How Do You Use Twitter?

by Martin Malden

I saw this question in a Twitter Group on What’s This Web Thing today:  How do you use Twitter in your business?

I’m now using Twitter regularly and it’s bringing me new traffic and building up my list of followers very nicely.

So what turned me onto it?

A while ago I read this post from Michael Stelzner on CopyBlogger and a light flashed on in my brain.

And here’s what I do:

In the ‘search’ screen, I type in keywords related to subjects that I can answer questions on, or that are relevant to my business, followed by a ‘?’.  For example, I often do searches for ‘WordPress ?’

That filters the stream of tweets to show only those that contain the word ‘WordPress’, and where people are asking a question. Then I just let the stream run and when I see a tweet that’s asking a question I can answer, I do so.

Once I’ve checked the initial results I just let the search feed run in the background and check it every now and then.  It always tells me how many new results there are since my last refresh.

So when there are 15 – 20 new results I just hop over and check them out.

There are lots of tweets like ‘can you read my new post?’ – which is what Twitter was originally intended for – but there are also some serious questions, and these are the ones I go for.

Over a period of time you will see questions that are asked more frequently than others – these are the interesting ones, because they indicate a common need.

At the moment I just write blog articles answering those commonly asked questions, but there’s no reason I couldn’t use them to start developing a product that answers the problems people are asking about.

This is a great market research tactic.

Just doing that is bringing me new traffic and building up my followers.  In fact I’m getting a steadily growing number of followers (without using any automated programs to follow people by the thousand), and a steadily growing stream of traffic as a result of this.

I also use the Squidoo Twitter interface, RSS and OnlyWire to get proactive tweets onto Twitter.

The Squidoo Interface enables me to automatically post a tweet when I update my lens.  I simply click a link and Squidoo posts a neat little tweet that tells the Twittersphere that I’ve just updated my lens, and includes a link.

The RSS feed from my blog runs through TwitterFeed and automatically tweets the opening 140 characters of every new blog article.

And through OnlyWire (a recently updated and upgraded bookmarking service) I can get interesting or useful news articles that I like (and which I usually find through Digg) onto Twitter as well.

There are those who say that you should stay focused on your niche and only tweet relevant articles.

My own view is that anyone with more than half a brain is able to assimilate more than one subject and, therefore, why not share them with others?

I think it makes following my tweet stream more interesting.

How do you use Twitter?  Leave us a comment and let us know!  And follow my Twitter Feed here.

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Joana Georgieva January 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Hello, very nice post and i like very much your blog as a whole. keep it up, you won one more faithful reader ;)

Joana Georgieva´s last blog post..Google Annihilation has a backdoor – get in FREE

Dennis Hampton November 25, 2009 at 11:03 am

Hey Martin, this is a great post. Please keep it up. I am going to pass this around for you and get you some free advertising.
Dennis

Martin November 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Hi Dennis,

Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the publicity!

Cheers,

Martin.

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