Things you can do with Twitter

People ask me what Twitter is good for, so I put together this quick list of things you can use as a quick-start. If you know of more ways to use this micro-blogging service, please, add to my list!

Politics
Odds are good that your favorite politician has a Twitter account and so does their opponent. Set an alert to send you on the most recent updates.
http://twitter.com/BarackObama
http://twitter.com/McCainNews

Friend-Sourcing
Looking for a writer? Community manager? Virtual Assistant? Want to learn about hybrids or how to save water? Tap your follower network to get recommendations for just about anything.

Micro publishing
Got something to say? Say it in 140 characters and extend your online presence. Tweet about your blog, your website, a new project. Send lots of links. People love links.

Grab your 15 seconds of fame
Over and over. A good post on Twitter can be transferred among your friends and their friends’ friends and end up in places you can’t even reach.

Share the love
Find a good cause that needs support? Here’s your opportunity to tell millions of people about it. Share a link to their website, their blog, Twitter account and periodically remind people when a new event comes up that might attract their interest.

Tell a story
People are using Twitter to write stories. Gathering them from random tweets or as novels or Haiku

Communicate with new people
Twitter allows you to start conversations with people you might not be able to connect with so easily. Strike up or join a conversation and see what develops. Search for people talking about your areas of interest and follow them.

Stay in touch
Friends in far flung parts of the world? Use Twitter to stay in touch with them and keep them up to date on your life. or maybe even get you out of jail . Looking to change companies? Keep in touch with the people who can recommend you and let them know what you’re doing professionally. It’s OK to do a little self promotion as long as it’s not incessant. Traveling co-workers? Tweet to them from your phone to update them on meeting status or even link to files (that aren’t sensitive data).

Track events
Many events are documented on Twitter, typically by posting with the name of the event or #Hashtags

so you can easily follow event or conference proceedings.

Get the news
The number of news organizations that regularly post to Twitter is stunning. There have been several cases where Twitter actually had the news before the networks.

BBC
CNN
MSNBC
New York Times
NPR

Brand tracking
Keep track of your brand, how it’s perceived and what people are saying about it. Respond to people talking about your brand and let them know you’re paying attention.
Who’s doing this?

General Motors
H&R Block
Kodak
Whole Foods Market
Zappos

Customer support
Keep an eye on what people say about your product and help them with their issues. Connect with your customers and listen, listen, listen.

Comcast
Dell
Jet Blue
Southwest Air

If you know of some more ways to use Twitter, why not share them here with other users?

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  • Sarah

    Excellent summary and links. I am thinking about Twitter in a new way. Thanks Janet.

  • Twitter has driven a lot of traffic to my blog. It works but you have to stay at it

    Franks last blog post..Caught In The Digital Divide

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