I first signed up for a Twitter account back in 2010 but I only ever started using it as an undergraduate student at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). As a
Communications major grad with a degree in Communications, I have taken a lot of courses that emphasized the importance of using social media to increase brand awareness and establish long-lasting, powerful connections. As a student at SNHU, I fully immersed myself in many of the major social media sites, such as Google+, YouTube, and, of course, Twitter.
But it is only in November that I really started to use Twitter. Why, you may ask? One word: Nanowrimo. In addition to the wonderful forum offered on the Nanowrimo site, I found a thriving community of writers on Twitter. Hashtags such as #amwriting, #Nanowrimo, and #Nanowrimo2015 allowed me to connect with other Nanowrimo writers.
But it soon became more than that: I not only connected with other writers, I learned more about Twitter, a social media site, I admit, that I was initially confused about. I am going to highlight four main things that I learned from using Twitter…
4.) Hashtags are King in the world of Twitter. Hashtags are used to categorize tweets. Hashtags help your tweets reach people they wouldn’t ordinarily reach. And let’s face it, it’s interesting to see what the world on Twitter is talking about at any given moment. I am, of course, talking about the Trending Tweets that are updated/posted on Twitter.
3.) Trending Tweets are a quick way to learn what is going on in the world. It’s almost like a cheat sheet. Instead of reading the daily newspaper or checking Google News or the New York Times, you can just check out the Trending Tweets and found out what people in your area, your state/country or even the world are talking about. And then, you can join in on the conversation. Though, of course, you should read up on key issues before tweeting or contributing to the conversation.
2.) Follow people in your industry. Follow people you are genuinely interested in. Follow people you want to network with. These are the people (and their tweets) that you will see in your personal feed when you log on to Twitter. Don’t just follow people just for the sake of gaining followers. Glance at the person’s Twitter page and come up with at least one good reason for following them. Are you following a company that you would love to work for one day? A fellow classmate? Someone who you lost touch with over the years? Or were you inspired by something that they tweeted?
And, finally, the biggest thing that I learned on Twitter:
1.) Engage with your followers. Tweet. Respond. Be interested. Keep them interested. Continue the conversation. Twitter is instant and breathtakingly fast. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be. Show each of your followers the level of care and devotion that you’d want to be given. In short, the golden rule applies here… treat your followers the way that you would want to be treated.
Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to know your thoughts on Twitter. Comment below or tweet me at @hhensell.