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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  • http://www.facebook.com/manhattanapartments James Barclay

    Very reasonable points made. The key, IMHO, is just like with a successful 401k – diversification. Dont get too caught up in any one or two hot topics, but dont spread yourself too thin either. As for blasting peoples streams, if u r a powerr twitter, try and break up the blasts to a max of five at a time, so people dont feel violated. See how I do Twitter – @jamesbarclay. I have only been tweeting for one week as a power tweeter. Increased my folllowers from 42 to 107.

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  • http://twitter.com/TheClassicCarol The Classic Carol

    My usage centers around a making a connection to engage in a conversation. My Tweet to DM ratio is far less (10%), so perhaps there is something to be learned about differentiating public and offline. Has your usage changed since you first posted this? How I use Twitter. <– Hope it was okay to plagiarize your headline :-)

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  • http://www.yupingliu.com/wordpress/ Yuping Liu-Thompkins

    Interesting. Since this was written more than two years ago, I wonder if you find your approach toward Twitter has changed.

  • http://www.yupingliu.com/wordpress/ Yuping Liu-Thompkins

    Interesting. Since this was written more than two years ago, I wonder if you find your approach toward Twitter has changed.

  • http://www.kingrpg.net/ KINGRPG

    I like that you think. Thank you for share very much.

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  • http://twitter.com/oprotech OPROTECH

    The article was really too informative for beginner level as well as others who use twitter non-efficiently.

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  • http://twitter.com/susayoun Susan Young

    Great post. Love your simple style. You've got a new follow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/junmod Jun Takekawa

    same answer , i think . how could we doing when we were 1930's ?

  • http://twitter.com/adhitomo Adhitomo1

    I agree it's important to add value, rather than merely retweeting what others have said. It gives your tweet a sense of personal touch – life.

    I can't imagine how difficult it must be to @reply to those demanding followers of yours, especially when you have over thousands of people following.

  • Yann J. ShowGoom

    Hi,

    Me, I don’t use twitter essentially to keep in touch with my friends… I use twitter like an rss flux or a digger for technological watch about social media

  • http://twitter.com/PaulFlanigan Paul Flanigan

    I have been on Twitter for two years and have just learned about you. This tells me two things:

    1. The power of twitter is amazing in networking with great people.
    2. Relevance is not necessarily a bright shiny object. This post is as relevant today as it was three yrs ago.

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  • Anonymous

    add value, fun, no noise, tweet in the same way for followers as you expect ur followings do

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  • http://twitter.com/MrktStar André Floyd

    This is great guidance for people looking to use twitter for business. I can refer people here now and save myself the time of giving this same explanation. I look forward to following you.

  • http://www.bilal.ca Bilal Jaffery

    Thanks for providing this. I should incorporate my use of Twitter on my blog as well.

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  • Fiona Pascoe

    Great content, simple and useful

  • Fiona Pascoe

    Great content, simple and useful

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  • http://www.nxtsm.com Victor Canada

    Great post on your Twitter approach. I agree that each person should use it in a manner that works for them and adds value to their audience. My approach is similar. One difference is the conversations. I don’t refrain from it and expect my audience can find value in the conversation or chime in. For those who say you tweet too much, they simply need to learn effective use of lists.

    Jeremiah, I’m just now connecting with you on Twitter and look forward to your tweets. Thanks Victor

  • http://www.nxtsm.com Victor Canada

    Great post on your Twitter approach. I agree that each person should use it in a manner that works for them and adds value to their audience. My approach is similar. One difference is the conversations. I don’t refrain from it and expect my audience can find value in the conversation or chime in. For those who say you tweet too much, they simply need to learn effective use of lists.

    Jeremiah, I’m just now connecting with you on Twitter and look forward to your tweets. Thanks Victor

  • http://twitter.com/ExecutiveMpact ExecutiveImpactGroup

    Jeremiah, I appreciate your approach and practice, looks like it works for both you and your followers. Bravo! My Twitter efforts & tweets are based on providing value as well to my various “networks” versus sharing my personal activities or breaking news you can get on thousand of others venues. Mike @HealthcareGuru @ExecutiveMpact @StartupGurus

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  • Dbdesign999

    was passed along to me by a friend…interesting approach.

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  • http://twitter.com/spoppe steve poppe

    Jeremiah.  Twitter is so interesting it kind of defies rules – but outbound I use it to convey the whole me…or my personality.  Facebook I reserve for friends. I blog (and comment) for business – why give Mark Zuckerberg the traffic? And I use Twitter as my voice regarding all things. Inbound I use Twitter for enrichment, realtime news and to stalk smart people like you.   When you posted this question in 2007, I’m pretty sure I would have said the same. steve at whatstheidea

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  • http://twitter.com/SaleAxis Sale Axis

    Great Twitter breakdown Jeremiah! Regarding the @reply issue, how does image come into play? For example, if someone was to reply to mentions via DM’s rather than @replies, do casual viewers see the user as being unresponsive?

  • http://twitter.com/SaleAxis Sale Axis

    Great Twitter breakdown Jeremiah! Regarding the @reply issue, how does image come into play? For example, if someone was to reply to mentions via DM’s rather than @replies, do casual viewers see the user as being unresponsive?

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  • Anonymous

    Twitter is such a fascinating tool. What’s even more fascinating is seeing all the different ways that people use it… I find that personally, my use for Twitter more or less follows most of yours, but I’m still a fluid user that’s in between listening, learning, networking, expressing, and using it a tiny bit for work. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I’m just tapping into the surface layer of the Twittersphere and enjoy the fact that you can always find sub-cultures and communities in 140 characters, often much more refined than on Facebook. As another commenter below mentioned, I am also curious if your approach and attitude towards Twitter has since evolved.

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