Jan 2012
- Time Magazine: 140 Best Twitter Feeds, March 2011
- Business Week: CEOs talk about who they follow on Twitter, see what CEO of Mzinga, and CEO of SocialText said.
- Mashable: Twitter Professors: 18 People to Follow for a Real Time Education
- ZDNet: The 10 best techies worth following on Twitter