I was shocked to read an article by the Associated Press about Twitter. Few have signed up for an account since the US election. I assumed with political tweets making worldwide news, people would be curious to see them first hand. Nope.
People use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. It remains the social media of choice. But Twitter has an expansive reach. We have the opportunity to connect with just about everyone with a public account. How cool is that?
According to Alexa website ranking statistics, Facebook is #3 in the world and in the US. Twitter is #18 in the world and #8 in the US. It seems it has become less popular after the election.
Twelve reasons to try Twitter:
1. You can follow anyone.
I can follow anyone with a public account. Although non-follower’s tweets won’t show up in my feed, I can check out their tweets and can tweet to them by using their Twitter handle. @susielindau is mine.
2. You can communicate with celebrities, politicians, athletes, comedians, best-selling authors… from around the world.
- A few years ago, a blogging friend wrote a satirical piece about Roseanne Barr. I tweeted the article to her along with my friend’s Twitter handle. Roseanne responded and they had a conversation on Twitter. How cool is that?
- I wrote a piece about pro snowboarder, Louie Vito and how my second chance in meeting him proved I wasn’t a crack whore. I tweeted the link to him and he retweeted it to his fans. He’s a cool guy.
- After posting about how seeing Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis set me back on track after cancer, it blew up on Twitter. The link is still being shared.
- I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, (terrific book!) and asked his fans what I should read next. I tagged him, (added his Twitter handle) in the tweet. He retweeted me. I received hundreds of comments in replies. Gaiman is a consistent tweeter and converses with fans daily.
Beware! If you don’t see the blue and white verified check symbol next to a celebrity’s name, it’s a fake account. There are lots of phonies out there.
3. To be heard.
It feels good to connect with others. We are all human. Expressing ourselves and our opinion gives us a voice. Our words can be meaningful.
Don’t expect a response from high profile accounts, but if you have good timing, your tweet may be read by the person you tweeted.
That said, don’t become a troll. Trolls are nasty people who tweet hate. There’s enough hate in the world. If you are going to disagree, do it in a respectful way.
4. Because most celebs post their own tweets.
Many use it as a platform. One hundred and forty characters can convey a lot especially in all caps.
Trump’s tweet unleashed the #EverythingInAllCaps hashtag game that night.
5. For up to the second news.
I check Twitter Moments for up to the minute news like some who sit in front of their TV and channel surf. In a few seconds, I learn the latest one or two days before it makes it to print or television. People tweet what’s happening as it occurs.
6. Because hashtags.
Adding a hashtag (#) in front of a word hooks you up with tons of people who may not follow you. They work like a bulletin board to bring people together with common interests. #MondayMotivation, #Thursdaythoughts, #FridayFeeling, #SundayBlogShare, #AmWriting, are a few of my favorites.
Hashtag games can be addictive. They trend throughout the day like #ThingsDoneByMistake in reference to #EnvelopeGate after the Oscars. It’s fun to throw down a 140 character entry.
7. For safety.
#Longmont trended a few weeks ago. It’s a town north of me. I was like, “WHAT?” Three brush fires near Nelson Road made visibility tough. They had evacuated over one hundred and fifty homes less than five miles from my house. 60 MPH gusts pummeled my home. Don’t worry. Firefighters put it out.
8. For inspiration.
Pope Francis tweets and so does the Dalai Lama, Paulo Coelho, Steven Hawking and Deepak Chopra. Years ago, when totally depressed about breast cancer, I checked my Twitter feed. Someone called Angel tweeted. “Everything will be alright, you are loved and being prayed for.” Later, I couldn’t find the account!
9. For promotion.
I blog, therefore I promote. Readers have clicked on links from tweets to my blog over 350 times since January 1st. That’s a pretty good boost.
Warning! Use the 1/3 rule when promoting: 1/3 tweet your own links, 1/3 someone else’s, and 1/3 tweets without links. If you err, do it in the no links category.
To err is human, but don’t expect a lot of followers if all you do is retweet or tweet links. That is sooooo boring. *yawn* I don’t follow automated accounts or those who don’t communicate like a human.
10. You can make lists.
Since I follow a ton of people, I make lists to check on my favorites. They include News sources, Retweetables from Mashable, Science Porn, and Merriam Webster, Funny people, and Susie’s Posse among others.
11. It’s great editing practice.
With only 140 characters allowed per tweet, I’ve learned the skill of “tight writing.” Cutting excess verbiage has carried over into my manuscripts and screenplays. Since joining Twitter in April 2011, I’ve tweeted 18,100 times. That’s a lot of practice.
12. To meet people from around the world.
It’s not unusual for me to carry on a conversation with someone from India, Western Europe, Canada, France, Sweden, or New Zealand to name a few countries. The ease of communication on Twitter makes our world very small. I love that!
Through Twitter, I have gained an understanding of how people may view the world through a different lens, but we are more alike than different.
I’ll continue to use Twitter as my social media of choice. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Do you have a Twitter account? How do you use it?