twitter expert
Updated 26 Aug 2020

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How Does Twitter Work?

You’ve heard the term social media, right? You’ve probably also heard about blogging, a new-fangled term for writing journal-style entries on an informational website. And we’re going to guess you’ve sent a few (million) text messages.

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a place where you could do all 3 things? Where you could be social and converse with like-minded individuals, follow them and their ideas about interesting topics, and have the flexibility to join and contribute to the conversation from anywhere at any time?

Well, that’s where Twitter comes in!

Another way to explain this popular social media app is by thinking about a house. Facebook is the lived space, while Twitter is the front foyer or main entrance, where you greet your guests, quickly catch up on what’s new in your lives, and take off your coat to stay a while.

You don’t hang out in the foyer, but you hang your hat there. By the same token, you don’t spend a lot of time interacting with 1 post on Twitter - you can interact with hundreds thanks to Twitter’s scan-friendly nature.

The Purpose of Twitter

Tweeting, or microblogging, is what people do on the social media app known as Twitter. That is, they compose short messages, or “tweets”, about useful or interesting topics (otherwise known as trending topics) with the hopes that other users will align themselves, or “follow” them.

You have a limit of 280 characters in your tweets so Twitter can maintain its reputation as a social media platform that allows users to interact with content at a glance and share that content to their heart’s content.

Twitter has revolutionized the way we interact with news in a profound way, thanks to the quick scanning nature of the content on this social platform. It has become a go-to application for young users, who depend on Twitter for news updates and consume content with voracious appetites.

In fact, if you are a business looking to reach a younger audience, you need a Twitter account, and fast. Twitter for business provides a tried and true solution for brand building and recognition, small business marketing, and increasing audience reach.

And staying safe Twitter has never been easier, thanks to increased vigilance in terms of the app policing its users and their actions. By following simple logic and reasonable action, you can make sure your account remains uncompromised. For example, never give out your Twitter password and keep your daily actions to a reasonable minimum. Remember, you want to engage your followers, not spam them.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of using Twitter to build your brand (whatever that may be), the best ways to engage with Twitter, and finally how Twitter will help you gain a following.

Pros and cons of using Twitter

Just with any social media application, there are upsides and downsides to using Twitter both personally and for small business marketing purposes. Let’s discuss some of the most obvious.

Pro #1 - Twitter makes things personal

By giving users a view of your brand’s personality - whether you use it for personal social interactions or small business marketing - Twitter reveals the human side of its users.

There is a fine line to what you want the users who follow you to see, however, so you have to know when to draw that line. Do this well, and you will have gained your followers’ trust and attention. Get too personal and you can be seen as unprofessional, irrelevant, or just plain cray-cray.

Pro #2 - Twitter helps you stay “in the know”

The never-ending news feed makes staying on top of what’s trending, what’s not, and who’s saying what about whom easy peasy.

Take it one step further by monitoring your feed and paying attention to what your followers are saying, providing valuable insights about how your business is stacking up again your competition.

Connecting in real-time with your target audience has never been easier. Cast a wider reach by using the Live Tweet feature during an event you are holding, and participants who can’t be there in person can still participate from the comfort of their couch simply by following your live tweets.

Pro #3 - Provide stellar customer service on the Twitter platform

Twitter has made small business marketing a breeze, as this social media platform allows for two-way, real-time feedback between you and your customers. They can tweet you with concerns, questions, or complaints, and you can make your response more personal by replying in a direct message. Using Twitter in this way ensures you can reply to your customers more immediately and privately, and this goes a long way to strengthening your bond with clients and preventing them from ditching your business in search of others who will better meet their customer service needs.

Con #1 - Your Tweets may go unnoticed

Since Twitter users are bombarded with over 500 million new tweets every day, staying visible and relevant can become an issue. This is where fitting trending hashtags into your posts and posting tweets that relate to news stories can help you stay visible. Also, taking time to figure out when your followers are most active on the platform will allow you to identify a posting schedule that works for you or your business.

Con #2 - You must be a vigilant Tweeter

As mentioned above, the sheer volume of content that hits the Twitter feed every day means you can either sink or swim based on how frequently you post and monitor the platform.

This might not concern you if you are using Twitter for personal use but as a business, it can become a concern.

As a small business, you need to stay on top of what any one follower is saying about your brand, especially if it’s not favorable. You might even consider hiring a social media specialist if you cannot commit to giving your Twitter account the attention it requires.

Best uses for Twitter

There are many excellent uses for Twitter as a social media platform, and to read more about them and other Twitter tips, check out this article on twitter basics. The top 4 best uses of Twitter are:

  1. To connect people -- Twitter allows people to connect across a broad range of topics and demographic details. You can follow and chat with people based on interest, political affiliation, location, or just about any other unifying point you can imagine.
  2. To share news in real-time -- Many times break news first appears on Twitter. It is a way for journalists and news organizations to get the word out to a large number of people very quickly. It is a way to make sure you are up to date with the latest.
  3. To market businesses -- Twitter allows businesses to better reach their target audience. It can showcase brand identity and personality while highlighting new products, important information, or deals and discounts.
  4. To expand the boundaries of traditional learning -- Twitter is a place to share blog posts or online guides. It is also a place where users can connect on a particular subject and share their own understanding with one another.

How Twitter can help you gain a following

So how can Twitter benefit you and your life? It’s all about sharing!

Share an idea, an opinion, a cool picture, and gain a follower. When you gain a follower, you not only gain a connection, but you also gain access to their followers. You’ve no doubt heard about 6 degrees of separation, Twitter embodies the theory!

Active users grow their followings - that’s a Twitterific fact. And growing your following as a small business can translate into dollar bills, y’all. There’s even this really cool feature where you can schedule tweets so that you can focus your energy on other business-related activities, and let the sharing nature of Twitter do wonders for your business.

To read more about growing your personal brand and getting twitter followers, check out these fabulous articles. Can you achieve celebrity status? In the Twitter-verse, anything is possible.

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