Utilizing Twitter for Conversations and Information

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    Key Points

    • You have to define who you are and what you are looking for in order to effectivly use Twitter.
    • Lists, replying, search, and third party clients are just four ways to help benefit the power of Twitter.
    • Twitter is used by many different people, it's free, and anything can happen. We just have to utilize it to fit our needs/wants.
    • The ability to have conversations and gain information is all present

    Summary

    Twitter is an experimental tool. It's your experimental tool.

    The most dominate forms of using Twitter are spreading links, gathering links, connecting with people, and socializing with people by very many approaches.

    But how are you benefiting from using Twitter for you and/or your blog community? I've looked at four ways, what are your ways?

    Close

by Derek Jensen

Twitter is a tool that is becoming more and more widely used by bloggers, journalists, businesses, and the general public. It’s free to use, easy to get started, simple, but still highly underestimated and used. Let’s look at how we can use the best of Twitter for having conversations and gathering information all in real time.

Twitter is an experimental tool. It’s your experimental tool

Why is Twitter so underestimated and used? Why do I even say this? Let’s look at the different groups of people that use it that I previously mentioned. We bloggers mainly have used it to connect and socialize with other bloggers and make people aware of our own content. Link love! Journalists or news agencies simply publish their feed. Lots of link love! Businesses are slowly utilizing it to talk to their customers and competition. Finally, the general public is gathering information from the top Twitter accounts, news agencies, and just having conversations with their other friends that actually have Twitter.

After looking at the most dominate forms of using Twitter we can agree that it’s mostly used for spreading links, gathering links, connecting with people, and socializing with people by very many approaches.

Who are you?

who are youIn order to use a tool that has the potential to help out people in so many ways, we have to know who we actually are.

Simply put, “who are you?”

But knowing that this is far from simple, what do you feel defines you? I ask, because this question can also be “what is your passion”, and in order to use something like Twitter should establish this first.

For instance, if you are into knowing the latest news and staying updated you will use the best of Twitter than if you were someone who gets their information by talking with people and holding conversations. Or for that matter you could be both. You just have to know who you are.

Twitter is used both for conversations and information and I’ll be looking at the same four features of Twitter to help both out.

Conversations

Conversations are that social connection we have and can hold with one another. We all know that social media has increased this opportunity and frequency. Twitter is certainly a tool to take advantage and utilize for your benefit all while conversing.

Lists

Twitter ListsYou’ve heard of having groups. Well lists are just like groups and allow you to have conversations with people related to a certain topic, interest, or belief, etc. Many times when you have many followers or people you want to follow you forget who all would talk about what/who. Lists help you out with this potential dilemma. Oh, and if you wish to make a list private, meaning a group just for your use like the “connect” list I have (shown to the right) for people I want to connect with more.
It’s up to you.

Replying

Casual talk is on the rise. Just start a reply. It’s simple as that

Replying is when we decide to talk back, respond, or offer additional input to whatever they have tweeted out.
Say you see someone discussing or talking about a certain thing that interests you, you have the opportunity to respond to them at anytime with extreme ease. Think of it has a geeky (but the next) way of emailing or contacting someone and just to have a very casual talk.

Casual talk has a new meaning and new home, called Twitter. All you have to do is reply to them and all of your followers can see you actually conversing with people. Transparency is at an all time high.

Search

So many are unaware of how to start conversations with people using Twitter if they don’t really know who is all on that would be of interest to them.

Easy solution. Use search.twitter.com and search for a keyword that would be of interest to you to start a casual conversation with that person related to that keyword happy tweet. This is again how people can find you too (keep that in mind). You just never know when someone on Twitter might talk with you.

Third-Party Clients

Third-Party clients are things that allow you to use the basic functions of Twitter, but add more ease and function. Some examples are Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Tweetie, and Brizzly.

All of the ways to use Twitter for conversations I have already stated can all be more ease of use to you and strive for more conversations with people on Twitter through these third-party clients.

Conversations are for starters, but we can get more. Actual beneficial information.

Information

All of the above features I went though (all four) you can use to help you obtain useful and beneficial information for yourself, your followers, and even your blog community.

Let’s go through them quickly:

  • Lists: Use lists to categorize the type of information you are in need or want of. i.e. Social Media, Blogging Tips, World News, Gadgets, etc.
  • Replying: Respond to people related to each of the lists you have made to gain more information or ask any questions you may have about what they have published, reported, wrote, or commented on.
  • Search: Looking for something. Think of this as a real-time Google Search, but keep the search entry short.
  • Third-Party Clients:Gain and retain the most information at your finger tips. Here is where you have to dig into each specific client to see which one better suits your needs.

I’ve looked at four features of Twitter for conversations that also help with gathering information, but recognize how you can begin to start using Twitter in different ways.

Yes, there is so many ways to use Twitter. You just have to find the best ways that fit your way of connecting, holding conversations, or finding information. Remember Twitter is your experimental tool .
The video from Chris Brogan (to the right) even has more ways to use the best of Twitter.

I’m sure that you all have your one twitter tip. Well, how are you using Twitter to benefit you the best?

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