I’ve been a bit of a voracious user of Twitter. I use it to get quick answers to questions, find ideas, promote Virtual Payment Systems and to keep in touch with people I’ve met all over the world. Here are three things that just about anyone can do to get more value out of Twitter:
Unfollow the Stupid
Those helpful people who want to help you get rich by taking your money? Unfollow them. Bots that spew random quotes from Wikiquotes? Unfollow. Someone spouting political screed that gets you angry? Unfollow. If it’s stupid, a waste of time, makes you angry or feel bad, don’t hesitate to unfollow.
Eliminate the Inactive and Inanimate
Early on with Twitter, it was all people, and life was pretty good. Then came the invasion of the bots, empowered by Twitter’s awesome API. Some bots are useful – like the one at VPS that sends me a DM when a customer has paid an old bill. Others have little value, and you’ll waste a lot of time reading things that are little more than links to news, old quotes and jokes you’ve heard before. When you see a bot dump four or five posts in a few seconds, unfollow it.
There are a lot of abandoned Twitter accounts, too. Sometimes they come back to life after being sold to a spammer. Take minute to get rid of people you are following who haven’t used twitter in a while (as in a year or so). ManageFlitter is a great tool for this.
Use Twitter As YOU See Fit
Contrary to what the self-anointed “social media elite” will tell you, there aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to using Twitter except the ones that Twitter posts on their site. The rules that do exist are simply to prevent abuse. Twitter has some novel applications:
- It can be a quick alert network that sends your message to people via Tweet, email and text message.
- Twitter is a perfect way to do SMS marketing for small businesses. When people follow you, your tweets often go to their cell phone.
- You can use hashtags (stuff like #indiana or #nfl) to create and participate in group discussions.
- You can publish or subscribe to profiles that push out tips… Some are excellent. I’ve learned a ton from following @BashTips (Bash is the command line on Unix and Linux computers).