Online Services: Twitter

In reading the LinkedIn Q & A as well as various blogs, it seems that more than a few people have questions about what services to use and how to use them. I wanted to create more long-form content and this seems like a good topic to focus on. Each week I’m going to address one of the services I use, how I use it, and why.

I’m going to first speak to the primary social networks I use: Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and Facebook. Then some additional ones I use: Plinky, Chess.com, and Goodreads. As well as , the affiliated services that make things go: Google Reader, Buffer, Twylah, HootSuite, Qwitter, Manage Flitter, FollowerWonk, and Twitter Directory. And finally, the ones that track and measure what and how we do online: Klout, Kred, Peer Index,Tweet Level, Twitter Grader, Twitter Counter, and Content Scorer

Twitter

I had a Twitter account for a while, but decided to become more active on it a year ago.

I view Twitter as a critical piece of my online world. It is definitely a broadcast channel, but it has an intimacy different than other networks. You can follow people whose opinions matter in your industry as well as colleagues and total strangers. You can also communicate with them.

At first, I decided I’d only follow people of interest and not follow back blindly. I had about 100 followers, but found many added and dropped me. Then I started following back and following people who seemed to have content I’d want to read.

In doing this I was following more people and found the need to create topical lists. I made up four: Digital, Healthcare, Music, and Motorsports.

I found the easiest way to follow the streams was via HootSuite, because I could see the Tweets organized by list on one screen.

I also followed everyone on LinkedIn who had a Twitter account and decided to give them a month or so and decide whether or not to keep following if they didn’t follow me back.

I use Qwitter to manage who I’m going to continue to follow and who to drop.

I use Buffer (a post of mine on the app here) to manage my posting. Typically, I’ll scan my Google Reader (post on blogs I follow) in the morning and at night. To evenly distribute posts I indicated four times each day to distribute Tweets in Buffer and I just add to Buffer from Reader.

I’ve also used Twylah (post on what Twylah is) to get a better understanding of what a 3rd party may think I’m tweeting about. It definitely helps you think about word choice.

There is now functionality in Twylah that connects it to Buffer, so I occasionally send to Twylah, which sends to Buffer and ultimately to Twitter.

I mostly try to Tweet links to content I find valuable within the digital space, but I also include some music and motorsports. I also Tweet from webinars and conferences if I’m attending, but I try not to send too many Tweets in any given day.

I think the best advice is to look at Twitter like a conversation, if you only talk about yourself and don’t provide any value, why would someone keep talking to you?

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