How to Make Twitter Work for You

by Deborah Ng

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past year or so, you probably already know I’m a self-professed Twitter addict. I love Twitter. I Tweet as soon as I wake in the morning, throughout the day, and just before I go to bed. In fact, I check Twitter almost as much as I check my email and stats. Am I obsessed? Not really, it’s my job to use Twitter. Besides, Twitter has done amazing things for my blogs.

Twitter Feed

I’ve been using Twitter Feed for my blogs. What I like about it is how posts are automatically tweeted out everyday, even if I didn’t do it manually, and even if I didn’t write the post myself. Anything on my RSS Feed is sent out over my Twitter Feed.

I hesitated for some time before using Twitter feed because I was worried about the spam factor, so far no one complained. Moreover, traffic from twitter to FWJ is way up.

Network

My favorite reason to use Twitter is to network. I started out with one follower and now have about 1200. I met new people, did some business, swapped ideas and stories, and received breaking news. Because Twitter is 140 characters or less, I’m not committed to some deep conversation.

Make Friends

One thing that surprised me about Twitter is all of friends I’ve made. When I was at BlogWorld Expo in September, I met folks I only knew through Twitter and it was an amazing experience. It was good for my job with BlogTalkRadio as I signed up new users, it was good for FWJ as this comunity has new members via Twitter and it was good for me because I met so many awesome individuals.

Twitter isn’t just another social networking site

I hesitated before signing up for Twitter because I didn’t want to get sucked into yet another social networking site. Twitter is different though. I can’t explain it, but the people are friendly and it’s not all about business. Yesterday we live tweeted an election and it was amazing how close we grew watching history in the making. In fact, if I had to give up every social networking site but one, I’d keep Twitter.

Tell us how you make it work for you…and don’t forget to follow me @debng!

Comments

  1. Thanks for this deb! I’m doing some analysis for out company about sites such as Twitter, Digg, Del.icio.us, etc.

  2. At first twitter confused me. I know. It’s hard to be confused by something so easy, but I think I couldn’t believe it was as simple as it looked. I’ve made a lot of contacts through twitter, and have connected with other writers and environmentalists. It’s a good way to promote my writing – especially my blogs that thrive on page views. It’s also a good place to go when a post isn’t doing so well to ask people to trade a stumble or a digg.

    Building a network went slowly at first, but the more followers you have the more you’ll get. I now get a few new followers each day, and about once a week I actively go looking for followers.

    I already follow Deb and she follows me. If you want to follow me, too I’m @rshreeves. If you follow me you’ll hear about the environment, my writing, and my kids’ stinky feet.

  3. Hi there, and thank you so much for this site. What a great resource for the new (or veteran too, I suppose!) writer- I have really enjoyed everything I have read here so far.

    I’m really interested in the Twitter Feed that you mention but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to set that up, and the Twitter “Help” section has been no help at all. Can you point me to a web resource that goes over how to set this up?

  4. I’ve only been on Twitter for a day or so, but I love your Twitter Feed posts. I think it works for you because you write quality content, not crap.

  5. @Robin – I didn’t understand the Twitter thing at first but now I not only get it, I’m addicted. And it’s more than work stuff, for instance today I tweeted out links for free chocolate and discussed National Man Cooking Day or something sily like that.

    @Sarah – It’s very simple. You first need an “Open ID” to sign up. I use my Yahoo login in. After that you’re taken to a page to set up the feed. Get your blogs feed address and put it in the link where requested. After that there are some simple questions. You can choose the announcement text – for instance I use “New Blog Post:…” which will be followed by the link. Let me know what you need help with and I’ll be happy to talk you through it.

    Thanks Jamie! It takes up time to buidl up a following but once they come you’ll have a blast.

  6. I have recently become obsessed with Twitter and been wondering how to use it more to my advantage. Thanks for this article! So far I use twitter on my blog as a nice, brief way to add a thought or two there when I’m out and about that I can go into more depth about later (in an actual blog post) if I want. I’m definitely going to look into the Twitter Feed as well. I tweet a lot about music, pop culture, current events and just wacky things I find. If anyone wants to follow me, I’m @CheshireNat

  7. I am a Twitter addict as well. Like some of you, I was confused by it at first, but once I got the hang of it, I wouldn’t be without it! I use Twitter Feed, and I love that it automatically searches my blogs and sends out tweets on any new posts. I send out manual tweets as well, but Twitter Feed sure helps! I’m @bcg61 if anyone wants to follow me.

  8. I absolutely love Twitter. I have gotten some great leads and some fabulous ideas. Twitter really works and I think that I am developing an addiction but it sure is fun!!

    Follow me if you are on there, I am @StacieinAtlanta

    I always follow back.

    Stacie

  9. @CheshireNat I am now following you. Nice to see someone else from Atlanta! :)

  10. I also follow a lot of people on Twitter who I find interesting or seem to do the type of work that I would like to do. I learn a lot that way.

    I do way more responding than posting of my own.

  11. Hi Deb,
    Thanks for this post. To say, I’d like to feed my blog into Twitter, which I just signed up for thanks to your post, but I don’t see the OpenID option anywhere–where’s the Open ID option that you referred to in your response to Sarah?

    Thank you.
    Bobbi
    bobbiblogger (on Twitter)

  12. Hey Bobbi,

    The way I got it to work was to go to a different site, http://www.twitterfeed.com. There, you can put in a number of RSS feeds- it will check your blogs at regular intervals and post updates to Twitter. So far it’s been working for me!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah
    sarahguy (on Twitter)

  13. I signed up for Twitter awhile ago. Afterward I added my Twitter link to my blog and people started following me so I followed them and then I found the twitter addy’s/links to other blogs I read/visit and added some of them to my following list. Every once in awhile I get an email notification that someone new is following me on Twitter so I follow them back.

    I post tweets once in awhile.

    I am @IslandChat on twitter.

    Sarah Guy, thanks for the above link. I will have to try it out eventually.

  14. Thanks for the useful info. Hopefully, it will all be as useful for me as it has been for many of you :*)

    Euphrosene

  15. stactheace says:

    Having difficulty getting logged in to full utilize Twitter. Any suggestions? I have a two-year old Gateway computer, but also a BlackBerry phone. Thanks!

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