Twitter. At its worst, a constant flow of seemingly random thoughts: what someone ate for lunch, unfiltered rants, excessive self promotion, political diatribes. But look beyond the stereotypical 'twitfalls' and, with just a little careful sifting, the benefits of connecting to what Twitter calls "the conversation" are easily seen. Here are a few ways to maximize your interactions in the 'Twitterverse'.
Connecting to your community
Whether knitting, sports, space, movies, fashion, medicine or food, you are bound to find someone tweeting about your favorite topic. There are industry leading experts as well as personal enthusiasts, all sharing their thoughts and opinions on the topics you love most. Of course, many of the streams of conversation can be unfiltered so it takes a little time, energy and observation to manage your feed. But a well-curated social stream can be personally enriching and informative beyond what you can possibly imagine.
Your instant news feed
Along with following your friends and family, there are hundreds of news feeds that you can follow to get the latest updates on what’s happening in the wide world, or just in your world. News agencies have really jumped on board with Twitter and use it as a means to get their reports and articles out into the mainstream quicker than ever. In addition to these established news feeds, many reporters and journalists have joined the Twitterverse and are bringing their own insight and opinions about your favorite topics. Even better, many of them are actively interacting with their followers so you can get unprecedented access to the people behind the news.
Promote yourself, your business, or both
Not only is Twitter a great place to get information, but it's also an excellent venue for getting your word out. Whether you're connecting with your business' customers, getting the word out about your blog, or sharing your opinions on how to take the best photographs, Twitter is ripe with people who are looking for interesting and thoughtful feeds to follow. The best thing is, you get to have direct and immediate interaction with your followers, the type of feedback marketers charge truckloads for.
Talk as little or as much as you want
Probably the best Twitter feature is that you get to decided how active you really want to be. If you just want to watch the stream of information and click the occasional link, that's perfectly fine. If you want to try to be the next million-follower Twitter celebrity, have at it. You can be as active and engaged as you want, but don't be surprised if your followers clamor for more.
So whether you cautiously wade in or jump cannonball style into the fray, the Twitterverse is waiting for you to join the conversation. See you there!