Ten things you can do on Twitter

What do you talk about on Twitter? This is a question I’ve been getting asked a lot lately by people who are hearing more and more about Twitter, but not sure what the point of it is.

One thing to keep in mind is that there doesn’t necessarily have to be a point to what you do on Twitter. Think of it as a place to have conversations. A non-Twitter friend of mine (trying to wind me up) sent me on a link about a BBC report highlighting a study that proved that 40% of what’s written on Twitter is “pointless babble”. And? I reckon that far more than 40% of my regular conversations consist of babble. So I’m not too worried about babbling on Twitter. I get to meet a whole bunch of new people many of whom have got a lot of interesting things to say. If someone I follow takes up way too much space talking c**p then I simply unfollow.

What do you talk about on Twitter?
What do you talk about on Twitter?

Now I’m not a power user of Twitter, but but here are some of the things I do and that I see other individuals and businesses do on Twitter;

1. Tell people what you’re up to

Twitter’s invitation to tweet is “What are you doing?” Twitter has grown on the basis that people are interested in what others are doing. Everyone ridiucules those who tell us what they are having for breakfast. But as I write this I read on Twitter from Aaron Quigley that he is “Watching President Obama give a eulogy at Edward Kennedy’s funeral.” Cool, I didn’t know that was on and I’d love to see it, so off I go.

2. Chat

The second fundamental of Twitter is conversation. Put an @ sign in front of a person’s name on a message and you’re now having a conversation. We all love conversation and people love to receive responses to the things they say – agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter.

3. Re-tweet

This is Twitter-speak, but really only means; tell others what someone else is saying. If you like what someone has shared, pass it on. We do it every day in real life; “Anthony was telling me…” This is a really great facility in Twitter – it means that news can spread very fast. It also flatters the original author so they’ll probably pay more attention to what you say in future.

Share music, video and photos
Share music, video and photos

4. Share photos, videos or music

Twitter makes it easy to use more than just text to tell people what you’re up to. You can easily add photos, videos or music to your tweet. Show your friends what you’re up to or let them listen to the music you’re tuned in to. The only thing you can’t share on Twitter is the taste of your food… not yet at least.

5. Share interesting resources/links

Twitter is a great place to share links to useful websites or online resources that you’ve found. Bernie Goldbach sent me on this link to a very comprehensive report on all the things that Twitter can be useful for if you are in business. When you finish reading my post, go and read that article.

6. Share & discuss your blog posts

A blog provides you with opportunities to flesh out your ideas in ways that mico-tools like Twitter don’t. If you have a blog, then let people on Twitter know when you publish a new post, give them the title and a link to it. It’s a great way to extend the conversation beyond your blog. More people seem to be more comfortable chatting on Twitter than even leaving comments on blogs.

7. Seek opinions and feedback

Wondering what people think about a particular topic? Thinking of buying from a company? Trying to decide which product is best? Looking for the best place to stay when you’re away? Ask your followers on Twitter. You’ll may be surprised how willing people are to help out.

8. Live tweet

If you’re at an event these days you’re sure to see at least one person tapping away on their laptop or on their mobile – letting people know in real-time what’s happening or what’s being said. You don’t have to go to an event to live tweet. Many people join in the conversations from attendees at events, or have their own conversations about televised events and discussions.

Twitter customer service
Twitter for customer service

9. Get (and give) customer service

If you’re a customer of a company, don’t waste your time on hold waiting to speak with an agent about a question or problem you have. Let them know on Twitter. If the company is on Twitter they’re realising that their customers are there, talking about the things that matter. As Brian Greene pointed out to me earlier in a discussion we were having on Facebook: “ignoring social criticism is negative, listening is neutral, engaging the problems and turning them into publicly solved customer care case studies is cheap and very positive for the brand’s image.”

10. Promote

If you’ve got something to promote then Twitter is a great place to do it. Not only are you telling your own followers, but if your promotion is genuinely interesting you can be sure that it will be re-tweeted. Tell people about your product offers, competitions and any upcoming events that you are running. Give stuff away for free or develop unique offers for your Twitter friends and watch the responses come. Just be aware that if you spend all your time doing this last one, you won’t have very many followers.

What else do you do on Twitter? Let me know by leaving a comment below or on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Ten things you can do on Twitter

  1. Hi Brendan. I also use it as a kind of journal sometimes. Micro-blogging. One thing I like about both blogging and twitter it allows me consolidate / compartmentalise my thoughts. A blog post can take a week of (usually subconscious) reflections and to be honest can be a lot of work. A tweet can achieve the same purpose in one quick go. It’s almost a thought for the day thing. Once I’ve tweeted it’s gone but also captured. It allows me move on mentally to the next topic.


  2. Thanks for all that extremely useful info. I really love the idea of Twitter but am slowly getting the idea. Hopefully I haven’t bored too many people in the meantime.


  3. Thanks for the comments guys. Yes James, Twitter is definitely a way of bookmarking ideas or thoughts for later review. I find myself tweeting or favouriting things I hear others say or tweet. Nicky, I’m sure that you are not boring people…. I’ve just followed you so lets see 🙂


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