It was July 2nd, 2007. That was that day I joined Twitter and my life changed. Well, perhaps I am over-exaggerating because it wasn’t that dramatic. But looking back I can see now what a game-changer Twitter would be. I still believe that Twitter is the best business-building tool ever created, if you are willing to work it. I believe that so much that I wrote an e-book about it several years ago that I still provide to my clients as a how-to guide on using Twitter to grow their business.
One thing that hasn’t changed about Twitter since 2007 is that non-Twitter users still ask me questions like “I get Facebook and what I can do with it, but I don’t use Twitter because I am not sure what to use it for. What the heck can you do with Twitter?” Watch – one of the big mistakes that people make with any social media tool is that they don’t understand the ‘community’. So my first piece of advice for everyone is to open a personal account, follow a bunch of people and businesses that interest you, then watch what happens. Learn how the people and businesses inside Twitter act. You can’t figure out if you
So let me provide a quick list of the things that you can, and should, do with Twitter.
- Research – using the search feature, search for topics and issues that have anything to do with whatever it is that you do. Chances are, there are more people like you out there on Twitter who care about what you care about then you realize, and you will learn more than you ever imagined when you discover things that you never knew existed.
- Read news – news outlets discovered a long time ago that disseminating news on Twitter was the fastest way to get information out there. I follow businesses and organizations on Twitter that provide news that I care about, and that’s where I get my news. I don’t watch the evening news anymore and I don’t have a list of websites that I visit every day for news. Twitter delivers to me what is important to me.
- Share stuff – probably the one thing that I use Twitter for the most is to share stuff that I find useful, helpful, or interesting. And I usually share things that someone else has already shared on Twitter. The very nature of the ‘community’ is to share information, pictures, and links to things that are useful, helpful, or interesting.
- Solve problems – this is business 101 in my opinion. If you want to earn ‘good will’ with anybody, then help them solve their problems. Give more than you take. Search for keywords on topics that you know people are struggling with, then offer solutions to them. If you know something about gardening, then search for people who are asking questions about how to do gardening stuff and offer helpful advice.
- Make personal connections – I know of no other tool in existence that enables you to make direct, personal connections with other people no matter where they are. In fact, when you do all the other stuff I am recommending here… sharing, solving problems, etc… you will automatically make personal connections. Broaden your network of friends and colleagues, be real with others, and just talk to others. It will lead to friendships for sure, but it will also lead to more business in the long run because people don’t want to do business with business, they want to do business with people.
- Create thought leadership – if you have knowledge or skills in some area that others don’t have, you can use Twitter to provide leadership to others by sharing what you know. You can do that on a blog (like I am doing now) and then use Twitter to share links to that content. I have received speaking engagements, interviews, and business deals because people followed me on Twitter and reached out to me because of what they found.
This is but a short list of ways that you can use Twitter, and I would love to hear how you are using Twitter. The bottom line is that you can use Twitter to deepen relationships and get better at whatever it is that you do. You just have to dive in and get started.