Twitter is a fickle beast, don’t get me wrong. Things can go south on Twitter really quickly but it is by far the best networking tool online that I have utilized. I like LinkedIn but it has its own pitfalls in terms of networking abilities and socialization. You are limited on LinkedIn, Twitter is really open ended, which is also its failing.
When it comes down to it Twitter functions like its own little universe, which is why it can be terrifying to some people. Someone I work with just turns up her nose at the mention of twitter, she doesn’t like it. Apparently her sister just went on Twitter celebrity following binge once and due to that experience she can’t stand Twitter. I can’t blame her, her sister seems to fall into the “People Magazine, Celeb Gossip” Twitter community. Which I will admit is a Twitter community I tend to avoid. Though the beauty of Twitter is that there is a ton of different communities and other benefits that rise twitter to the cream of the social media crop. Let me list the ways:
Community Galore and Increasing your Network
Are you a nerd? Are you a nerd into baking, comics, and ABC’s scandal? Well there is a community out there on twitter waiting for you! A mistake that a lot of people tend to make on Twitter is following the “unattainable”, which by all means I follow some famous people but the majority of my followed profiles are “real” people. The great thing about twitter is you can search based on discussed topics. I highly highly suggest you do this, type anything in that you find interesting and just read the feed. Like what someone is saying? Click on their profile, read a couple updates and if you adore their statuses… FOLLOW THEM. You will increase your network very quickly if you do this because chances are they will want to discuss these things with you.
Unfollowing and Bots
Now you might be questioning why this is a benefit… Well, let me explain. It can be a downfall if you take it too seriously but Twitter unfollowing can be beneficial to you. If someone is just not interested in what you have to say they will unfollow you, but don’t take in personally, chances are you will gain another follower in his/hers place. Things happen much quicker on twitter then on any other social media site so don’t fret if you lose three people in one day, chances are you will get five more next week. Alright now lets talk bots, chances are if you are active on twitter in any way you will get followed by some bots. Which is totally fine! Just don’t follow them back! It will increase your following numbers but I can promise you will get annoyed if you feel the need to play the follow back game with a bot.
Following Back and Sharing the Love
Unlike Facebook I can almost assure you that most of the people you will follow and that will follow you will be people you have never met in real life. I mean I have IRL friends that follow me in twitter but I would say that they only make up a small percentage of my followers. Also chances people you are following on Twitter will also need support in a way. Retweeting is an easy way to spread word on something in twitter but another wonderful occurrence on twitter is #FF or Follow Friday. Its a hashtag in which you attach the @ link for all your favorite Twitter profiles to follow. It spreads the word and increases your social capital on Twitter. Its a beautiful and wondrous thing.
Your News Feed
While Facebook has a newsfeed you are usually reading personal news on that platform. Facebook lends itself to more personal updates, often they aren’t posted in a very timely fashion either. Twitter on the other hand supports the timely posting and updating of important events. Often I find myself going to twitter just to see what is going on in the world. Twitter has truly become a source for news and timely updates, you will even find that companies post new products and services on Twitter first.
Now if for whatever reason twitter still terrifies you, I understand though I would push you to at least give it a try. Twitter can be a great source of ideas, support and communication among like minded individuals.